I Am BlindDawood Yasin06-19-12
At Maghrib (sunset prayer) as we lined up and the iqamah was ending, I looked to my left and saw a brother wearing very stylish sunglasses. He looked too cool for where he was. He and I were both in the front row, and what a blessed place it is. I could not stop thinking, “man, some people are too cool, even in the Masjid during prayer people have on sunglasses!”
I take issue with sunglasses in two instances, when they are worn indoors and at night. I am not judging anyone--or at least that is what my ego has tricked me into believing--as judgment is reserved for God alone.
However, what I think about myself and what is reality are two very different things. The prayer finished and I remained in my place reading a short litany. As I got up to pray two ra’kats (units) of voluntary prayer, and I saw “Mr. I wear my Sunglasses at night” doing something else that really caused me serious discomfort. This discomfort was different; it was more painful than the first. This pain was an internal pain, and it was now, self-inflicted. This pain was the direct result of all the ugliness that we read about regarding the blameworthy traits (envy, greed, lust, jealousy, pride, rancor and ostentation, to name a few) of the undisciplined soul.
The brother was humbly sitting with a large Qur’an open and reading with incredibly proficiency. And why was this painful you may ask? It was painful, because the large white pages from which the man was reading where not covered in ink. In fact, there was not a marking on the page that was visible. The brother was blind! He was reading a Qur’an in brail. He was doing something to bring himself closer to his Lord, just as he intended with his prayer earlier. And here I am, “Mr. I’m not judgmental” judging him. At that moment I felt like crying, I left the Masjid in pain, I beseeched my Lord for forgiveness over and over again! I know how far I am from God’s pleasure; I know that I am filled with shortcomings. But yet, my ego still believes in the hero-narrative it creates for itself to justify all of its ugliness and trickery.
I only wrote about this because I wanted to share a lesson with you. Take heed to the advice of not being judgmental. We do not know what its like to walk in another person’s sandals. Judgment is for God alone, and I ask Him to show mercy on this poor soul when it is judged.
People are asking how are others getting “Ramadan Ready.” For me its simple, it became as obvious as the sun at high noon. I am ready to leave my wicked ways, that is how I am getting Ramadan Ready.
This painful experience has made one thing very clear. My Lord has used a blind man to teach me to see! To show me, that it is I, who is blind, not the man reading the Qur’an. He used this man show me the evil that lurks just under the thin veneer of my self-proclaimed piety.
First task on my Ramadan Ready list…stop judging!
My Lord, I am blind, I call upon your grace, mercy and benevolence to help me to see. Amen!