We thought of sharing one lesson we have learned tonight. It's from Al Sulami's Jawami Adab al-Sufiyya (A Collection of Sufi Rules of Conduct) published by The Islamic Texts Society:
A Sufi said, 'Knowledge is what makes you act and certainty is what sustains you.'
We found this lesson to be meaningful at this moment as we began to have a dilemma about our daily occupations. It has made us realize a simple fact that, when we go out to work (as a cab driver for example), we don't actually go out to seek sustenance. As a matter of fact, we have been surviving on our certainties in our Lord and the fact is that we go out to serve people based on the knowledge that Allah has bestowed upon us. If we don't act upon our knowledge we would be doing a disservice to our Lord. And we would belong with those who are ungrateful for the knowledge He has granted us.
We used a cab driver as an example because we admire the degree of tawakal they seem to have driving around not knowing where they would be picking up their sustenance for the day. And each time we were in a cab we couldn't help but think of one of our guides - Ustaz Hud with whom we had revised our Qur'an readings and learned a bit on Fikh. Our thoughts and prayers are with him. He was a cab driver during the day and Qur'an teacher by night. He once said: "You know Ezza, being a taxi driver is a hard job. I do come across rude passengers. And I realized when I was reading a longer salawat as recited in the prayers I had gotten some really wonderful passengers than when I was reciting a shorter version of salawat."
Ustaz Hud would never ever drive his cab in the evening no matter how financially desperate he was. "My evenings are for teaching the Qur'an because it is the best of all professions," he said.
That Sufi was so right. "Knowledge is what makes you act and certainty is what sustains you."