Freeing The Butterfly Within 3/12 - 3rd Muharram 1433/2011

In this third lecture in the "Freeing the Butterfly Within" series, Br. Khalil Jaffer discusses the difference between what is "natural" in terms of Tabi'ah and Fitra depth. Further, Br. Khalil expounds on the guiding analogy of the series, the metamorphosis of caterpillar into a butterfly and parallels it to the metamorphosis of a Tabi'ah-driven individual into a Fitra-driven individual, whilst discussing the possible obstacles one may face during this journey. Further, the examples of Firawn's magicians are used to explain the transition of Tabi'ah into Fitra.

A'udhu billahi min al-Shaytan al-rajim, Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim, al-hamdulillah Rabb al-Alameen, bari' al-khalaa'eqi ajma'een. Wa salat wa salam ala asharafi al-anbiya' wal mursalin, sayyidina wa Nabiyyina wa habibi qulubina wa tabibi nufusina wa shafi'i zunubina Abal Qasim Muhammad. Allahumma sali 'ala Muhammad wa aali Muhammad. Thummal salatu wa salam 'ala aale baytihil tayyibeen at-tahareen al-madhlumeen. Wa la'anatullahi al a'da'ihim ajma'een min yawmi 'adaawatihim ila yawm id-deen. Amma ba'du faqad qal Allahu tabaraka wa taa'lehah fi ketabih, wa huwa asdaqul qaa'eleen. Bismillahi, al-rahman, al-Rahim. Fa aqim wajhaka lil-deeni haneefan, fitrat Allahi ilatee fatar al-nas 'alaiha. La-tabdeela li-khalqillah. Dhalikal deenul qayimmu wa-lakinna aktharal nasi la ya'lamuun. (30:30). Salawat ala Muhammad ... [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad]

Tonight is the third night of Muharram, 1433 A.H., as well as our third Majilis, and our subject is freeing the butterfly within. And what we have been saying is that insan has two distinct natures. There is one nature, which is an animal instinct within the human being that serves the human body its purpose is to seek pleasure, to flee from pain and to survive. That in me, which is fearful of death that's in me, which fights for survival, for life in this world that in me, which seeks food and occupies me with the search of earning and purchasing and preparing and eating that in me, which seeks a mate so that I may reproduce of my own species. That is all related to this instinct within me that is called tabe'a. Then within me there is also a nature that is divine. There is something in me, a natural disposition that is hardwired in me that wants to worship a higher being, a higher power, that asks questions related to justice, to freedom, to equity that cannot tolerate injustice or ignorance. That is my Fitra, which is unique to human beings. Firtat Allahi llati fatrat al-nas alayh, that natural disposition that is in human beings.

La tabdila li khalq-Illah, you cannot alter this nature in Insan. You can hide it, you can deny it. But it is hardwired. You can find justification for it, but it cannot be removed. So while discussing the characteristics and the differences between tabee'a and Fitra, last night we gave two analogies. In one analogy, we said Fitra is like an intelligent being, a rider on a mount. Tabee'a is the mount itself. It's like a wild horse that can be running wild or it can be tamed and reined in by Fitra and controlled by it. The other analogy we gave was that of a gushing river, a force that has tremendous potential but is untapped and that flows freely, but it can be regulated and controlled and made useful with a dam, a barrier that holds it and regulates it. And that is my Fitra.

What we wish to do tonight, first and foremost, is to talk about what do we mean when we say human nature or something as being natural. We use this term all the time when we talk, we say it's human nature to do this, this, this or this is natural to all human beings. It is important to talk about this and try and categorize these things into separate boxes. Which of these things that we call natural is Tabee'i and which of these is Fitri? Let's take some examples. If I was to see someone suffering, it is natural that I will feel pain within me. The same young men, the same young woman who asks and whose attests to this and says that when I see someone suffering, I feel pain and it is human nature to do so. That same young person says that when I'm walking in a shopping mall and I see a beautiful woman, I want to look at her. Is it not natural? Is it not human nature to want that? Why does Islam tell me? Lower your gaze. Is it not natural for a woman to want to show off her beauty to others? Why does Islam tell her? No, don't show your beauty, put hijab. Is it not unnatural? When I see good food, I want to eat it and I want lots of it. Is that not human nature? Why does Islam keep telling us to do things that are unnatural?

