The End - 2000 to 2009

Shaykh Hamza Yusuf – Climbing Mount Purgatorio

At a recent event, Shaykh Hamza Yusuf presented a new paper, titled “Climbing Mount Purgatorio: Reflections from the Seventh Cornice”. The event was The Social Costs of Pornography, a consultation organized by the Witherspoon Institute at Princeton University. This event was held in December 2008…

Click here for the PDF of Shaykh Hamza’s article.

The consultation on The Social Costs of Pornography was organized by the Witherspoon Institute in conjunction with the Institute for the Psychological Sciences in Washington, DC and held at Princeton University, December 11 – 13, 2008. The consultation was hosted by Robert P. George, Senior Fellow of the Witherspoon Institute and McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University. This meeting assembled leading experts in the fields of psychiatry, psychology, neurophysiology, philosophy, sociology, law, and political theory to present a rigorously argued overview of the problem of pornography in our society and to make recommendations. The primary purpose of the meeting was to examine the real nature of pornography in its moral and social consequences.

It is essential to note the scholars who participated in this consultation represent a wide range of political perspectives, but share a common interest in addressing pornography’s devastating social cost. At the two-day-long consultation, ten scholars delivered papers on subject-specific aspects of pornography’s impact, and approximately twelve scholars served as discussants throughout the meeting. This format ensured that the papers will be energetically critiqued in order to promote a fair and in-depth assessment of the issues in question.

Shout to IslamCrunch for posting this up.


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  • 18 Responses for "Shaykh Hamza Yusuf – Climbing Mount Purgatorio"

    1. awesome February 11th, 2009 at 12:07 am

      HY is awesome. I am left wondering though, shouldnt he be more direct on a topic rather than quoting and refrencing every major author and intellect under the sun? I understand he wants to address the topic and probably have “fun” at the same time by being creative with it but it really comes across as though subconsciously at least he is trying to write a personal essay which displays how well read he is. Still HY is the man.

    2. Mustafa February 11th, 2009 at 6:26 am

      Shaikh Hamza is NOT at all trying to display how well read he is, nor is he just having fun – Shaikh Hamza Yusuf just can’t help it. What I mean is that you have to remember that Shaikh Hamza’s parents’ household is deeply steeped in the Great Books tradition (you can google search “Great Books” or Mortimer Adler if you are not familiar with this). So I think this comes quite naturally…

    3. Anonymous February 11th, 2009 at 8:29 am

      Salam,

      Glad to hear that Shaykh HY are getting himself focused on this topic. Although I pesonally don’t agree with this Shaykh’s sufism, I understand that we Muslims should cheer him up and encourage him.

      Since he’s not saying anything wrong, and his niyyah is apparently to counter the wide-spread Haraam, we should support him.

      AND likewise, if a Saudi Shaykh says something that is not against Sufism or any sect of Islaam, we MUST support him and not shun him just because of our feelings that he’s a “fake Shayk” or he’s a “payed Imam”.

      EVEN if a Shi’a imam declares that he will , let’s just say, bake a cake for people in Gaza, we should support him maybe by saying, “Good, how ’bout sending one here too!” Sorry, got a little carried off. I think I’ll go eat some desert.

      Salam.

    4. Anonymous February 11th, 2009 at 8:31 am

      Salam,

      Glad to hear that Shaykh HY are getting himself focused on this topic. Although I personally don’t agree with this Shaykh’s sufism, I understand that we Muslims should cheer him up and encourage him.

      Since he’s not saying anything wrong, and his niyyah is apparently to counter the wide-spread Haraam, we should support him.

      AND likewise, if a Saudi Shaykh says something that is not against Sufism or any sect of Islaam, we MUST support him and not shun him just because of our feelings that he’s a “fake Shayk” or he’s a “payed Imam”.

      EVEN if a Shi’a imam declares that he will , let’s just say, bake a cake for people in Gaza, we should support him maybe by saying, “Good, how ’bout sending one here too!” Sorry, got a little carried off. I think I’ll go eat some desert.

      Salam.

    5. aamer khan February 11th, 2009 at 12:54 pm

      only 3 and a 1/2 quotations from a divine source? in 20 pages? interesting.

    6. MR February 11th, 2009 at 12:57 pm

      @aamer khan – How many divine sources did you use in you last academic paper for school? Academic papers are usually very secular. Plus, these are the type of people that were present:

      This meeting assembled leading experts in the fields of psychiatry, psychology, neurophysiology, philosophy, sociology, law, and political theory to present a rigorously argued overview of the problem of pornography in our society and to make recommendations. The primary purpose of the meeting was to examine the real nature of pornography in its moral and social consequences.

