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Friday, May 24, 2024

TOO MUCH DETAIL

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By Shaykh Asim Ahmad

You see the image above? It’s the armrest of my sofa in the family room, but you could never tell because it’s been magnified a few hundred times. Here is the lesson:

too much detail obscures the bigger picture.

This lesson is also taught in the Qur’an. The Qur’an provides very limited details on the stories narrated therein to avoid us getting entangled in the small stuff.

Let’s take the example of the Seven Sleepers or As-hbal al-Kahf. Their real number is historically a point of contention.

Allah says, “Some will say, ‘they were three, the fourth of them being their dog,’ and some will say, ‘five the sixth of them being their dog just making conjectures.’ And others will say, ‘seven, the eighth of them is their dog.’ Say, ‘my Lord knows best about their number’ (18:22).

While Allah does mention the different opinions, He doesn’t reveal the actual number because it just doesn’t matter. The bigger lesson is that if Allah can revive someone from their sleep after hundreds of years, then He can resurrect mankind after death on the Day of Judgment. Allah does mention the number of years the youth slept in the cave because this specific detail advances the main lesson, while their exact number is irrelevant to it.

Historic site of the Seven Sleepers in Amman, Jordan.

This is precisely why I stopped watching any news after Ramadan. I never watched much news anyways, but after Oct. 7 I was glued to any news update, commentary, interviews, and talking points concerning Gaza.

Then Ramadan came and I shut everything down for the blessed month. Now, when I returned to the world, I realized that none of the details really mattered because genocide was happening one way or another whether I was up to date on the details or not. So, I asked myself what I got out of all that precious time I spent on learning details when I already knew what was going on.

From a Quranic perspective, it was a waste because the Qur’an is concerned with lessons that are to be learned from the world around us. Allah could have given us all the scientific details we hear from the scientists (who know many details) about the skies and the earth and everything in between, but He keeps it simple and says, “Surely, in the creation of heavens and earth…. And in the clouds employed to serve between heaven and earth, there are signs for those who have sense” (2;164).

From the hadith perspective, it’s the same. Look at what is happening in Gaza. NATO and U.N. are watching in silence. Some countries are silent, others spectate, while others are actively abetting the genocide. The Prophet (sa) said a time will come when nations will call each other upon you like people calling others to join them in their food.

“Will our numbers be little on that day,” the Sahaba asked.

“The numbers will be great but you will be like froth in a flood. Allah will remove awe from the hearts of your enemy and strike wahan in your hearts.”

“What is wahan, O Prophet of Allah?”

“Love for the dunya and fear of death” (Abu Dawud).

Doesn’t this hadith accurately describe the present condition in Gaza, but without all the extras and details? He didn’t mention that we are 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide but are as helpless as vegetables to do anything. We just sit and watch in horror, noting down in graphic detail as genocide unfolds before us. He also doesn’t mention Gaza and which nations are involved in abetting the genocide or any other detail.

He does mention the cause behind our helplessness and how to remedy the problem because the details do not matter, but the prescription to our sickness does.

All the time I would spend on news now goes into applying that prescription to my daily life.

Copied with permission from the author of Islam Today

Original source here

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