Here, when we ask such questions, there are three issues that we need to keep in mind. The first and foremost is that we are obviously confusing tabee'a and Fitra. Many of these issues that we talk about are the tabee'i, they are nature that we share with animals and other species on this planet. Remember our discussion of being in an alien body and surviving this plane of existence? Talk to psychologists, talk to doctors, talk to even the people who don't believe in God. When they talk to you about the laws of attraction, they will tell you that all these things that we do, quote unquote, naturally, this is simply chemistry or biology taking place within your body. It happens to us, it happens to animals. For example, in many animals, in many mammals, it is known for a fact that unlike human beings who attract each other and mate and reproduce throughout the year, animals have certain times of the year in which they reproduce, they have a mating season. And within these animals, there are some mammals that is known about and possibly in all are creatures that when they're mating season arrives, the female of the species will do certain things to make herself more attractive to the male species. And the male species will then fight amongst each other and the female will choose the one who wins that fight. Why? Because they say it is natural for all species to want to reproduce their own kind, but not just their own kind; they want to reproduce creatures that are healthy, that are strong, that are beautiful. So they are instinctively by tabee'a, they will look for a mate that is strong, that is healthy and in their perception, beautiful. And humans in that sense are no different. These are not my words. This is not even something from an Islamic source, this is general. You talk to scientists, to doctors. They will tell you this.

There are studies that have been done by psychologists who sits in places like shopping malls and observe you and I when we are interacting with others.They say that when a young man is walking in the mall and he sees a group of girls instinctively, he will suck his stomach and he will take his chest out, he will flex its muscles and he will walk differently, pass them, without knowing. Is that fitra? No, that is tabee'a, that is chemistry, that is biology. When a girl sees a man who she thinks is attractive, instinctively she will start flirting. She will beat her eyelids, she will talk softly, she will be a damsel in distress so that he can rescue and be the knight in shining armor for her. But by doing so, she is seeking a mate and so is he. This this is chemistry. This is biology. So this is the first thing that we should not confuse Fitra and tabee'a, that when we see such behavior, it does not mean that we are opposing that which is natural from Allah that may simply be a characteristic of our physical body while we live in this plane of existence. That is one thing.

The other thing is, let us not forget the ego. We have spoken about the human ego at length when we discuss the end of negative suffering. And we said that because the mind produced this illusory self out of conflict and it has a very limited scope and believes that it can only solve its problems by acquiring more pleasure and fleeing from physical pain. It assumes this to be the solution to all problems without realizing that the more it seeks pleasure excessively and with an obsession, the more it creates suffering for itself. So the ego using this tabee'a within the human being does not know that. If I keep looking at this non- marham again and again, it will not solve any problem. It will just increase my suffering or my frustration. But the ego thinks this is an immediate solution to my problem. So it seeks it believes that if I have more food, if I have more physical pleasure, then I will be happy that I would be free from pain. It is incapable of seeing that this is a vicious cycle that does not end because it is not the function of tabee'a or the ego to understand where true peace comes from to a human being. And we will talk about what is it that can really give human beings peace when we talk about Fitra in the coming nights, inshallah. So this is the other thing that we must not forget the role that ego plays this.

The third thing is that even if we suppose that these tendencies that we call as quote unquote natural, why does Islam put restrictions and say hijab and lower your gaze and don't do this and don't eat too much? And even if these things are natural to me, just because they are natural does not mean they are good. There are many things we do that are unnatural, but we do them because we believe there is some goodness in them. Simple examples would be, for example, wearing clothes. Yes, wearing clothes to cover our nakedness, to cover our private parts. That is Fitri. Why? Because even before a lot talks about Adam being sent down when Adam and Hawa eat from that forbidden tree and Allah says, qul na'bidu!, we talked about this, what else has go down to this plane of existence before that? When you read the Qur'an, you find that as soon as the ate from the tree and they became aware of their own selves, they began looking for leaves and branches of trees and began hiding their nakedness. So that is Fitri. It is against your Fitra to roam naked, even if people tell you it is natural.

But over and above that, the other clothing that we wear is not as such natural, but we do it for other reasons. We do it because of the weather, for example, to protect ourselves from the cold, or we do it to make ourselves look attractive to others. Part of our clothing is the shoes we wear. Is wearing shoes natural? No, it's not. Today's shoes have evolved. I'm sure if you look at the history of shoes, it would be a very fascinating history, but essentially, when human beings begin wearing shoes, it was a piece of leather under the feet with a cord tied at the ankle or at the toes. Right. Is it natural to walk around with a piece of leather under your feet? No. But you do that to protect your feet because it is harming you if you don't do that.

We brush our teeth every morning and every evening. It's not natural. If it was natural, we'd come out of the woumbs of our mothers holding a toothbrush. It's not natural. We go to the washroom to relieve ourselves. That's not natural. Natural is what babies do. That's why we put diapers on them. But we train ourselves and unnatural behavior where we hold ourselves until we have access to a washroom and then we use that. This is unnatural, isn't it? So just because something is quote unquote natural to my instinctive animal self does not mean it is good. Sometimes I need to train myself to do something unnatural because there in lies goodness for my health and for society.

