Sherman Jackson of the University of Southern California delivers a lecture entitled, “Whither the Modern Muslim: Negotiating Creed, Theology, & Spirituality”. From the Zaytuna conference, Reclaiming Our Faith: Negotiating Modern Theological Fault Lines held in Anaheim, California on May 25, 2013.
After thoroughly addressing the first dimension of Islam in his first four lectures of this series, Abdal Hakim uniquely explores the final two dimensions in Islam of iman and ihsan. This talk, which consists of two parts, is another highly intellectual discourse about a vast religious science. The speaker begins by providing a historical background in an effort to identify the processes that brought this science about. This lecture effectively paints a colorful picture of the nature of the spiritual life in Islam and examines its foundation. What does the Qur’an say about these two types of higher knowledges, imam and ihsan? How does the Muslim come to know God if He cannot be seen? And what about the early Islamic controversies of free will vs. predestination and the existence or “problem” of evil? How does Islam answer the age-old philosophical questions of why the world exists and what the purpose of life is? (Recorded at the Dar al Islam Teachers’ Institute seminar). Other topics discussed: Emanuel Kant, the 99 names of God, the film “Barakah”, the volition of God to create the universe, heedlessness, thikr (meditation or contemplation), and the absence of symbols for God in Islam.
An in-depth exploration into the concept of “iman” (or faith) in Islam, and its application and implication for human beings in general and for those who call themselves Muslims. This near three-hour session is an intense survey of the human condition in the world today and what the human being must believe, from the Islamic perspective, in order to have hope for security and peace in this life and the hereafter. These objects of belief, which are known as the “articles of faith” in Islam, are what’s at the core of this highly stimulating lecture. These six articles are: belief in the one God, the revealed books, the prophets and messengers, the angels, predestination, and the Day of Judgment. An amazing session that also makes many comparisons to the Judeo-Christian understanding of God’s imminence, salvation, and other very relevant issues pertaining to faith. (Recorded at the Dar al Islam Teachers’ Institute seminar). Other topics discussed: the fitrah (the natural desire to believe in one God), the human intellect, faith vs. disbelief, deja-vu, heedlessness, the transcendence and imminence of God, negation and affirmation within the human psyche, the nafs (the commanding self, the regretful self, and the peaceful self), the philosophical problem of evil in the world, Salmon Rushdie and capital punishment, the five objectives of the Islamic law, inheritance laws, homosexuality, the desire for massive stimulation, the stages of life, the after-death experience, God’s mercy and wrath, suicide, slandering prophets, and Muslim countries today implementing Islamic law.