I have been giving thought these past few days of what the Muslim world has lost in our seeking of knowledge. It’s not that seeking knowledge is a bad aim, how could I ever believe that. Rather, it’s as though seeking knowledge has become the goal instead of the tool. One feels a sense of pride at having reached this glorious rank of scholar or teacher. They, like a small village chief pass out verdicts as they sit on the throne that they built for themselves. As if learning the rulings of prayer or knowing how many people are needed to fulfill the Friday congregation has ever been the goal.
This way of life truly is a trove of power. It has the ability to utterly transform a person through diligent practice and sacrifice. It will take someone to the highest realm of being. The matter has never been about Islam’s transformative potential, but rather the stubbornness of mankind and our collective aversion to change, whether external or internal.
However, there comes a point & time for a Muslim where mediocrity is no longer sufficient. Where although there may be an infinite number of concessions that bring ease to the practitioner, they aim, like a martial artist to earn the highest belt. They train, they seek a teacher, & they painstakingly progress on the path hoping to eventually arrive at their goal.
The question I am in need of asking myself is, “What is my goal?” Am I content with learning in an effort to become a part of the elite? A group of men & women who claim to speak on behalf of the Divine & to lead people either to eternal salvation or spiritual desecration?
Or, am I prepared to do what many before me have done. Those who erased themselves of their needs, lusts, & desires. Those who chose God over self, who chose debasement of their ego instead of glorification of it. Those who understood that true freedom is realized only in complete submission, & so they freed themselves of themselves.
They followed the Sharia until it led them to a desert oasis, & once they arrived they didn’t drink until they were told. Because the destination was never the oasis, it was complete submission to the Divine.
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