July 05, 2022 | Dhuʻl-Hijjah 5, 1443
Al-Najm (The Star) Sura 53: Verses 39-41
The above verse boost the morale of not only Muslims but of all mankind, provided they have a clear view of life and champion a sound cause. For all committed people the above passage carries an inspiring message. It is especially relevant for institutions engaged in training younger generations, for it contains an elaborate moral code and set of guidelines for the young.
Allah has promised man that he will obtain success in his striving. It is emphasized in the Quran that man's efforts will bear fruit. As to the time-scale of gathering the fruit of one's striving, the Quran hints that this may take a very long time. Man is thus told not to despair if he does not gain immediate results. Man is to be credited for much in the world - the vast empires, the rise of various civilizations, the spread and advancement of knowledge, and intellectuals appearing on the public scene. All these are manifestations of man's striving.
"Guidance from the Holy Quran" - Sayyid Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi, pp. 229, 230
From Issue: 566 [Read original issue]
Creator of Marvels
Imam al-Bayhaqi relates a statement of the Prophet, peace be upon him, in which he said, "God makes every maker and what he makes." In reality, God is the creator of the marvels that people admire and attribute to the glory of humankind, forgetting that it is God who created the ones who produced these marvels. Realizing that God is the source of all blessings prevents vanity from entering the heart.
There is foolishness in being vein about what one has accomplished, given its ephemeral nature. But when one is thankful to God and acknowledges and praises Him as the source of this goodness, then the accomplishment outlasts our earthly lives and the memories of people, for God preserves it.
Vanity originates from one's ignorance of two matters: God alone is the Fashioner and the Giver of Blessings and we human beings are incapable of accomplishing anything without God's will and blessings. If one accomplishes something, let him or her remember God and be grateful, and not swagger with haughtiness. When the Prophet, peace be upon him, saw a reflection of himself - and he was a beautiful man - he would make the following supplication: "O God, as You have made my countenance most excellent, make my character most excellent." Imam Mawlud said that to rid oneself of vanity (or prevent it from entering one's heart), reflect long and hard on the fact that all blessings are entirely from God and that we cannot produce any benefit or harm without His permission.
"Purification of The Heart" - Hamza Yusuf, pp. 98, 99
From Issue: 760 [Read original issue]
The Self wishes to create, to evolve. The Ego likes things just the way they are.
The Ego is that part of the psyche that believes in material existence.
The Ego's job is to take care of business in the real world. It's an important job. We couldn't last a day without it. But there are worlds other than the real world, and this is where the Ego runs into trouble.
Here's what the Ego believes:
1. Death is real. The Ego believes that our existence is definitely by our physical flesh. When the body dies, we die. There is no life beyond life.
2. Time and space are real. The Ego is analog. It believes that to get from A to Z we have to pass through B, C, and D. To get from breakfast to supper we have to live the whole day.
3. Every individual is different and separate from every other. The Ego believes that I am distinct from you. The twain cannot meet. I can hurt you and it won't hurt me.
4. The predominant impulse of life is self-preservation. Because our existence is physical and thus vulnerable to innumerable evils, we live and act out of fear in all we do. It is wise, the Ego believes, to have children to carry on our line when we die, to achieve great things that will live after us, and to buckle our seat belts.
5. There is no God. No sphere exists except the physical and no rules apply except those of the material world.
"The War of Art" - Steven Pressfield, pp. 136, 137
From Issue: 797 [Read original issue]