winning, since I am neither an official nor a deputy, to work in politics is unnecessary and nonsense for me. Politics has no need for me that I should meddle in them for nothing. If I join the opposition, I would do so either with ideas or with force. If it was with ideas there is no need for me, for the questions are all clear and everyone knows them as I do. To wag one’s chin for nothing is pointless. If I join the opposition intending to use force and to provoke an incident, I might commit thousands of sins to reach one doubtful goal. Numerous people would be struck by disaster on account of one. So saying that in all conscience he could not commit sins and cause the innocent to commit them for a one or two in ten possibility, the Old Said gave up cigarettes together with the newspapers, politics, and worldly conversation about politics. Decisive evidence for this is the fact that for the past eight years I have not read a single newspaper nor listened to one being read. Let someone come forward and say that I have read one or listened to one. Whereas eight years ago the Old Said used to read perhaps eight newspapers every day. Furthermore, for the past five years I have been under the closest scrutiny and surveillance. Anyone who has observed the slightest hint of political activity should say so. For someone like me who is nervous, fearless, and without attachment, who considers the best stratagem to be without stratagem, his ideas will not remain secret for eight days, let alone eight years. If he had had any appetite or desire for politics, there would have been no need for investigation and scrutiny, for he would have given voice like the firing of a cannon.
Why does the New Said avoid politics with such vehemence?
T h e A n s w e r : He avoids it so vehemently in order to serve belief and the Qur’an, which is of the greatest importance, the greatest necessity and is most pure and most right, and so as not to sacrifice unnecessarily and officiously for one or two doubtful years of worldly life the work of gaining more than millions of years of eternal life. For he says: I am growing old and I do not know how much longer I shall live, so for me the most important question should be working for eternal life. The prime means of gaining eternal life and the key to everlasting happiness is belief (êma\n), so I have to work for that. But since I am obliged by the Shari‘a to serve people in respect of learning so that they may profit too, I want to perform that duty. However, such service will either concern social and worldly life, which I cannot do, and also in stormy times it is not possible to perform such service soundly. I therefore gave up that side of it and chose the side of serving belief, which is the most important, the most necessary, and the soundest. I