Sunday, February 21, 2010

"I start to wonder if Satan would speak about us today,

what would he say? Which of our numerous vanities would he choose to praise? I think Satan would have to express his profuse gratitude for our emotions, whims, and fears that induce us to submit to ourselves rather than to our Lord. Satan would be jubilant that our Lord told us to "read," and instead, we excelled in the hysteria of activism and irrationality. In the eyes of the devil, is there a better nation than that which celebrates stupidity, and declares the use of reason to be sophistry and heresy? Is there a better gift to depravity than a nation that treats knowledge as if it is an ornament or decoration, and not the gateway to the truth of our being? Isn't Satan ecstatic when he finds a nation that refuses to learn from its past and constantly tries to reinvest wisdom's wheel? Is there a greater evil than a people who testify against a knowledge they don't know, and excel at testifying on the basis of hearsay? Isn't speaking and testifying without knowledge an act of lying and an act of deceit and perjury? What would the devil say about a people who stuff their pulpits with despots and nominate the most ignorant to lead? How would the devil praise a people who treat their religion as an extra-curricular activity and a "feel-good" hobby? Isn't the devil simply elated with our esteemed sages, puerile kids who think that Islam is a fashion show, and whose egos are their reference points? They have no need for books or knowledge - they simply act the role of the wise and pious as soon as they grow the sprucely beard and find the dapper wardrobe.
-Khaled M. Abou El Fadl, "When the Devil Speaks," Conference of the Books: The Search for Beauty in Islam, p. 287

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