Always assuming: It’s an arrogance problem

Assumptions. If I’m being honest I used to have a big issue with assumptions. If I saw a person with a large beard and wearing a thobe it was pretty much clear to me that this person was a shaykh. If I saw someone clean shaven and in a suit, it was clear to me that this person didn’t fully understand their faith. I remember hearing the statement, “Don’t let the thobe of the Saudi or the clean-shaven beard of the Egyptian fool you.” Truth! When I first moved to Egypt I remember having trust issues. People would tell me that such & such teacher was the best in the field, yet the “shaykh” was wearing a tie, and I was so confused.

I was assuming that the external reality of a person was the only sign of their internal state. I think I’ve told you about one of my teachers. A humble man who when most people see him they don’t take a second glance. However, this man is noble, this man is learned, this man is a servant of God. Imagine if I had judged him based on his appearance when I first met him? Or refused to sit at his feet and benefit from him? I would have lost out!

Many of us lose out every day. We look down on people judging them based on their external appearance, not understanding that gold is something one has to dig for. I live by a rule, everyone that I come into contact with is better than myself. The beggar on the street, the teacher in class, or the Muslim that I might see doing something questionable, they are all closer to God than me.

This is the beauty of Islam, embodying humility so that it causes you to benefit from all of creation. As you will never benefit from creation if you constantly assume that you’re right. Humble yourself. Cast away your assumptions and allow the world to teach you what you don’t know. This is the status of the people of God, in their eyes even the dirt they walk upon is better than them, even though the dirt becomes blessed because of their footsteps.


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