exposed, then let those scholars either find an easier solution, or let them take the part of our solution and teach it and support it. The corrupt religious scholars are faced with a grave threat; religious scholars have to be especially careful at this time. So suppose, like my enemies, that I perform a service like this for the sake of egotism. Since a large number of people give up their egotism and gather around a Pharaoh-like man with complete loyalty for some worldly and national aim and carry out their work in complete solidarity, does this brother of yours not have the right to ask for your solidarity around the truths of belief and the Qur’an by giving up egotism, like those corporals of that worldly society, so long as he conceals his egotism? If even the greatest of the scholars among you were not to agree, wouldn’t they be in the wrong?
My brothers! The most dangerous aspect of egotism in our work is jealousy. If it is not purely for God’s sake, jealousy interferes and spoils it. Just as one of a person’s hands cannot be jealous of the other, and his eye cannot envy his ear, and his heart cannot compete with his reason, so each of you resembles a sense, a member, of the collective personality of the body we constitute. Your essential duty springing from the conscience is not to compete with one another, but to take pride and pleasure in each other’s good qualities.
One other thing remains and it is the most dangerous: for yourselves and your friends to be jealous this poor brother of yours. There are scholars of standing among you, and some scholars are egotistical when it comes to their learning. In that respect they egotistical even if they themselves are modest. They cannot easily give it up. Whatever their hearts and minds may do, their evil-commanding souls seek pre-eminence and to sell themselves, and even to dispute the treatises that have been written. Although their hearts love the treatises and their minds appreciate them and recognize their worth, out of jealousy arising from the egotism of learning, their souls want to decry the value of the Words, as though nurturing implicit enmity towards them, for then the products of their own thought can compete with them and be sold like them. But I have to tell them this:
Even if the members of this circle of Qur’anic teaching are leading scholars and authorities on the Law, their duties in respect of the sciences of belief are only to make explanations and elucidations of the Words that have been written, or to set them in order. For I have understood through many signs that we have been charged with the duty of issuing fatwas concerning these sciences of belief. If someone within our circle writes anything more than this due to a feeling in his soul arising from the egotism of learning, it will be like a cold dispute or a deficient plagiarism. For it has