Oftentimes when connecting with friends and family in the States or even certain people here in Cairo I’m met with praise and respect, because in their eyes I am seen as a person of knowledge.
Internally after receiving this respect I’m usually a mess because I know my true state and the reality of my rank with God. And I know there is a difference between information and knowledge. While I might have the ability to understand basic texts, and to comprehend some of the sacred words of God I also know how far behind my actions are. I know my weak points, the weaknesses that outnumber any of the good.
Time and time again I let people down around me because of my inability to do what I know is correct. I allow my ego and desires to cloud the God given intellect that I was bestowed with. The worst part is, sometimes those mistakes come at the expense of people’s perception of the religion of Islam. Sometimes I sit in turmoil because I realize how weak I am, and how desperately I need to grow. I recognize the benefit of having a teacher, mentor, and guide to hold you by the hand and steer you away from the paths that lead to self-destruction.
I can’t help but think of Luke Skywalker. The entirety of the movie Last Jedi is a critique on religion. In fact, it’s one of the first times where we hear the Jedi mentioned as a religious group. The rhetoric in the film was very similar to rhetoric I hear with many young people today, “religion is the reason for violence and war.” And as such, “The Jedi must end.”
But the religion of the Jedi isn’t at fault, Luke is.
Luke feels Kylo slipping to the Dark side and understands that Kylo’s strength and potential is massive. Luke fears the unknown and feels unable to save Kylo from what he believes is the young man’s fate. What does he do? He gives in not to the religious teaching of the Jedi but to his own ego. He goes to kill Kylo and at the last minute realizes how stupid of a decision that is, but it’s too late. His lightsaber was atop Kylo ready to strike when he realizes his mistake, and at that moment Kylo awakes to find his teacher above him with an intent to kill. It’s at that moment, not before, that Kylo Ren goes to the dark side.
So much can be derived from this.
- How we create our own demons. . .
- How jumping to conclusions is never good. . .
But most importantly, how when we let our egos and lower selves take control for even a moment, it can be a moment that causes an eternity of hurt for others and the reason for the downfall of others.
That’s the difference between information and knowledge.
Luke, the Jedi, myself and many others have plenty of information. We can quote to you, don the garbs, but when it comes to following the teachings. . .
That’s where the knowledge comes into play. We of course will all mess up, we will falter here and there but with actions comes the protection of God. He becomes the feet with which we walk with, the eyes we see with, the ears we hear with. . . and the heart that beats within us.
On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) who said:
The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Verily Allah ta’ala has said: ‘Whosoever shows enmity to a wali (friend) of Mine, then I have declared war against him. And My servant does not draw near to Me with anything more loved to Me than the religious duties I have obligated upon him. And My servant continues to draw near to me with nafil (supererogatory) deeds until I Love him. When I Love him, I am his hearing with which he hears, and his sight with which he sees, and his hand with which he strikes, and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him; and were he to seek refuge with Me, I would surely grant him refuge.’ ” [Al-Bukhari]
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