The audacity to live dangerously

Excerpts from the improvised conference of Sheikh Aly N’Daw, 31 December 2012, Pout, Senegal

In fact human beings are always seeking to live in a state of security. Insurances, for instance, confer a feeling of security. The same applies to marriage. Even if there is love, people feel the need to secure it !

When Bilal was asked to inflict a punishment on someone who had defied society and dared to face and reveal insecurity, he refused even though he was in his master’s house and surroun­ded on all sides! Even the one who was supposed to receive the punishment was afraid and told him “Beat me up, otherwise they will kill you !”, but Bilal did not. This form of fear is inherent to the individual. It is rooted in us and is present from when we are babies.

All those men who overcame fear lived the real dimensions of Islam and became nonviolent Beings. In this way they were able to defy society, which used all manner of ways to scare people and suppress their audacity. Yet they never resorted to taking up arms to face this violence. None of their language, behaviour, outlook or attitude was ever violent. They only had nonviolence to face these people. This shows that, when we talk of peace and nonviolence, it implies having the courage to live dangerously. During all his time, the Prophet (pbuh) lived dangerously in order to establish peace.

The Prophets (pbut) and peacemakers lived dangerously because they had overcome fear. Yet, fear is so deeply rooted in us that we have put in place security measures everywhere. There are security laws to safeguard our desires and ambitions, to preserve and fill our shortcomings under the cover of well-being.

Prophets (pbut) and men of God show us that in reality there is no security. Nobody can escape from all that the realities that the Prophets (pbut) have experienced be it death, illness or poverty. On the other hand, what we can escape from and eradicate is the fear that is present in us. This is very important as the Lord does not stop mentioning this fear, saying: “…on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.” (Quran 2:62/274).

The entire conference is available in the book “The Quest for Truth