December 29, 2008

A Question? Barriers

Posted in Aqidah, Character, Islam, Knowledge, Sufism, Taqwa, Tazkiyah at 7:15 am by faith786

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum,

I was having a discussion with someone until we both came across an interesting question:

What is the single greatest barrier between an individual and God?

This was a question we spoke in great depth that I think has many answers. (So if you have an opinion different than my friend or me, don’t let that mislead you to think that your opinion is wrong!) My friend thought it was faulted human perception. This idea that we see things in a certain light and we think it is right, can stop up from getting closer to God. What does that mean–for example, if you think it is okay to kill someone in cold blood murder because in your perspective, you think it can be justified, then your perception is blinding you. In a sense, I think my friend was linking perception to ignorance. But I thought, ‘if a person genuinely, truly, and is absolutely certain that acting on limited knowledge or a faulted perception will get him/her closer to God, then is it really the individual’s fault? And can it, in a twisted way, draw the person closer to God? (Because they are acting in what he/she thinks is Divinely right?)’ My friend insisted that a person has an innate sense of right and wrong, so if the person are uncertain, he/she should look it up.

My friend went on about it and I kept thinking that it may be a barrier to have a faulted perception/being ignorant, but is it the single greatest barrier? I think that barrier has to be something that goes beyond right and wrong or even religious parameters (i.e. Islam, Christianity, etc. etc.) Because a person can have a barrier between him/her and God, regardless of the religion he/she follows. So I think I know what it might be–because it is a quality that is generally condemned by all people–arrogance. Arrogance is something that grows like a virus and starts eating away at other qualities in a person. It can stop them from being humble, patient, genuine and start distorting the reasons of why we do things–for God to the individual. Often people think that other things take us away from God like TV, movies, buying things, etc. but often people overlook the biggest barrier–themselves. Arrogance can do weird things to people and the perfect example of how arrogance is so bad is the story of shaytaan. Shaytaan was a hard working jinn who was very knowledgable but then challeneged God with his arrogance. In his arrogance, he said not to forgive him but delay his punishment so he can prove God is wrong (wa iya thubillah) and take humanity with him to hell. Adam (as) and Hawa (as) on the other hand, asked for forgiveness immediately and God granted it to them.

So I think arrogance is one of the single greatest barriers between an individual and God. Anyone else have any other ideas?

But if you are interested, I did interview couple friends from other faiths and did a little amateur research at home and found out what *probably* other religions would think.

Christianity: Hate. in Christianity, God is love. To be Christian is to exhibit the love that Christ showed to others and how God has blessed everyone. Hate is something that can eat someone up inside out and cause people to do terrible things for terrible reasons.

Judaism: Some of my friends say disobedience and some said arrogance (which would lead to disobedience) for similar reasons I had mentioned and that to question or in any way go against God would be a barrier.

Hinduism: Illusion. To most hindus, this world is an illusion and to buy into it will trap you in it and prevent you from ever achieving freedom of the pain and suffering of this world. (And also it would make the gods unhappy.)

Taoism: Materialism or illusion (which can lead to materialism). Similar reasons and that the way of the Tao cannot be fully explained, but its purpose is to be free of life’s illusion, so illusion itself would be a barrier to that freedom. (Some argue if there is a Divine force in Taoism or not.)

Buddhism: Self-indulgence. (Which I personally think is arrogance, but couple of my Buddhist friends really believed the distinction is important.) Self-indulgence leads people to be misguided, disillusioned, selfish, destructive and to take away from their Divine purpose, which similar to hinduism, to break free of life’s sufferings and illusions.

I would like to note that my answers here CAN BE WRONG and there would probably be members of each religion listed who would disagree to what I wrote. The question is ultimately to each individual, but I put this done just to include what I heard other people say and who justified it with their faith.

Hope you liked it.



  1. Tarifa said,

    I think jealousy can really make people do crazy things and only think about the particular thing he/she is jealous of. But arrogance is also a really good answer. I like how you incorporated Islam.

  2. Cloti said,

    I would say anger. Anger can destory people easily. I think arrogance can be managed, but if someone gets angry, it can take them far away from the Divine very quickly.

  3. Tito said,

    arrogance sounds like the best answer.

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