it just slips away…

Is there such a thing as knowing too much? Having a million facts swimming in your head, readily able to answer questions that may be asked of you of religion, but not being able to answer simple questions within yourself: why are you stupid? Why don’t your actions meet your words? Why do you carry this basket of sorrows and resentments and bad opinions of God with you everywhere you go, yet you speak of Him as if you are one that knows Him?

My teacher in the U.S. would talk about this all the time. He would say, ‘knowledge is not of any benefit if it’s just in your head or on your tongue. It’s something that needs to sink down into your heart, it’s something that needs to be *felt*, experienced, acted upon, for it to have meaning.’ and I would dutifully note this down in my notebook, next to all my other detailed, organized notes from his classes. And then when he finished, I would close my book and go home, and put it away with all my other notebooks that I had collected and filled over the years, and go about my business.

What do years and years of doing this do to a soul, except weigh it down with knowledge that is not really knowledge? Absorbing information about what I should be doing, about the path I should be trekking, as I sit idly by and watch others move on? A million conferences, seminars, classes, and halaqas… a hundred million words about God fill my mind, but they are hollow and empty, because they have not been acted upon. I sit. I laze. I shy away from the harshness of cleansing my soul. I learn Arabic, but every orientalist knows Arabic. I practice tajweed, but a billion CDs in the world articulate the Quran better than me. I accumulate facts upon facts about this deen, storing them away, for an unset future time when I will be ready for them. but what I don’t seem to understand is that knowledge that is not acted upon slips away, like sand in a clenched fist. you think you’re holding on to something, only to wake up one day and find that, the whole time, you’ve been tightly grasping nothing at all…

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand-
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep- while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?

e. a. poe

Published in: on February 2, 2007 at 1:38 pm  Comments (6)  

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. so true. may Allah grant us all the ability to implement all the knowledge that we learn. ameen!

  2. subhanAllah for real. I’m totally not at the level you are in learning, but I think i feel this already at a basic level. For how long can I be typing notes and sharing them, and yet forget them when I try to think of them, or don’t try to memorize them. For how long will I know somthing and not act on it, and that only increases my arrogance and ignorance to it.

    Alhumdulillah that Allah made this phenomina in this way, that only knowledge is granted to those who practice it, sincerely. If that wasn’t the case, there would be people out there corrupting Islam, and we have to admit, maybe thats why I am not of that caliber yet to practice what I’ve learned fully, sincerely. Maybe I am not ready for that trust yet. Insha Allah may Allah grant us to be of that caliber, to be able to hold on to the trust that Allah grants us, and take it when He grants us it, because it just might not come back the second time. And everything is from Allah and is to return to Him. And Allah’s Mercy is greater than His Punishment.

    Jazakullah kheyrun Sister Shazia. Please keep sharing.

    Walekum as salaam warahmatullahi wabarakatahu
    – o

  3. […] From: Damascus Dreams […]

  4. May Allah increase you in knowledge and make your studies easier for you.

  5. I totally relate to this and it scares me for it’s far worse to have knowledge and not act upon it than just to be ignorant.May Allah purify our hearts.

  6. I tend not to drop a bunch of comments, however I browsed a few of the comments on it just slips away
    | damascus dreams. I actually do have a couple of questions for you
    if it’s allright. Could it be simply me or does it appear like a few of the remarks appear like they are written by brain dead individuals? 😛 And, if you are writing at additional social sites, I’d like to follow anything fresh you have to post.

    Would you list of the complete urls of your public pages like your
    Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

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