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No Glasses, Day Four 13 September 2008

Posted by EDITOR in GUESTS, Spirituality, Theology.
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Our guest contributor this week is Ahmed Elewa, a Cairo/Boston-based student of Islamic jurisprudence.

September 04, 2008
Ramadan 4th 1429

I met a friend last night, who happens to be a Jew. He just had a daughter and named her Tali (lit. my dew). He told me that he always wanted to tell me something but never had a chance. “Remember when you came over for the Shabbat dinner, and listened to us chant our prayers? You were reading along and writing notes, picking out Hebrew words that had similar Arabic roots. When we came to a certain verse I was afraid you’d be offended, and I later told my friends that it should be omitted.”

“What was the verse?” I asked, to which he replied, “It was in Psalms 96 and it said:

כִּ֤י כָּל־אֱלֹהֵ֣י הָעַמִּ֣ים אֱלִילִ֑ים וַֽ֝יהוָ֗ה שָׁמַ֥יִם עָשָֽׂה
“For all the gods of the nations are idols, but YHWH made the heavens”

“See” he said, “It says that all gods are idols except for our God, and that must have offended you, as a Muslim.” “No!” I said, “Don’t omit it, for I bear witness that there is no God except the God of Israel, and his grandfather Abraham! Indeed the gods of all nations, the gods of all people are mere idols, and there is no true God except for the God of David, Moses and Israel.”

Can’t you see, my friend? That’s why I took off my glasses in the first place. I see us bowing to idols day in and day out. It made me want to scream, I just had to shout! I asked myself why I was wearing glasses… it’s because when I was a kid a doctor told me that I couldn’t read the small print. But who needs to see the small print? It’s in the details where the devil lies! Higher resolution is a delusion in which we waste our lives.

I took my glasses off because I wanted to see what God wanted me to see, not what a doctor thought I should see. I thought to myself, “He doesn’t care about my vision, all he sees is another patient and a fee to pay his rent with”. “The store that sold me the glasses doesn’t care about my vision, I’m just another customer they pray remains visually impaired.” I said to myself, “You’re not wearing glasses because you need to, but because people want you to.

That’s why I took my glasses off. I had to see what God wanted me to see. And what can I tell you about what I saw… I saw what I never expected to see. I started to see me.

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Comments»

1. Constructive Attitude - 13 September 2008

Wow! That was beautiful!

2. Anna - 19 September 2008

Salaamu alaikum, Ahmed.

This piece is just lovely. Jazak Allahu khayr.

(And I can’t help wondering whether or not the glasses exercise continues, and if you are okay with things like driving.)

best,
Anna


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