Oasis

The gentle sheikh says, "Speak only of that which you are certain."

 

Taking to heart the sheikh's advice, there can be no claim made here to persuade, guide, or dispute. In this story...in it...there is certainty. But outside of this tiny experience, how can a slow reader with his share of other deficits have occasion to claim certainty in much else? 

 

God's family is beautifully diverse. This is the claim of the Qur'an. And over the short years that have passed since Shahada, God has enriched this life with diverse friends and teachers whose understandings are sometimes as far apart as the four directions. The books on the nightstand and the YouTube lectures are the equally disparate. For the full range of such differences, the gratitude knows no bounds. But this enrichment is also a medication, and just like with any medication, proper treatment for one person is not necessarily proper for another. One needs a doctor to know the difference.

 

So where one might expect to see a list of recommended lectures or readings at this point--and where one might be tempted to oblige--a pardon is sought instead. There is no doctor here.

 

There was once a great scholar who, when asked 40 questions, answered thirty-six of them with, "I don't know."  The man asking the questions had collected them from his whole village and had traveled a long way to have an audience with the sheikh. Devastated by the response, the man asked one more question: "What do I tell everyone back home?" To which the great scholar gave three more answers: "I don't know. I don't know. I don't know."

In the end, "I don't know." There is one thing to be urged, though, and it comes from friendship alone. That is, this: The Qur'an starts with, "In the name of the Most-Lovingly-Merciful, the Most-Lovingly-Compassionate." 

--Allahu a'lam (And God knows Best)--