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    The Description of the Strangers

    So the intelligent Muslim, one whom Allāh has granted understanding of the religion, one whom Allāh has allowed to see his own defects, one whom Allāh has shown the truth of what the people are on and nourished him with the ability to discern truth from falsehood, good from bad, what is beneficial from what is harmful, one who knows his rights and his duties – the intelligent Muslim is one who resolutely adheres to the truth amongst those who are ignorant of it, many of whom have but submitted to innovation. These people do not care how much they lose of religiosity so long as their worldly ends are met. When they see one who differs from them, they cannot bear it and oppose him. They hunt for any of his faults. His own family is vexed at him, his brothers are burdened by him, and those who deal and trade with him have no desire to do so. Such a person will become strange because of his following his religion, strange in his dealings with people, strange in all the matters of this world and those related to the Hereafter. He will be hard put to find someone to help him or to take solace with. This person will be a stranger, finding himself isolated; a scholar amongst the ignorant and forbearing amongst fools. He will become someone who is sombre, finding little to laugh at and much to cry at, just like a stranger in a strange land who knows no one. This then is the meaning of, “…and it shall return to being something strange just as it began” and Allāh knows best.

    Were you to see him when he is alone, you would see him crying in anxiety, tears streaming down his cheeks and letting out deep apprehensive sighs. If you did not know him, you would think him to be a parent who has lost a child, but this is not the case, rather he is in a state of fear and concern about his religion, indifferent to losing out on some worldly lot if it means preserving it. His religion is his capital and in it does he fear loss; al-Ḥasan said, ‘The capital of the believer is his religion, it is always with him, he does not leave it behind when on a journey and neither does he entrust it to another.’

    [Taken from the book, “The Journey of the Strangers” pg. 36-37]

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