And you can extend such examples. When we want to show affection to each other, we shake hands or we hug depending on the relationship or we kiss. Is that natural? Shaking hands is not natural. Think about it. What do you do when you shake hands? This is my physical body. An alien body that I reside in for a limited time. Attached to this body is a limb, my hand. You have a limb attached to you. You bring your limb, I take my limb, we clasp and then we move this. Supposing you saw two, I don't know, lions or crocodiles or gorillas doing that, you would say, I wonder what they're doing, but we do that. If it was a natural, our children would know this themselves, but they don't from the time they're two and three years old, we take them when we bring them before elders, when we bring them before grandparents, when we bring them before others, we say shake hands hotto right kiss grandfather hug him, kiss. We teach them, why? It is not natural, but we teach them from a young age that as a species, these are the things we do to show affection to each other. In that same manner, the way you as a parent teach your children to do things that are not natural because they need those skills in order to survive in this plane of existence, fitra wants to teach tabee'a certain things, even if it sees it as unnatural, because it is needed for the development of the soul and for its perfection so that it can reside in Jannah in the Akhira.

So just because something is tabee'i does not mean it is good. Fitra will decide if it is good. Tabee'a, remembered, does not have this ability to judge whether something is just or unjust, righteous or unrighteous, good or bad. For tabee'a, to make the judgment would be like for your ears to judge if something is red or green. We talked about this yesterday. The this is just an animal instinct. It just wants pleasure. It wants every woman it sees, it wants every food it sees, it doesn't know Halaal and Haraam, it doesn't know whether this is usurped or not usurped. Fitra will reign it, Fitra is the rider, Fitra will say, no, you have come here for a purpose: to develop your soul. You need to lower your gaze when you see a non-mahram. And because this Fitra comes from Allah, "Firtat Allahi llati fatrat al-nas alayha", Allah's laws and commands will tell us how to reign in this Fitra and what things Fitra thinks is natural, but it has to be trained even if it doesn't understand. You may have never questioned why you shake hands until today, perhaps. You are trained to do so when you are two years old, in the same way your tabee'a will not question if your Fitra trains it from the right time. And that is why this verse of Qur'an that we have been using as a theme from Surat ur-Rum, fa aqim wahjaka li'd-dini Hanifa, set yourselves on this pure religion, (30:30) which is based on the natural disposition, the Fitrah that Allah has wired into human beings, and there is no alteration to this Fitra. But most people do not know. This verse of chapter 30, verse 30, there is a verse before it. If you go and read Chapter 30, verse 29, Allah says: Balit taba'al ladheena zalamooo ahwaaa'ahum bighairi 'ilm. But those who are unjust, they follow their desires and are lost without knowledge.(30:29). After saying that, meaning those who are unjust, they follow their tabee'a without any boundaries, without any rules, without any regulation to give in to every temptation. After that, he says, you be different, fa aqim wahjaka li'd-dini Hanifa, you set yourselves on this din of Fitra, not on a life of tabee'a. Salawat ala Muhammad wa ali Muhammad [[Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad, wa ajjal farajahum]

Now, one of the things that I had intended to do tonight as well, actually last night we ran out of time, was to... because we have been giving this analogy of going from a tabee'i state to a fitri states as being so radical that when you become completely a fitri or fitra-oriented or fitra-driven human being, the change is so radical, we have been giving an analogy, it is like the metamorphosis of a caterpillar becoming a butterfly. And what I would have loved to do was to actually talk to you how a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. At first I thought this might not go well because people may say, well, now we're getting a science lesson from the member. Then I thought in Nahjul Balaghah, Amir Al-Mu'mineen Ali Ibn Abu Talib, salawatullahi wa salam aleyh [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad] he actually has an entire sermon where he talks about the bet and describes the bat, he has another sermon where he talks about the peacock, so it wouldn't be any in any way against that. However, I have a lot of material to cover. I may not even be able to complete that. So I'm not going to actually go through all that, but I would encourage those of you who are interested and who want to see this analogy and why we chose this subject, freeing the butterfly within. When you have some chance, Google this, how a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. There's even videos of these on YouTube where you can actually see that process. It is an absolutely fascinating process.

And as you look at this, try and bring parallels to the human development, particularly the spiritual development, how, for example, a caterpillar, when it is first hatched and born within the first three to three weeks, it will just eat continuously until its mass multiplies thousands of times. And that's exactly how human beings are completely driven from their time they're born. And then how when it is ready to change into a butterfly, it will attach to itself to a tree and give out its final exoskeleton. Moths do the same thing, by the way, but moths, their outer shell from which they emerge is called a cocoon. For caterpillars, the more for butterflies, the more technical term; it is called a chrysalis or a pupa in which the shed this exoskeleton that surrounds them and they disappear from the world for a time. Just like a man who seeks God will sometimes be amongst people but disappear from the world. Amir Al-Mu'mineen, alayhi assalam says [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad], he describes such people and says their bodies are with you in there in this world, but their spirits are high above in the heavens, and the scientists will tell you this, that on the outside it looks like it's just a cocoon or the chrysalis, but inside there is tremendous change that caterpillar is chemically being deconstructed and then reconstructed again. The most amazing thing is that some of them, the chrysalis will break apart and the wings open up. And that is an amazing thing to see that process; for some, it will happen in five to seven days; for some, it will happen in a few weeks; for some, it will take eight to 10 months; for some, they will hibernate throughout winter and hatch the next year.

