Iqra Uni How to become human beings instead of human resource

[bit.do/aziqra] My talk in urdu to Iqra Univ BBA students explained how we can learn to be human beings, when a Western education only trains us how to to be human resources. The talk is available from the link below. There are three portions of about 35 minutes. I would like to ask for volunteers to help summarize the main points of the talk, in urdu. If you could record your name as volunteer in the comments below, and then send me a summary of the talk with a timing First five minutes cover points X Y Z second five minutes cover A B C  and so on. and ALSO, write down your own impression, the ONE thing that you learnt from the talk that you found most important, useful, appealing, that would be very helpful to me. The talk is given below (If the bandcamp link does not work, use the ONEDRIVE Link given below it)

The 1hr 45m talk and discussion can also be downloaded from OneDrive: Iqra Talk 96MB An embedded version of the OneDrive file is linked below

Human beings are potentially the best of the creations of God, and are precious beyond any price. To deceive them into selling themselves cheap, they must be fed false identities created by a fake and meaningless education which poisons minds and leads them to believe that they are commodities for sale on the marketplace. The antidote is the following thought-exercise:

” I am a traveler seeking the truth, a human searching for the meaning of humanity and a citizen seeking dignity, freedom, stability and welfare under the shade of Islam.

I am a free man who is aware of the purpose of his existence and who proclaims: ‘Truly, my prayer and my sacrifice, my living and my dying are all for Allah, the Lord of the worlds. No partner has He. This, I have been commanded, and I am of those who submit to His Will.’ This is who I am.

Who are you? ”

Hasan Al-Banna Rahimullah

As Iqbal said: To agar maira naheen banta na ban; Apna to ban!

This entry was posted in Education, Islam - Invitation, personal by Asad Zaman. Bookmark the permalink.

About Asad Zaman

BS Math MIT (1974), Ph.D. Econ Stanford (1978)] has taught at leading universities like Columbia, U. Penn., Johns Hopkins and Cal. Tech. Currently he is Vice Chancellor of Pakistan Institute of Development Economics. His textbook Statistical Foundations of Econometric Techniques (Academic Press, NY, 1996) is widely used in advanced graduate courses. His research on Islamic economics is widely cited, and has been highly influential in shaping the field. His publications in top ranked journals like Annals of Statistics, Journal of Econometrics, Econometric Theory, Journal of Labor Economics, etc. have more than a thousand citations as per Google Scholar.

21 thoughts on “Iqra Uni How to become human beings instead of human resource

  1. Prof. Zaman if you have an English version of your talk, I would summarize it with pleasure sir.
    My regards,
    Dr. Noha Farrag

  2. Summary of the 2nd Part
    • Purpose of life is to be self-determined. One needs to find out what will make him/her happy. In current times many deceptive ideas are bombarded on our minds to make us believe that it will make me happy so that is what I want.
     Advertisements make deceiving promises of happiness attached to their products.
     According to Modern Economic theory (eg: coca cola theory), consumption increase leads to utility maximization. In reality this is the biggest deception of all, as increase in materialistic consumption is no guarantee for happiness at all. Instead as the time has progressed material production and consumption as increased many folds with no increase in happiness, rather contrary evidence exists.
     Happiness is instead hidden in reciprocity of love (i.e. social relationships, family, community, social respect etc.)
    • Modern Economic theory has transformed this world into a big market where everything is to be valued by monetary cost benefit analysis. For example even papers are being written about if having children is beneficial or not? Allah did not create this world as a big market place. Everything cannot therefore be valued in monetary terms only.
    • Today following these lines of thinking social transformation has taken place towards inhumanity
     Parents in West send their kids out of their homes at 18 years of age and in-turn lose precious life bonds.
     Doctors today proudly state that they practice medicine to earn money (things like that we socially unimaginable in olden days).
    • We as a society have lost our way and thus need to redefine our purpose of life. For that we need to first see
     Whom can we consider as exemplary people who lead a ‘good life’?
     How should a ‘good life’ be defined?
    • Our current social fiber is all distorted and thus we cannot seek guidance from there. So we need to use our own minds to think things through. We need to understand that
     Every human being is unique
     Every human being is precious
     As everyone is unique his/her development will lead to a totally new human being with totally different capabilities.
    • Our starting point therefore is the determination of our unique capabilities and then a tailored effort to polish our capabilities.
    • Standardized education and training systems currently prevailing in our societies have therefore inbuilt failures.
    • Challenge for us is to create an individual focusing development system.
    • How should this be done? Well we first need to understand and neutralize Euro-centric ideology and perspective. For that we need an alternate or counter narrative, which is as follows
     When all humanity was misguided and in ignorance Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) was searching for his lord and Iman in Cave of hira. Allah almighty introduced himself as a teacher and giver of knowledge.
     To the most backward people of Arab, Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) brought miraculous ideas which were not known at that time. Like
     A leader is actually servant of the people
     Khilafat as system of leadership etc.
    • Unfortunately today we have lost all Islamic knowledge. We still use the names but the spirit is lost. Our political, social, economic, market as well as education systems all are un-Islamic.
    • Islam brought the revolution on the basis of ideas which still have the power to create that revolution again.
    • All the knowledge taught to us today does not teach us how to become humans.
    • We need to understand that this is the only opportunity of life we have been given and would not get it again, therefore every moment is infinitely precious which we do not realize and thus sell it pretty cheap wasting it in entertainment, media and especially mobiles.
    • Even today if we correct and raise our ambitions the output can change and we can bring revolution in this world.
    • We need to compete not for ‘money’ but for ‘precious deeds’. For that we first need to
     Understand what ‘precious deeds’ are
     Develop an awareness of recognizing opportunities of doing these ‘precious deeds’ Like for example how our Sahaba competed in doing good deeds of helping others and spending in the way of Allah
    • In Islam, money is not an end but a means to an end. We need to keep searching how we can spend our money in order to please Allah.
    • Life is a spiritual journey with different stages. Each stage has different requirements. Every human is at different stage of spirituality. Level of Iman determines your level of spirituality.
    • Three broader stages of spirituality are
     Naf’s Ammara (Command): where your naf commands you and you follow. This is exactly homo economicus of theory of modern economics who is selfish and ‘rational’. He believes that increasing consumption and taking care of one’s own need disregarding others leads to utility maximization.
     Naf’s Lawama (middle stage where heart and Nafs battle) if heart wins one reaches higher stages of spirituality because heart is strengthened while if naf wins then one goes down to the stage of Naf’s ammara, this is because when one kills other people’s happliness for own sake then his heart hardens. This is self-damaging as he cannot be happy even after he gets what he wants due to hardening of his heart.
     Naf’s Mutmina (highest stage where one sacrifices his best possessions in the way of Allah). That means he is able to defeat his nafs and now it gets easy for him to do good deeds.
    • In Holy Quran Allah invites all people at all different stages of spirituality towards the right path.
    • Over entertainment and deceptions to take away our purpose of life today has lead us astray. To understand our purpose of life and to understand important ideas we need to ponder for long period of times uninterrupted. However, easy entertainment and distractions lead us away from this very task. Our Nafs have become strong and we have become ease loving.

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