Worship God alone

I’m both a sheikh’s supporter and his critic. I am with him in all the good he puts forth — may Allah reward him — but I will not defend him unwaveringly in everything he says or does. He is just a man, capable of speaking absolute nonsense as well as profound truths. He is a man of incredible learning and wisdom, and master of languages, but he is also a conspiracy nut, obsessed with loony theories about the occult and secret societies. He is at times a rational defender of all that is good and virtuous, and sometimes an irrational defender of autocrats and reactionary politics. Yes, because he is just a man, like any of us. One who expended much energy over many years in pursuit of sacred knowledge. In this, we hold him in high regard. But still a man, swayed just as easily to pursue all kinds of weirdness and make all kinds of political alliances. We do not worship men. We take the good from them, and leave all the rest. Note how the scholars of religion don’t get a very good press in our Holy Books. In the Christian gospels, Jesus is scathing about them. The Qur’an the same. Take the good of the good men do, but be perceptive. Be prepared to filter out the extraneous nonsense that gets in the way of truth. Worship God alone.

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