In this is a lesson for us as well. Some of us will go from to tabee'a to Fitra in an instant; some of us will need weeks; some of us will need years; some of us at dafan and some of us will ever need the hereafter to become this butterfly. So we never lose hope in anyone. But this is a fascinating world that we need to look at. We acknowledge this in our understanding of religion. How many times have you heard that not every person who dies will be raised on the day of judgment in human form? We've heard this time and time again. What does it mean, my dear brothers and sisters? It means that outwardly here we have been given an alien body, that's why we all look the same.

But in reality, each one of us in this room is pregnant with a soul, and the choices we make in life between to be and our souls are developing. They are becoming something. They are trying to become butterflies. When we die, we give birth to that which is within us.

And the idea is that you are pregnant with the soul when your body falls apart. That is just your cocoon. That is just your chrysalis. That is not the real you, the real you will emerge after death. So some evolve now and some do not. Now, let's talk about enlightenment. How does this enlightenment, this sudden change to Fitra come when it comes?

A lot of times this will come in an instant because of a calamity in our lives. We struggle throughout life concerned about our spiritual well-being and how we can be more spiritual. We try to keep this Fitra alive within us and then something happens: one incident in life, a miracle we witness or a calamity befalls us and that becomes a trigger, that becomes the spark because of which we suddenly gained this enlightenment, there is a sudden shattering of the ego, there is a certain growing of the wings, there is a certain metamorphosis that takes place. The closer we come to enlightenment, the harder it becomes for us as well, keep that in mind, because the ego has been with us since infancy is resisting change, it does not want to die. That is why many mystics have reported that when they are closest to enlightenment, they undergo severe depression. And we will talk about addictions, attachments and depression in the coming nights, inshaAllah.

There is a hadith from Amir Al-Mu'mineen Ali Ibn Abu Talib, salawatullahi wa salam aleyh [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad]. He says expect relief and the tightening of the chains when the chains tighten the most. That is when you should expect relief. Fa inna ma'al usri yusra, Inna ma'al 'usri yusra Fa innama in the mail. With hardship comes ease, no with hardship comes ease (94:5-6). Allah knows your capacity, so sometimes you are squeezed with a calamity and then there is a certain relaxation, you are left and then again you're squeezed and then you're left. Your capacity is being tested. If you can withstand and the squeezing continues and you do not give up, it will shatter the ego. What will emerge then will be that beautiful butterfly. But we need to have that capacity to withstand to have that faith with us, while this happens. An analogy I like to give about going from tabee'a to Fitra or going from being egoically driven to being enlightened is that proverbial light at the end of the tunnel that the light at the end of the tunnel? Is that enlightenment we seek? That Fitra we seek? However, to see that light, first and foremost, you must be willing to stand at the mouth of the tunnel. When you stand at the mouth of the tunnel, there is a dark passage you must cross. Tabee'a is afraid of darkness, it is afraid of everything. Tabee'a will say don't go, we don't know what danger lurks, turn and flee. Most people will turn and flee; the rare few who will have the courage to walk through the dark tunnel, which may be represented as depression or any other calamity, they will emerge on the other side and stand in that light. Once they have crossed the tunnel, they will not know any fear. They will never come back. But even if they did, they have transcended the fear.

You see, death itself is not as fearful as the fear of death. And we will talk about this again very shortly. The most frightening human experience is the shattering of the ego. A lot of us are afraid when we die, the pain we will feel. Don't worry about the physical pain. You could be in a hospital dying and they could give you drugs. You will not feel any physical pain, right? You hear of this all the time. People are in a coma, they get morphine to die. It's not the physical pain. What is really afraid of death is not your real self because your real self knows you are eternal, you will never die. What is really afraid of dying is the ego, that false sense of "I" that was created, that "I" is afraid of even being diminished. When you insult me, my ego is diminished, it is deflated. That is threatening. That is a sign that I might die. So to reinflate it takes a backlash. It will insult you back. It will fight back. It will go back and backbite about you. Right. It will send a nasty email to you. Why? Because it needs to reinflate to regain its original sense of I-ness. But a death. Because the body falls apart and the brain falls apart and the mind falls apart. Therefore, that sense of I-ness that was created by the mind must also go, it was an illusion. And that feeling of I am losing my sense of I-ness, I am ceasing to exist is the most frightening thing. It is a feeling like I'm going mad, I'm losing my mind.

