We all grow. Men as well as women.
There is no program or school that teaches us how to do it. We just do it. Each, how they can.
Sometimes with help from here and there, parents and others. Also, quite often, in the teeth of all sorts of impediments, counter-currents and setbacks.
Many succumb, while many others make it to the shore. Almost all of us carry the burn marks all over our bodies as proof of our adventures.
And many of us pay — and how dearly we do! — a heavy price for the mistakes we make and the tumbles we take.
But one simple lesson many of us fail to learn is to “Let Go.”
To outgrow those who have outgrown us.
To walk away from those who have sent us repeated signals — often clear and unmistakable signals — that they have no further use for us. That they don’t know what to do with us any more.
And to say Sweet Adieu to them.
But if we had read our Qur’an, we would know how to do it.
How to say Goodbye and Godspeed to those who insist on leaving.
Wasfahis Safhal Jameel, says the Qur’an.
“Say Goodbye to them nicely and sweetly.”
For, as those charged by God with the ultimate responsibility of bringing every one of his slaves back to his doorstep, we cannot afford to really turn our back on anyone.
We cannot give up.
But, at the same time, obsessing with one chronically reluctant individual, or group, at the expense of others, is bound to be dysfunctional. It will defeat the purpose of building Islam as a movement on earth and moving it forward to bring others into the fold.
It will get in the way of our being able to take the Qur’an — and its message — to every home and heart that needs it around the world.
That is why it is important that we train ourselves to read the signs carefully.
And to interpret them smartly.