I was listening to the story of how two enemies of Islam came to become companions of the holy Prophet Muhammad (saw). Amr ibn Al Aas and Khalid ibn Waleed*, two staunch enemies of Islam who were actively against the message of Islam.
Without going into the whole story, their conversion to Islam came about after they had actively tried to reject the truth. Khalid, on one hand, was a very intelligent man who knew that the message of Islam must be true, but couldn’t bring himself to accept it. He was after all a highly respected man in the city of Makkah. Amr, equally prominent in the Makkan community could not bring himself to submit to the message of the Prophet.
In a turn of events, both Amr and Khalid realised that they had no choice but to listen to their hearts and accept Islam. So individually they set out to pledge allegiance to the holy Prophet. They met each other on the way and proceeded to meet with the Prophet to say their shahadah.
The most profound lesson in this narration for me is how when faced with the undeniable truth of the message of Islam, both men overcame their ego and accepted the message. This in a way is also the story of a lot of the sahabahs. Wealthy and prominent men and women who gave up all they were, to worship Allah (swt).
One of the greatest obstacles that I have seen when it comes to our obedience to Allah, is our ego. Ego is the reason why a husband is confronted with the truth on how the holy Prophet led his family but chooses to do the opposite of what the Prophet did.
Ego is us knowing what our obligations are as Muslims, but refusing to do some of them because they make us feel somehow in the present world. Ego is being corrected for good by someone, and instead of reflecting upon the advice, we choose to label them as fanatics.
Ego is not knowing what is right, and not making efforts to seek the knowledge.
Ego is knowing what is right, but not being able to bring yourself to do it.
Like Amr ibn Al Aas and Khalid ibn Waleed, the journey to submitting our ego to the message of the Prophet does not happen in a day. But what is most important is that whenever we are faced with the truth of the message of Islam, we make a sincere effort to submit ourselves.
May Allah always make the truth easy for us to accept and practice. Amin