That is what we fear the most. We have a choice: we can seek spirituality and allow that to happen with our own volition, or we can continue denying and pretending death does not exist, and then at the time of death, it is taken from us by force. And that makes it more frightening. The same it is with whether we choose to be tabee'a oriented or fitra oriented. We can choose to become butterflies so that when we die, we are happy to be freed from this cage and to soar to new heights. Or we can remain in our cocoons in fear and refuse to change, and then when we die, we realize we have always been a caterpillar and always stay in a caterpillar. And now, because we have no wings to fly, we can only be burnt by the sun and perish in that manner. So we have said that once you cross this tunnel, you do not come back and you overcome the fear of death. It is the same as saying once you become a butterfly, there is no going back to becoming a caterpillar.

Now, let us give an example from the Qur'an of how this happens when a person changes from tabee'a to fitra, how they overcome this fear of death completely in an amazing way. And this will be our our final discussion before we come to a conclusion for tonight. The story and the example we take from the Koran is from the story of the Prophet Moses or Musa, alayhi assalam. Fir'awn, or the pharaoh, it is a complete representation of total tabee'a, when Allah wants to speak of oppressors of tyranny in the Qur'an he uses Fir'awn as the absolute embodiment of this dhulm, okay, or of a taghut He uses Fir'awn. When Musa comes back to Egypt with his brother, Haroon Alayhima alsalaam, Fir'awn sees the miracles he brings, so he challenges him. He says, let us have a showdown. And because he is so confident, he says we will not do it. Now he sets a date and he invites people from all over the country to say, come in, witness how we defeat this Musa. He does not realize he he's setting himself up for his own defeat.

Then he has people sent out through his domain and he looks for the most accomplished magicians, the best of them, and they come to him. Now, these magicians, as we all know, they repent. When they first come, they are tabee'a driven just like you and I. But there is something in them. They have kept their Fitra alive, even though they continue with tabee'a even though they commit a major sin, which is the practice of witchcraft and magic.

Now we go to Surah Al-Shu'ara, which is chapter twenty six, verse forty-one: Falammaa jaaa'as saharatu qaaloo li Fir'awna a'inna lanaa la ajjran in kunnaa nahnul ghaalibun. (26:41) When the magicians came for this showdown, they said to Fir'awn, now Fir'awn was a god to the people, he had said to them, Ana Rabbukum al-'Ala I am your exalted Lord(79:24). So they are talking to god now, they said to Fir'awn: is there any reward for us if we should overcome Musa this day? And Fir'awn knows that they are tabee'i driven, people who are tabee'i driven, are greedy, they want rewards, they are reward seekers. So he feeds into this reward verse forty: Qaala na'am wa innakum izal laminal muqarrabun. He said. Indeed, indeed not only shall you have a reward, but you shall be amongst those who are closest to me. You shall be the elite. You shall be the muqarraboon.(26:42) So now there is the reward. And then there is the prestige.

There is the status. You are the closest to God. We continue with our chapter twenty six, now we skip verse forty three, we come to verse forty-four: Fa alqaw hibaalahum wa 'isiyyahum wa qaaloo bi'izzati Fir'awn innaa lanahnul ghaaliboon. So they threw their ropes and their sticks on the ground and so confident they swore in the name of their lord. They said that bi'izzati Fir'awn, by the might of the pharaoh, we this day shall be the victors. (26:44). Now in Surah al-Shu'ara, of course, the story of the serpent of Moses swallowing all their magic is given. The same thing is given in Surah al-Araaf (7), in chapter seven, verse one-twenty to one twenty two that when they saw that Musa had something that was real and theirs was magic, they played tricks on the eyes of people; the people saw the sticks and the ropes moving like snakes, but they knew this was just hypnosis. But they knew what Musa had was not magic, it was real. Now: 'Wa ulqiyas saharatu saajideen' (7:120). Surah al-Araaf (7), chapter seven, verse 120.'Wa ulqiyas saharatu saajideen' The magicians fell down into prostration. Qaaloo aamannaa bi Rabbil 'aalameen , they said, we submit and believe in the Lord of the Universe (7:121) and then to make sure people didn't think this Lord was the pharaoh, they said: ' Rabb Musa wa Harun'. The Lord of Moses and Aaron (7:122). Is this normal? That someone who has been a magician all his life or looks up to the Pharaoh as god, who worships him, who is being promised reward and status, he just sees one miracle and he changes one hundred and eighty degrees. He now folds into prostration and is now saying, I don't believe this god, I believe in the Lord of Musa. What we learn from here is that when enlightenment comes, it comes instantaneously. The ego believes I need time to be enlightened because the ego can only live in the past or the future. The ego believes one day I will read all the books in my library and become enlightened because that is future. It enjoys thinking about the future. The present is painful. The ego believes one day I will memorize the whole Qur'an. One day I will become such a person that I will fast all day and pray all night one day because that is future. Whereas the true self is screaming: not one day, today. Today and now. Now, today I say 'la ilaha illa Allah. Give up your desires and your tabee'a, today, surrender today. Why, when I go for ziyarah, then I will start wearing hijab, when I go for Hajj, then I will start praying salat. No! If you wish enlightenment, you don't need time. Time is an illusion itself, and this itself is proof they instantly change.

