Do good

It’s five years since I wrote this down, but it remains true to this day:

Be patient. Truth is not like the petals of a rose, which we pluck with ease. Muslims are just like other people, of whom some are good, some are wicked and some everything in between, and it has always been thus. The present is no different from the past. Be bound only by the truth, and seek it out wherever it is. Be prepared to strive hard, and swim against the tide, and face alienation from your peers. The essence of this path is struggle.

Be patient

You will encounter others — amongst them fellow believers — who severely test you, but walk on trusting in God. You will encounter information and actions which repulse you, but walk on, trusting that in time you will find your way.

I fear for some wanderers of the path, that they will give up before they have started, bullied and cowed by the loudest voices, everywhere insisting that theirs alone is the truth. It’s not like that. Be wary of loud voices, boasting, for boastfulness is not of our way. We have in our book, this sentiment:

Do you order righteousness of the people and forget yourselves, while you recite the Scripture? Then will you not reason?

Qur’an 2:44

Therefore concern yourself with reforming your own soul, and leave those prancing around, setting themselves up as righteous guides, while their deeds betray them. Be your own person, trusting in your God-given intellect.

And vie one with another for forgiveness from your Lord, and for a garden as wide as the heavens and the earth, prepared for those who ward off evil;

Those who give in ease and in adversity, who control their anger and are forgiving toward mankind; God loves the good;

And those who, when they do an evil thing or wrong themselves, remember God and implore forgiveness for their sins — Who forgives sins except God? — and will not knowingly repeat what they did.

The reward of such will be forgiveness from their Lord, and gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever — a bountiful reward for the workers!

Quran 3:133-6

Here we learn that those who do good — the muttaqeen — are those who are charitable, serenely self-possessed, inclined to be merciful, who feel regret for their own misdeeds. This is the path we are called to. Take up that path, and leave the madness to the clowns.

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