A surprising change

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The last few years have been difficult for me, but they’ve brought about a surprising and marvelous change. It’s been a time of monumental growth, and I don’t mean my waistband, which fortunately has shrunk a bit. I’ve grown as a Muslim. I have blossomed as a writer, expressing ideas that have percolated inside me for decades. I have improved tremendously as a martial artist, finally coming to a place (after decades of practice) where I can create combinations spontaneously, and apply martial principles effectively on the fly. I have become such a better father to my daughter Salma. I never thought I could be as comfortable, patient and loving with her as I am now. All I can say is, Alhamdulillah!


A key element in that process of change has been facing the uncomfortable fact that I have not always been sincere, and then embarking on this path of earnestness and honesty as an approach to life. It’s not easy in the least.

Most of us lie to ourselves. It’s enormously difficult to take responsibility for our failings, even the partial responsibility that, realistically, is usually ours. It’s much easier to shift blame to others, or to external factors. But then the same lapses and misjudgements get repeated over and over again, until we start to say, “Why me?”, all the while knowing in our hearts that we ultimately bear responsibility, but still being unwilling to face that truth.


الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ) : الإخْلاصُ أعْلى الإيمانِ.

4– Imam Ali (AS) said, ‘Sincerity is the summit of faith.’
[Ghurar al-Hikam, no. 860]

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