Now look at how a tyrant behaves. We will talk InshaAllah about governments that are tyrannical and how they are tabee'a driven but Pharaoh symbolizing tyranny. We come back to chapter 26, verse forty nine to verse fifty one. Now he's embarrassed because his lost and these magicians who are his front line, they have given up on him. And he had gathered this massive rally for people to see Musa being defeated. So he needs a face saver. He needs to change the subject. Qaala aamantum lahoo qabla an aazana lakum (26:49). The Pharaoh now says to the magicians, You dare to believe in him before I give you permission? innahoo lakabeerukumul lazee 'alla makumus sihr (26:49) I know what happened. This Moses is your chief. He is the one who taught you this magic. You guys planned this together. Fa lasawfa ta'lamoon.(26:49) Now you will see what I do to you. Now that is a threat. That is the kind of threat in its minuscule form, the kind of threat you give your children when they embarrass you in public or in the mosque, you hiss at them and say: just you wait till we get home, you will see what I do to you. And by the way, when you threaten your children and beat them, they will do the same to you when you grow old because they are learning from you that this is acceptable, that when you are stronger and you have somebody who's weaker, you can oppress them to control them. So when they are stronger, they will control you in the same manner.

Fa lasawfa ta'lamoon.(26:49)Now you will see what I do to you. la uqatti'anna aidiyakum wa arjulakum min khilaafinw wa la usallibanna kum ajma'een (26:49). I will amputate your hands and your legs from opposite sides, I will cut, no anesthesia uh, I will cut your right hand and your left leg. Just chop it off and then why will I leave the other hand and the other leg? Because then I will crucify all of you. So when I beg you there, I need something to put those pegs on, right. I need the props there. So I will chop your hand on your leg and then leave the other and I will crucify you. la usallibanna kum ajma'een. This is not a small threat, Fir'awn was known for his torture techniques. The Qur'an in another place calls him out to the men of pegs, because of how he used to beg people and crucify them. You see, it's easy for me to say for you to listen, but when somebody who is a tyrant threatens you, if you have lived in a country that is ruled by an oppressor, it is very different. Ask our brothers from Iraq what it was like living under the rule of Saddam, they will tell you there are many today in Iraq who speak even against the existing government because they know they have that freedom to speak. The same individuals would not have spoken during the time of Saddam because of the fear he had imposed on people's hearts. Even you and I today. Let us just take a hypothetical example. You go for a holiday, you go for ziyarah. You go to you go to Pakistan, you go to Afghanistan. God forbid, God forbid, you get kidnapped by Taliban, al-Qaida. They put you in a room, you Shia, you will see what I do to you. And then they bring the electric saw and they bring the surgical knives and they bring the players and they say, we're going to pull your nails out and we're going to peel your skin off and we're going to pour hot oil on it and we're going to burn you and we're going to drill your eyes. And when you're faced with that kind of fear, you will do anything they say, won't you? If they tell you:' curse Imam Ali' you might, to save your life. Why? Because tabee'a needs to survive, it will fight for survival, it is afraid. It does not have courage. Courage, overcoming fear of death is a quality of fitrah unless you have become a completely fitrah individual.

Appreciate the martyrs of Karbala. Through this, it is not easy to stand before a tyrant. It takes someone like Zaynab, alayha assalam, or the fourth Imam, alayhi assalam, to stand in front of Yazeed or to stand in front of Ibn Ziyad and say to them on their face, You are a liar. My brother won this battle, not you. Right? So this is now look at this magicians. We're going to come to a conclusion when Fir'awn threatens them in this manner, I will cut your hands and leg from opposite sides. I will crucify you, and they know what he's capable of, same Surah Al-Shu'ara (26), verse 50. What do they say? Qaaloo la dair, innaaa ilaa Rabbinaa munqalliboon. They said, we don't care, there's no harm (26:50). Why? We are returning to our Lord now, you can only control our physical body. You cannot do anything beyond that. Not only have to overcome the fear of death, they have overcome the fear of torture, they do not know the meaning of fear. They have crossed that tunnel. They know what the difference is between the pain and the fear of the pain. 'Innaa natma'u ai yaghfira lanaa Rabbunna khataa yaanaaa an kunnaaa awwalal mu'mineen'. We are hopeful that our Lord will forgive us because we were the first to believe.(26:51) From this we see that when enlightenment comes, it comes instantaneously from this. We see that when we are driven by tabee'a our priority is greed and status and prestige. We want people to praise us. We want people to reward us. We want we want acknowledgement from other than God, we want the pleasure of people. But when that is Fitra, then we want only Allah's pleasure. And from this, we understand that one who is driven by Fitra has no fear of death and no fear of torture. If you can recide a Salawat Ala Muhammad wa ali Muhammad [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad, wa ajjal farajahum]

