Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Nearer a Man is to Government, the Farther he is from God

During the early morning half hour or so that I devote most days to seeking, meditation and spiritually oriented reading, I have recently been reading Professor Akbar Ahmed’s book, ‘Rediscovering Islam: Making Sense of Muslim History and Society." This is a book every AU student, indeed every American, should read. Why has it taken me so long to read the copy that Professor Ahmad gifted to me, many months ago? Why do I not spend more time with this highly intelligent, dedicated, spiritually motivated scholar who is contributing so much to the causes of global peace and understanding in perilous times.

Here is a passage, read several mornings ago that has stuck in my memory. Political leaders in Washington DC, and elsewhere, might consider making two framed copies. They could post one in their office and the other next to their bathroom mirror. Professor Ahmed was describing the “Decline and Fall” of great Muslim empires during the late medieval period (p. 51). He writes:

"The nearer a man is to government, the further he is from God; the more followers he has, the more devils; the greater the wealth, the more exacting his reckoning," said the Prophet. But in the palaces and harems of the rulers, few were heeding him.”


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