2:13 Wa izaa qeela lahum aaminoo kamaaa aamanan naasu qaalooo anu’minu kamaaa aamanas sufahaaa’; alaaa innahum humus sufahaaa’u wa laakil laa ya’lamoon
And when it is said to them, “Believe as the believing people have believed,” they say, “Should we believe as the foolish have believed?” Unquestionably, it is they who are the foolish, but they know [it] not.
When it comes to building your criteria, I learned the hard way that it’s so easy to get confused these days. All it takes is to talk to a few different people, listen to the news, and watch a program here and there. And of course, follow intently those that we deem as “super smart” in our family or friends – can be trouble!
And voila, my beliefs were formed. Just by listening to these people. This is the type of so called “thinker” that I believe we’ve become. Nowadays, add a dose of “my Sheikh said to do it, so it must be good”. Yet we have not taken the responsibility to learn the importance of having a criteria to assess our decisions by.
Understanding the Criteria
Because if you did understand what the criteria is, you could not let yourself – in fact you would see it as a huge misguidance – live by everything a Sheikh says. Or a genius friend and family. Or even that amazing podcast that you follow. All of this is blindly following, and that can be a very foolish thing to do.
A correct Sheikh would never allow you to take his word as gospel anyway. He would encourage you to think for yourself. He would consider it a huge responsibility to be a good teacher, and acquire real knowledge to pass on to you.
And if he doesn’t teach you the Quran, or he doesn’t make your awarad (the daily recitation practices) the Quran, in my opinion he is either not a sheikh or he is a very bad one – both are devastating to have in your life. That alone is a criteria for a sheikh.
This applies to friends and people in your life in general. If they are always encouraging the wrong things, or wasting your time with empty talk, or simply not bringing a Quran level quality to your life, it’s time to consider less time with them.
Sometimes we don’t even know that what they are telling us is wrong. We then get led astray ourselves. And often times face devastation as a result of it. The criteria is so important to build in our lives. This criteria is a set of guidelines that you establish to inform your decisions.
You can’t be building your criteria without sound ideology
And the criteria can ONLY be set by developing your sound ideology. And sound ideology can only be established from the Quran. It is the only book of truth left on the planet. All others have been changed and tampered with. Let’s value the one we have left.
A friend or family member can be the biggest genius in your life. They’ve read every book, they went to the best school. They are considered critical thinkers. BUT if they are not establishing a criteria in their life based on sound ideology, for the love of God, don’t follow their advice blindly.
Let’s say they were a genius in science. Maybe they are a top world doctor. So they advise you to take a medicine because it will resolve your health issue, or protect you from one. Do you take that medicine based on this “expert advice? NO! NO! NO!
You understand from the Quran that we make decisions by breaking down every reasonable way to decipher the best decision. You inherently understand that you must first see how long this medicine has been around, what results has it produced on others – and we DO NOT only rely on peer reviewed reports or other medical reports. So many can be manipulated by pharma companies and interest groups!
We look for searches on uncensored platforms like Twitter or Rumble (all others are censored except these 2 that I know of – there may be more) for personal testimonials from real people on this. You inherently want to see what REAL people who have experience with this have to say…because this is what constant intelligent study of the Quran has developed in you.
And if it’s so new that you can’t find real people testimonials…then hold off! Wait. Until you can start seeing real testimonials. You just know that it is unethical to unleash something on us with no track record, real tests, and misleading claims. So you just understand, because the Quran is training you to see and believe, to refrain from taking such things, to protect yourself.
Because you get the idea. You get that once people start to take something, they will take to their social pages and start talking about it. You also can surmise that most real feedback, especially if it’s talking about negative side effects, will get deleted by the social media companies. They are deeply tied in to pharma and interest money to allow their success to be jeopardised.
Don’t be of the foolish
And often, you just have this feeling that you can’t trust. You know it’s possible that on mainstream social platforms, pharma Companies can plant fake testimonials with glowing reviews – it’s unethical, but a common practice. So you know to be very careful. You know not to follow blindly – it could be that you are following one of the foolish that this verse talks about.