We stop here for tonight. I think this is enough for tonight. We will continue from this InshaAllah still talking about tabee'a and fitrah, we will begin talking now tomorrow inshaAllah, that why do we still need tabee'a and how does tabee'a and fitra complement each other and how do they attempt to oppose each other? And by doing so, we hope to know more of ourselves and our nature so that we can always choose Fitra. We want courage, we have to choose Fitra.We want to overcome the fear of death, we have to choose Fitri over tabee'a until that moment of enlightenment, when suddenly we make a choice and there is a shattering of the ego and we completely transform from this caterpillar to butterfly and we become this meeting of Fitra, as opposed to a being that is driven simply by animal instinct and tabee'a. If you can recide a Salawat Ala Muhammad wa ali Muhammad [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad, wa ajjal farajahum]

Tonight is the third night of Muharram al-Haram, and tonight we want to pay our respects to an individual who was with people that were tabee'a driven. And because of his purity of heart, he had that instantaneous change on the day of Ashura and completely transformed from being a creature driven by tabee'a to being a creature driven by Fitrah. And this individual is Hurr Ibn Yazid Al-Riyahi. How great was Hurr's courage. If Hurr did not have that fitrah that could not bear to hear little children crying: "Al-atash! Al-atash!" today Hurr would not be Hurr, alayhi assalam. Today, our 12th Imam, alayhi assalam, would not be sending Salam on Hurr, understand the maqam of Hurr. Would we have done what for that? Last night was the second night of Muharram and we said Aba Abdillah Al-Husayn arrived in Karbala on the second night of Muharram. I will come to Hurr again, but I should also mention that when he came to Karbala, unlike the forces of Yazeed, Husayn, alayhi assalam, wanted to show us the value of amana as well, of being faithful and not usurping the rights and properties of others. He asked, Whose land is this? They were told it belongs to the Banu Asad. He said, Bring me the people to whom this land belongs. When they came, he said, I wish to purchase this land from you. They said, ya Ibn al-Rasul Allah, you do not need to purchase, you are our guest. He said, no, we will be buried here. I want to purchase this land.

He bought the land from them; then he gave the money back to them. "O Banu Asad, I give you the money back, but in exchange for a favour" "What is it you want ya Ibn Al-Zahra?". He said, "look, when we have been killed, there will be no one to bury us. I want that you should come out, though you do not have the courage to come and fight with me. Come and bury our bodies when you see them lying under the hot sun". But Husayn could see the future; he said to the Banu Asads, "I wish to speak to your women now". The women of Banu Asad came, he said, "O women of Banu Asad, if your men are afraid of Ibn Ziyad and they refuse to bury us, when you go and take water from Furat, then bury our bodies. Then Husayn said, "I wish to speak to your children, now". He spoke to the children of Banu Asad: "o children of Banu Asad's. If your fathers and mothers do not bury us when you go out and play in the wilderness and you see our bodies on the sands of Karbala, take handfuls of sand and cover our bodies. That is why when Imam Zayn al-Abdedeen, alayhi assalam, went to Madina and one day he heard the man on the street saying, ana al-ghareeb, ana al-ghareeb, the Imam came to him and said, "if you die, are you concerned? Who will bury you and give you a shroud?" He said, "no, ya Ibn Al-Rasul Allah, I am amongst Muslims. Why will no one bury me? Don't call yourself ghareeb. Ghareeb was my father in Karbala.

Tonight, my dear brothers and sisters, is the third of Muharram, when Husayn was stopped by Hurr on the outskirts of Kufa, he said to Hurr, I will go to Kufa. Hurr puts his hands on the reins of Husayn's horse and said, Oh, Husayn, I cannot let you go to Kufa. To which Husayn said, o Hurr, may your mother weep for you. Now look at what saved Hurr. I personally believe what saved Hurr was Fatimah, alayha assalam. It is Hurr's respect for the daughter of the Prophet, that is what saved Hurr. Hurr says to Imam Husayn: "Aba Abdillah, if your mother had been anyone other than Fatimah, I would have said the same thing to you. But what can I say when she is the daughter of my Prophet? Husayn came to Karbala the day of Ashura came, the morning of Ashura before the battle begin. A man says, I saw Hurr pacing up and down, restless. I came to him and said, O Hurr! If anyone would say to me, who is the bravest commander in your army, I would have mentioned your name. This is a small army of only 72 people. Why do I see such fear on your face? He said to the man: come with me. Come with me. I want you to listen to something he brought in closer to the khayam of Husayn.

