In this discourse, Shaykh Fadhlalla begins by reflecting upon several of the major paradoxes and challenges facing human beings today. In a precise yet overarching manner the challenges of modernity, history and the evolvements In the civilization of the Islamic peoples in contrast to western society is considered. The wider elements of the materialistic world culture and the dominant social forces in the modern arena are discussed in presenting a framework for discerning and accessing the meanings of the current status quo on the variety of collective and individual issues facing human beings today. That is the application and relatability of essential Islam and the revealed and distilled knowledges regarding natural patterns, cycles of life, the purpose of human life and the pathways and indications in moving along the intended arc of human evolvement. Various of these themes are explored with greater emphasis pivoting around the title of this presentation, ‘inner striving and joy’. Some key paradoxes on the path of abandonment are relayed: reduction and expansion, trust and responsibility, generosity and confinement with reference to various Qur’anic verse and prophetic teachings. Further the discourse elaborates upon the interplay of various forces in applying and relating knowledge appropriately towards witnessing and tasting divine mercy in all circumstances. Whilst persistently yearning, striving along the path of reality.
“The foundation for the present situation is the same as it has always been: discord and conflict arises with creation, because creation manifests based on opposites which complement each other. This life; next life. Inner; outer. Meaning; form. Earthly; heavenly. You breathe in; you breathe out. On the face of it, these two breaths are opposites, but they complement each other. They meet.”
“You cannot deny either. What you need to deny is excessive involvement with, or attachment to either. Thus, you can be in this dunya, but not overwhelmed by it. This is the cause to celebrate: that we Muslims have the code. But whether we live it or not is another issue.”
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