Azizi Khalid

March 24, 2021

Treading the Path


"Azizi, I've attended a lot of Islamic lectures in my life. And now, with YouTube, I've watched hundreds of hours, maybe more, of Islamic talks from different scholars. I found that they are repetitive. I've lost the interest to go to Islamic lessons," said a gentleman to me one day.

I don't think this problem is unique to that educated gentleman only. Today we face an influx of information—every information in literally at our fingertips. We have access to more information than any generation before us.

However, in Islam, salvation is not attained by knowledge alone.  In many places in the Quran, Allah tells us that the keys to achieving salvation are iman or faith, and 'amal or good deeds. We enter Jannah with Allah's mercy that is attained through good deeds that are done with solid iman in God.

In the Arabic language, there are two words that can be used to mean action or deeds;  فعل (fi'il) and عمل ('amal). What is required of us is the second one; 'amal. If you rearrange the letters in عمل, it becomes علم ('ilm) or knowledge. 'Amal refers to actions that are based on knowledge. We acquire علم (knowledge) for عمل (deed). 

If you learn Islamic knowledge for the sake of knowledge, you'll reach a point of boredom. Knowledge without practice is futile. Islamic knowledge is meant to be put into practice. You have to tread the path. When you stumble in the way, you go back to the learning to motivate you. 

The path to Allah is steep and thorny. It is a great struggle. We are fighting our lower selves. That is why the Quran tells us about the importance of reminders (تذكرة) for it will benefit the believers. We need the reminders to push us to persist on the path. We don't need much knowledge to attain Jannah, but we need constant reminders to keep us on the path. Learning and practice have to go hand in hand. 

When we put the knowledge into practice, we will achieve لمع (illumination), another word containing the same letters as knowledge and action. علم needs to turn into عمل, which then allow us to experience لمع.

Azizi Khalid
Making Islamic education fun at Qaswa House
Towards the Middle Path