    7. Salam February 12th, 2009 at 4:21 pm

      Sheikh Hamza can speak and engage Muslims, non-Muslims, men, women and everyone under the sun. This is because he has learned from the most brilliant people. He learns from others and shares that knowledge. credible sources are always used to prove a point or to analyze. Thank Allah that he can gain from all intellectuals muslims and non-muslims- take that knowledge, add to it, and present it in a way that is meaningful to his audience. SubhanAllah. Excellent read.

    8. Salam February 12th, 2009 at 6:39 pm

      Wow, “Awesome” and “Anonymous” are signs of the Wahabi type of dawah. Awesome can see Shaykh Hamza’s intention, and Anonymous is commenting when his grammar is at an elementary level (ie. he said he will go & eat some “desert”… how? or did you mean dessert?). May Allah protect our Ummah from the ignorance and fitna of the Wahabis.

    9. awesome February 13th, 2009 at 7:44 pm

      @ Salam….stop seeing wahabis everywhere, I am definately not a wahabi..lmao

      Its good for HY to raise the issue no doubt.

      I think HY is well read and this is definately a good thing. I’m familiar with Adler and have read a little bit about, his book on the great ideas and a few of the authors he mentions.

      Not withstanding all of that, we can make value judgements and observations regarding HY since he is a public person, we’re not apt to meet the guy anytime soon and he’s not my “homie” so I dont see how this constitutes backbiting. I can’t know whats in anyones heart but I can judge by what is aparent which is what we always do in daily life.

      In any case, to me its not that he didnt quote enough religious scripture as opposed to secular authors. I’ve been known to quote and use a big words myself from time to time.

      Its just that its so interesting when a person so obviously misses the point.

      If you look at the paper, he tackles the subject for may be 5%. Its the most circuitous way of going about it in the world if your objective is to address a subject.

      However, if you’re just showing others that you know beautiful books and sayings, then it makes alot of sense. Moreover I doubt he didnt look up some of the passages etc. as though it all came from instant recall. Not even a humanities professor would be that good. The truth is that HY wove a intricate tapestry because he likes to. I don’t condemn the man for it, hardly would it be right for me to do so. (Not a big fan of condemnations in general)…but its can’t be denied that its at least somewhat amusing to see this, to take notice of it.

    10. aamer khan February 15th, 2009 at 11:48 pm

      @ MR,

      i am assuming they asked him to write the paper to get an islamic perspective. he is a muslim intellectual, right?

      i have no problem with the secular sources. but what about our sources?

      how can we take our morality from man-made source, that changes numerous times each year? how can we judge what is good or bad without a divine source as a reference point?

      if i were to write an academic paper in school on an issue as a representative of Islam, I would make sure I represented the Islamic view, from its divine sources.

    11. Concerned February 16th, 2009 at 7:19 pm

      @ Awesome, if you are not a Wahabi, based on what I have read, you unfortunately have been affected by them, or by corrupted Sufis.
      @ Aamer, this has been a point of historical debate for many years.

      Imam Zaid recently translated a book “Treatise for the Seekers of Guidance” by Imam Muhasibi. This Imam used “current” terms, ideas, etc, at his time to explain things. His biggest critic was Imam Ahmad (who believed the Quran & hadith were the only sources to present a topic). Imam Zaid clearly explains how this was done, both are scholars, and both respected each other (Imam Ahmad attended one of his classes, and could not stop crying and eventually passed out).

      Shaykh Hamza obviously did not write this “only” for a Muslim crowd, as you can clearly see here: http://www.winst.org/family_marriage_and_democracy/social_costs_of_pornography/consultation2008.php

      May Allah help us to seek knowledge b/f we give an opinion.

      and Allah knows best.

    12. aamer khan February 16th, 2009 at 8:13 pm

      i didn’t say write “for Muslims” but to “represent the Muslims.”

    13. Abdu l-Ghaffur February 17th, 2009 at 7:04 pm

      As-salamu alaykum wa rahmatullah,

      Jazakullah khayran for the post and link, brother!