He said, Listen, do you hear anything in the air? The man begin to listen. He said, yes, I can hear young children crying: "al-atash! Al-Atash!" Hurr said, " this is what disturbs me". "O khairu Nafsi bayn al-Jannati wa al-Nar!" "I find myself choosing between paradise and hell", but Hurr not withstand the cries of the children. He took his brother with him. He took his son with him. He took his servant with him. He began heading towards the khayamof Husayn. Husayn has been waiting for this final shaheed, Husayn says to his brother Abbas: "Abbas, we have a guest coming from the other side". Hurr says to his servant, tie my hands, blindfold me, I am ashamed to see Aba Abdillah". When Hurr comes to Imam, he throws himself at his feet. "Aba Abdillah, I am the one who stopped you from returning to Madina. Aba Abdillah, I am the sinner who stopped you from going to Kufa. Aba Abdillah, it is I who put my hands to the reins of your horse. Is there any way you will forgive me?" This is the house of the Ahlul Bayt , this is Kareem Ibn al-Karim. Husayn lifted Hurr. He untied the ropes from his hand, he hugged him: " O Hurr, you are our mihman. Hurr, you are our guest. The books of Maqtal said that when Hurr had repented to Husayn and when he had reassured himself that his mawla had forgiven him. I have read this ruwayah myself, Hurr said to Husayn: "O Husayn! Give me permission to go and speak to the womenfolk in your house." Husayn said: "O Hurr, go and speak to them". Husayn came to the tents where Zaynab and Umm Kulthum were. Husayn stood outside and Hurr said: "assalaam aleikum, ya Ahl Bayt Al-Nubuwwah, it is I, Hurr Ibn Yazid Al-Riyahi. I am the one who is the cause of your misfortunes. Your children are crying 'al-atash, al-atash' because of I. Husayn has forgiven me, will you forgive me as well?". The women began weeping from inside, some of the women called out and said O Hurr, go, we have forgiven you. This ruwayah continues, it says now look at the ihtiram that Hurr has for Sayyiad Fatimah, this is why he was saved and she will reward him indeed to the end. Then says to Zaynab and the women of the Ahlul Bayt, he says, all women of the Ahlul Bayt, I wish to take one more promise from you. Promise that you will not complain to Fatimah about me on the Day of Judgement. I will not leave until you promise me that you will not complain to Fatimah about me". The women assured him: "O Hurr, we will not complain to Zahra".

When Hurr was satisfied that Fatimah is pleased with me, he returned to Husayn and said, Husayn, I was the one who brought you this misfortune. Let me be the first one to sacrifice my life". Husayn allowed Hurr to go. "Hurr you are our mihman, We do not have even water to serve you". Hurr went and fought. His son went and fought. His servant and brother went and fought. When Hurr fell from the horse and called out: "assalamu aleyka ya Aba Abdillah". Husayn went to the battlefield to receive his shahid. Husayn took the head of Hurr and placed it on his lap, Hurr was covered in blood and sand. Husayn wiped the sand and blood from the face of Hurr. Husayn begin to say to Hurr: "Ma akhtat ummuka idh sammiteka Hurr" "O Hurr, your mother did not make a mistake when she named you Hurr" "anta Hurrun fi'l-dunyah wa 'l-Akhira" "O Hurr, you are free in this world and the Hereafter" The Husayn took out a handkerchief and said: "O Hurr this is the rumal of Fatimah". Hurr was bleeding from the forehead, Husayn tied the handkerchief of Fatimah. I would say: "O Hurr, who needs Jannah when you got the rumal of Fatimah? O Hurr, at least you have the rumal of Fatimah, Zaynab will not even have the rida of Fatimah after this day. O Hurr, how fortunate you are! Before Hurr went to the battlefield he said to his son, "look at Husayn, Kareem Ibn Al-Kareem".

Husayn sat with Hurr because he knew that Hurr will not bear the loss of his son. When Hurr's son fell from the horse and called his father saying: "ya abata adrikni" instinctively Hurr stood up and ran to the battlefield, Husayn ran after him and held him back: "Hurr, do not go to the body of your son. Hurr, it is not for a father to leave to the body of your young son. Hurr, you will not be able to do this. Let me go and be with your son, o Hurr". I would ask: "O Aba Abdillah, Who will hold you back when Akbar falls? O Aba Abdillah, I know who will hold you when Akbar falls. Dharawi says that when Ali Al-Akbar fell and Husayn stood to run to his son Ali, as he was saying Ya Ali, Ya Ali, Husayn kept falling on the sands of Karbala, he kept standing and sitting and keeping on the sands of Karbala, it is as if the sands of Karbala were holding the feet of Husayn... Mawla! Do not go to to the body of your son. It is not for a father to leave to the body of a son.. Wa Husayna! Wa Madhluma! Ya Husayn, Ya Husayn..