They can be Nobel prize holders, super wealthy, kind, generous, fun, ivy League educated, religious scholars, grandmas….yet oh so foolish! Because they don’t believe as they should believe – as this verse says. And scholars you say? Yes, they can get so caught up in ego, that the goal post shifts for them too.
The most impactful understanding I gained in my life was to learn how the criteria is actually our sound ideology. That sound ideology is only gained from learning, reciting, understanding, and contemplating the Quran.
When I let sink in that, in the Quran, these are the ACTUAL words of God. Whoa….really? You mean if I wanted to know what God is saying to me, I would read and strive to comprehend the Quran? Yes. That was my answer. And life was never the same for me.
It’s a recent journey. I wish I could say I knew this from childhood. But no, I only picked up this understanding slowly over time. While I had great reverence for the Quran and Islam all my life, I just didn’t understand the treasure I had access to until some time around 2006.
What God is saying to you
Before that, I do see signs of my thoughts and events that led me up to this moment of my mind being completely blown, and I can say that everyday …yes, EVERY SINGLE DAY…gets more exciting when I open the Quran and see what more Allah is saying to me.
It is literally that mind blowing. In fact, I can’t wait to know what I am about to read in the Quran, learn what it means, and understand how it applies to my life. To start my day in any other way, would mean losing a certain grip on the inner joy and peace that I live with. What a loss that would be.
Sound ideology is ideology based on what God says. It is ideology that no human mind can come up with. Imagine, NO, ABSOLUTELY NO, human mind came up with the Quran. It hasn’t been tampered with by man in the least bit. No human thought is in that book. It is pure revelation. No other book can make this claim.
So as long as I learn what God wants from me by reading, studying, and learning the Quran, I am grasping sound ideology. I can now inform my decisions better. For example, if I am invited to a dinner party. My sound ideology informs me that I should be with the people that are learned about God.
My sound ideology also tells me there is tremendous benefit in dressing modestly, should I go to this party. And I do LOVE modest fashion, so that one is easy to embrace. However, I also want to surround myself with those that get it about dressing modestly. In fact I want their sense of fashion to inspire me.
Because I love to look good. I love great taste in clothes and home interiors and all visuals. So if someone with sound ideology, ie. one who strives to understand what God advises is best for us, is well dressed, well spoken, and can carry a deep conversation, then I am in for this dinner party!
If the criteria is not met
If that criteria is not met, I know I have some reading to catch up on or perhaps even a great documentary on science or history. Or even a good podcast on current affairs or theology. That would be time better spent than with people at a party who are not committed to sound ideology.
So back to this verse. How do you believe as the believing people have believed? You strive to increase your sound ideology. You inform your thoughts, practices, and decisions on every single thing in life….from saying yes to that candy, to say yes to that marriage proposal….everything you decide in life must be based on sound ideology derived from the Quran. That’s when you start living!
Furthermore, this verse tells us that the ones who don’t believe will say we are foolish. I mean, of course to them we would appear that way, right? We are correcting our ways and building our success from only one source – one book – and they either look down or they don’t believe it is the word of God.
I now think that is perfectly fine. It used to frustrate me. “Why can’t we all be on the same page?”, I would say. But today, we need this criteria too. We need to know that they don’t believe it is important to turn to Allah for guidance. This is a huge one for me.
Don’t waste your time
Time is too valuable. It’s best not to spend it in circles that don’t get you. It clears up your schedule for all those things you need to do in life. None of us have the luxury of more time. Our time in the day is fixed, and our time in this life is fixed. Why waste it?
And if you’re not convinced that you shouldn’t waste time with people that aren’t committed to the sound ideology derived from the Quran, then see what the end of this verse says. It’s them who are foolish and they don’t even know it. Why would we want to be around that?
I mean, we are clearly being told that these people are fools by God Himself. And since we know the Quran is telling us only the truth, let’s not aggravate ourselves with having friends that don’t get us or don’t get it. That’s just too frustrating.