Seyyed Hossein Nasr

There is a traditional Islamic saying according to which Satan hates sharp points and edges. This old adage contains a most profound truth, which applies directly to the present-day situation. The Devil, being everywhere, manifests his influence by dulling all sharp points and edges which are accessible to him, so that sharp distinctions disappear in the milieu dominated by his influence. The edges of doctrines become corroded and their sharp form gradually fades away. Truth and error become ever more confused and even sacred rites and doctrinal formulations, which are the most precious gifts to God to man, become hazy and indefinite as a result of this corroding influence which makes everything appear indistinct and ambiguous.

To disuses the challenge of the modern world to Islam require, therefore, that this haze be dispelled through a rigorous application of intellectual discernment based ultimately upon the shahadah, whose first stroke when written in Arabic is, in fact, in the form of a sword. This word must be used to break the false idols of the new age of ignorance, idols which so many Muslim accept without even bothering to question their nature. It must be used to cut away and remove all the false ideas and ‘isms’ that clutter the mind of Modernized Muslims. It must help to chisel the soul of the contemporary Muslim from an amorphous mass into a sharp crystal which glows in the Divine Light, for a crystal glows precisely because of its shapely defined edges.