Narrative and Experience

وَالعَصرِ

إِنَّ الإِنسانَ لَفي خُسرٍ

إِلَّا الَّذينَ آمَنوا وَعَمِلُوا الصّالِحاتِ وَتَواصَوا بِالحَقِّ وَتَواصَوا بِالصَّبرِ

“By Time, man is lost. Except for those who believe and do right actions and urge each other to the truth and urge each other to steadfastness.” Qur’an, 103: 1-3.

Belief/experience & iman/a’mal salihah.

Belief/experience vs. belief/facts:

Experience leads to action and fulfillment (hikmah).
Facts leads to never ending cycle of proving/disproving (khabr).

Our community has fallen for the sleight of hand of Modernity which says, “science/facts will make a good and livable life”.

It is a good story that makes life good and livable.

Hence our attraction to television, movies, comic books, etc. We love narrative.

We long to be a part of a narrative: to have our own experiences.

Storytelling (not the same as telling fables) is dying out: this was the vehicle by which cultures related wisdom and values, not just information.

Storytelling: belief/experience = repository of wisdom and operation of wisdom (Qur’an and Sunnah).

The Illusion of Individualism

ألا إني تارك فيكم ثقلين: أحدهما كتاب الله عز وجل – هو حبل الله – من اتبعه كان على الهدى – ومن تركه كان على ضلالة

We cannot go it alone:

تركت فيكم أمرين لن تضلوا ما إن تمسكتم بهما: كتاب الله وسنتي

Qur’an & Sunnah: the narrative and the way to experience it.

For more on narrative, read Storytelling here.

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