By Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
In describing the characteristics of true servants of God, the Quran mentions that such people ‘[…] do not turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to the signs of their Lord when they are reminded of them […]’ (25:73). In other words, these are people who, when they are admonished with the word of God, do not respond as if they have not seen or heard.
What does it mean to admonish someone with the help of the word of God? It means to indicate to a person who allows his desires rule his life his errors and to tell him that he should walk on the path that is pleasing to God, rather than the path that his desires want to lead him on. Very often, people construe such guidance as personal criticism. When they are admonished in this way, they at once get stirred up and react very negatively. They don’t take such advice kindly. Instead of admitting their errors, they try to find fault with the one who tries to admonish them.
Such people do not behave as the people mentioned in the Quranic verse quoted above do. The true servants of God, as this Quranic verse indicates, do not respond as if they were blind and deaf. They do not react in the same way to someone who tries to guide them as those who are, figuratively speaking, blind and deaf. The latter react to anyone who tries to guide them as if they haven’t heard a single word of what he says, and as if they haven’t understood him at all. Ignoring whatever they are told by the person who seeks to bring them to the right path, they talk of irrelevant matters. Ignoring the evidence against them, they begin hurling accusations. They conveniently by-pass the issues that the one who seeks to guide them makes by raising unrelated matters.
A true relationship with God leads one to develop an inner seriousness. On the other hand, a person who is far from God becomes frivolous. Even if he has eyes, it is as if he can see nothing. If he has ears, it is as if he is stone deaf.