Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Learning the Hard Way

I had originally planned this post a few weeks ago and never fleshed it out. I was thinking about a recent lesson I had learned (the hard way) that ultimately made me even more grateful to Allah and aware of His mercy. But in fact, compared to an even more recent lesson that hit me just today, it pales in comparison. So I will be writing about the more profound and more recent of the two.

You see, I have hurt someone, someone that I care about very much. Not for any good reason either, and not because I was hurt, but just out of careless arrogance. You know that nobody will enter Paradise who has an atom's weight of arrogance in his heart? Anyway, I suppose if anyone acts rudely towards others, as I have on many occasions, it doesn't make an impact to hurt a stranger's feelings. But that same behavior directed towards a closer friend? And when that friend points out the gross wickedness inherent in that behavior, the problem seems ever so much more acute.

And that happened. I suppose one conclusion someone might draw, looking from the outside in, is that I didn't care for that person's feelings anyway, respect his opinion, or in fact even respect him. But that's not the case, for this is someone who I respect over everyone else.

And my very poor behavior revealed a much deeper problem--the filth on my heart. There is an organ in the body which, if it is sound and pure, the entire body will be pure, but if it is corrupted, then the body becomes corrupted as well. And that organ of course, is the heart.

So what was the lesson? That my heart, far from being pure, was corrupted, sullying my intentions and my deeds. That is a hard lesson to learn. It is easy to think about how someone else might be corrupted, how someone else might have the wrong intention... so much harder to point our fingers at ourselves and ask, "What is wrong with me?" And even if you can ask, it's still not easy to believe the answer.

But for me, there is no escaping it. And as if the lesson weren't brutal enough, the consequences of it are severe, costing me the truest friendship I've known. Hard times can bring us closer to Allah, and I am grateful for that as I beg and plead to the Turner of the Hearts, to the Forgiver, to turn my heart towards His deen, towards obedience to Him, and to forgive me and have mercy on me.


Anonymous said...

Actions and consequences is really what religions or philosophies are about aren't they? There is one thing that differentiates believers though..... God. You are a good person. Learn from it and move on.

God Bless,


Anonymous said...

the ways of shaitan are so subtle.

so while you are realizing n internalizing that you need to cleanse yourself, be on guard not to let yourself fall into self-approval('ujb)..with your self telling you..'oh look yur so good..you realize how wrongly you behaved..and now yur repenting..yur realy very pious'

etc etc.

its so subtle. so i thought id share. possibly you already knew this. either way, i hope you keep growing on this journey.

by the way i realy enjoy reading your blog

yur sister

Anonymous said...

you've mentioned something that I've recently been going through with someone i also dearly love. whether it is my young age, or simply the arrogance...i really don't know. but i do know one thing for sure that is if I really want to remove myself from hurting her, and myself, i can surely do it. i just need to have patience and lots of anger-free ways to speak to my dear one.


Amy said...

Jon -

I don't know if "religions or philosophies" are really about "actions and consequences." I think there's a lot more to it than that. I mean, people can believe in God but that doesn't make them good. You can't see my heart so how do you know if I'm good? ;-) We need to show gratitude for our blessings, repentence for our shortcomings. Islam is a path, not a destination. Thanks for your comment.

Anonymous said...

I think sometimes we learn BEST the hard way...

Amy said...

Anonymous (comment #2)

Jazakillah khair for reading and commenting--you are so right. And this is alhamdulillah an excellent reminder for everyone, and me for sure. One of my teachers told me once that to be afraid of being a munaafiq means you aren't one, but as soon as you stop being afraid, you might be. Everytime I delay the 'asr prayer I think of this actually... 'oh no, I'm postponing praying, maybe I'm a munaafiq!?' So knowing the signs of a munaafiq are useful not for pointing out among others who might be, but really for looking at ourselves and our own beliefs. Once again, jazakillah khair for your excellent comment... I will inshaaAllah keep it in mind.

Amy said...

Anonymous (Comment #3)

Jazaakillah khair for your comment. I agree that patience is very important... and sometimes, holding our tongue if it tries to say something evil or hurtful.

Amy said...

littlemissmuslim -

The lessons certainly sink in that much deeper when we do, alhamdulillah... sometimes leaving scars to remind us.

Anonymous said...

Hi Amy,

I think if you were a bad person you wouldn't be searching so relentlessly for truth. Sometimes though we can fool ourselves and we stumble. An action whether it is intended or not has a consequence. Maybe I was too broad in my statement before as I know a religious life is a process because a true way of life through God gives you the answers in real life situations verse just reading from a textbook. Nobody is perfect. Recognition is the first step. I struggle with my own faults all the time. Hang in there.


Syra said...


Nice post :)

Being humans we are bound to make mistakes.Thats how we learn.

Glad to read that you realized your mistake. Thats the first right step and a sign that u r good hearted. MashahAllah.

The second would be to approach your friend,apologize and make it up to her. Show to her that you care.She might be angry at first, but if you persist and explain yourself she will forgive you.

All shall go well InshahAllah.