    14. sufi is a bold term March 9th, 2009 at 6:24 am

      bismillah:

      people like aamer khan can’t sleep at night. may allah s.w.t. guide this brother towards the straight path insha’allah. amiin. amiin. i feel sorry for you brother. our ummah is disunited because of negative people like yourself. nowhere in our tradition, namely, within the sunnah, is there room for unnecessary criticism like yours (just look into it). it’s not about whether or not you are correct (and you’re not, ask any scholar with an ounce of sense), but rather your audacity to speak negatively about a scholar far more learned than you will ever be let alone most of the people you probably keep in company. i don’t hate you, nor dislike you, for that matter, but i have immense pity for you. if you don’t understand this, you will definitely understand this when you get older. i’ve noticed you on google taking pictures of various functions such as the gaza rally in D.C…well, while you’re merely capturing images of lost citizens screaming and protesting in the streets, there are scholars such as shaykh hamza building schools and influencing millions of people around the world, preserving the deen, translating priceless texts and building diverse non-biased, non racist communities around the country. you ought to be ashamed of yourself. i recommend you do some nafl and retract your comments. may allah forgive us all for our sins, most especially those with negative comments about scholars of aLLLLLLLL backgrounds.

      shirin
      texas

    15. aamer Khan March 16th, 2009 at 12:31 pm

      @shirin,

      first, i appreciate the concern over the status of my soul. walhamdulillah i sleep very well. i got one of those air mattresses.

      second, my post was not a bashing of hamza yusuf, but just a verbalization of a concern with this article. in fact, if you read my posts, you will notice i really have no problem with the paper, but would like to see our religion added to it. that’s all. “represent” the muslims.

      and the argument is simple. man changes morally every ten years or so. (for example, in europe, about eighty years ago, women were considered soul-less). however, our divine sources have remained unchanged.

      his article would lose all of its strength ten years from now if the people he quoted changed their views on the issue (assuming that they are alive, i read the article a while ago).

      [disclaimer: the above statement was not an attack on hamza yusuf. read carefully. it is a criticism of his sources] — i fee like these are the in-thing right now on the blogosphere.

      third, i know my place, and i definitely have done nothing compared to hamza yusuf when it comes to the deen. and i want to reiterate that i did not critisize hamza yusuf himself. i did not call him names or make fun of him. i simply expressed my concern with one of his writings. is that not allowed anymore?

      salam.

      p.s: look up “red herring” on wikipedia.

    16. mikhael March 24th, 2009 at 2:59 am

      to shirin and aamer.
      excuse me but you’re both silly and at first its a little cute but now it’s plain silly.
      i came to this site to read an article and i briefly scrolled down to see this absurdity between you two? why do i have to see this. what a waste. and you can tell me not to read but how can i not–its right here!
      shirin, why waste your time with aamer’s unnecessary sarcasm. you didn’t teach him anything and your words werent with extremewisdom.
      amer, why try to waste time ONLINE being critical of a great shaykh? that element of Criticism, i assure you, is nowhere in islamic tradition with respect to the pious shuyuuk. or any elder or scholar with regards to us as students before them.
      i encourage both of you to leave any criticism to your own mind and abstain from commenting on blogs until you have purified.
      i shall do so as well, since we all as humans have flaws.
      sorry for bad english, may God stengthen my writing skillz.
      also, amer, you truly misunderstand the concept of freedom of speech. i think you must have been living in the states for a while because in morocco, things are different. please do some research on freedom of speech, we all have it around the world but to what degree we have it is differenet. it’s not as simple as you may think….what you seem to think is the freedom to express yourslf on a blog is not actually freedom but actually slavery. think about it brother.
      i wish you both the best of health inshallah s.w.t
      and remember, with day of judgment comin any minute now, we dont have any time to be digitally critical of pious scholars whther or not we agrees with them.
      jak.
      salam khalaykm
      mikhael.

    17. Hatice June 2nd, 2009 at 7:54 am

      Backbiting is not just forbidden if it is against your ‘homie’. It is forbidden completely to backbite another Muslim, especially if he is a scholar. If you want to criticise another Muslim, you must do it to his/her face and in private, not in public.

    18. marya November 2nd, 2009 at 4:24 am

      salaaam !!

      i think some of the readers are trippin or getting tooo hype bout this article. the article has nothing to do with the quotations or showing off his knowlegde, etc etc. but honestly, even if the quotators do chenge their minds bout the issue if they were alive or if the article looses its importance then who cares cuz the was written for the present– not for the past or future civilizations. they will have their own struggles wit lessons to learn from. Also, history repeats itself so if he did quote non-muslim peoples statements then its not really a bad thing cuz we are suppose to learn from mistakes of the past by recalling it.

      I think he mentioned less divine quotes or passages cuz that way this article can be of value to people with all sorts of backgrounds– and every widom seeker can have his own insights based on his own life experience. The quran is not THAT specific in its passages– it has random passages and thats why every reader can relate to it. the same way this article is to allow all readers to see a open door and choose how to lt this affect their life

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