Monday, 2 April 2012

Intelligence vs. Piety

She sat across the desk to me, Her side of the table surrounded her with little vases of handpicked flowers and extracts of nature she had found on her long walks in the countryside.
And after an in depth conversation partly about religion and partly about how I think I failed my exam at madrassa that weekend, she said to me "you know you dont have to be clever to be a good person," It suddenly dawned on me, that infact this was not the words of a muslim person, not even someone who even believed in God (im working on her), it was certainly the words of a wise person.

For a time I wondered, how is one meant to reach a high state of piety or at least goodness, if they are like me, striving to learn but not quite an "achiever" lets say...duas dont stick in my head,
and I dont necessarily undertsand the fiqh rulings and how or when to apply what, no matter how many time the poor Sheikh explains it...I wondered how am I supposed to "achieve" in deen when I dont have the intellect? I felt like you had to be clever to be close to Allah, and perhaps I even had a bit of a complex because people in my past made me feel like that...

I thought about her words, and yes there is an element if not a complete truth in what she stated.
she is the kind of person, who has a major admiration for nature, surrounds herself in flowers and constanly talks about the beauty of plants and animals and such and it occured to me that this person who doesnt even believe in God is actually more connected to Allah in a way she probably doesn't even realise. To love creation so much, means you are indirectly loving the creator...and this closeness one feels when they are so in  touch with nature is uncomparable, how can you not be a "good person" when you have so much admiration and love for the beauty Allah has bestowed to us on earth just as a proof of his majesty? has nothing to do with intellect.
That said, I will still try to pass my exams at madrassa.


  1. Your friend is right. I know many clever people who frankly are dodgy. And some who think being clever makes them better. Some find it easy to learn duas etc and think nothing of it....but if it takes time to learn it etc I feel it is worth more as you have made the extra effort to learn so you value it more.

    InshALlah you will pass.

  2. that was really good advice. and you are right about your friend. some people have really pure souls even without the aid of Quranic guidance, i can only imagine how pure they could be if they were Muslim. there is nothing easy except what Allah makes easy and He makes the difficult easy if it be His will. i hope your exams go well :)