Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Dissatisfaction is the door to doubt (13-1)

Dissatisfaction opens the door that leads to doubt in GOD, in His Decree, in His Wisdom, and in His Knowledge.
Rarely is the complainer free from these accompanying doubts that mix within his heart and permeate his being.
If he were to delve deep into his self with honest introspection, he would find his faith to be infirm and questionable.
Contentment and faith are like brothers that accompany one another; meanwhile, doubt and discontentment have a similar fraternal relationship.
So those who are dissatisfied are resentful on the inside, and also angry, even if their anger is not expressed in words. Inside them mingles an assortment of questions, such as why has this happened, or how could this be?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Satisfaction is richness and safety (13-2)

Whoever fills his heart with satisfaction regarding the Divine Decree, GOD fills his heart with richness, safety, and comfort. And whoever becomes dissatisfied, then his heart will be filled with the opposite, and his heart will be preoccupied with matters that clash with happiness and success.
Therefore contentment empties the heart of all superfluous carriage, thus leaving it entirely for GOD. Discontent removes from the heart all thought of GOD. And so there is no real life for the resentful, complaining person who always feels that he is shifting from one problem to the next. He feels his sustenance to be insufficient, his luck poor, his problems manifold, and above all, he feels that he is deserving of more. Basically, he is discontented with what GOD decreed for him. How then can such a person find comfort, peace, and a good life?

The fruit of contentment is thankfulness (13-3)

Contentment leads to thankfulness, which is among the highest levels of faith. In truth, it is the reality of faith. The epitome of all the differing levels of righteousness is thankfulness of GOD. And the one who is not content with GOD’S favors and rulings and with His giving and His taking away is not thankful to Him. Indeed, the thankful person is the most blessed and prosperous of people.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The fruit of discontentment is disbelief (13-4)

Resentment causes one to deny the favors of GOD. Eventually perhaps, it could even lead to disbelieving in GOD. If the slave is pleased with his Lord in all circumstances, what follows necessarily is being thankful to Him.
He therefore becomes among the pleased and thankful ones.
But if he is devoid of contentment, he becomes among the resentful ones and follows the ways of the disbelievers.
Falsehood and deviation in beliefs only occurred because many of people wanted to become their own gods, to the point that many of them attempted to dictate to their Lord their wants and desires.

Dissatisfaction is a trap of the devil (13-5)

The devil prevails in his subjugation of man most often in two areas: dissatisfaction and desire. In these instances he finds his prey to be extremely vulnerable, particularly when displeasure becomes deep-rooted. At this point, he says, he does, and he thinks that which displeases his Lord.
The death of one’s dear is something that might lead to resentment in a person’s heart.
in such a situation regarding which most people are resentful and which causes them to say or do that which is displeasing to their Lord, they must not say anything except that which pleases their Lord.
If one were to keep the following three matters at his fingertips when he is displeased and angry about what has happened to him, then the burden of his calamity will lighten significantly.
They are:
1. To know and to believe in the wisdom of GOD, and in the fact that He knows best what is good and beneficial for His slaves.
2. To be conscious of the great reward and recompense that GOD promised to the slave who becomes afflicted and is then patient.
3. To know and accept that rulings and judgments are with GOD, while submission and obedience are for His slaves.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Another word on contentment (13-6)

The desires of one who is contented are subservient to what his Lord wants from him, meaning that which GOD loves and that with which He is pleased. Hence, contentment and the blind following of one’s own desires can never coexist in the same heart. And if one has a share of the former and a share of the latter, his heart will be conquered by the stronger of the two.

Contemplate this words:
“Become acquainted with GOD in good times, He will know you in harsh (times).”
“Become acquainted with GOD,” means that you should seek closeness to Him by being obedient to Him, by being thankful to Him for His blessings, and by turning to Him sincerely before hardship befalls you.
“In good times,” refers to times of peace, safety, blessings, and good health. “He will know you in harsh (times),” by alleviating your hardship and by giving you an exit from every difficult situation.
It is very important that a special relationship exists in the heart between the slave and his Lord, a relationship that allows the slave to feel so close to his Lord that he requires no other. Thus, he finds company when he is alone, and he tastes the sweetness of remembering Him and supplicating to Him. GOD’S slave will continually face hardship and difficulty until he dies, but if he has a special relationship with his Lord, that of being an obedient slave, all of the hardships of life will become easy for him.

Overlooking the faults of one’s friends (13-7)

It is not right for you to forsake your friend because of one or two faults that you find in him, especially if the rest of his character is honorable. As we know, perfection for any one of us is unattainable.
The wiser said:
“How is it that you want your friend to possess a specific pattern of characteristics when your soul, which is the closest of souls to you, does not always obey your commands. What right do you then have to expect another person’s soul to follow your orders.”

It is enough for you that you are satisfied with the main part of your friend’s character.
Some of the wise said:
“We are still not satisfied with ourselves, so how then can we expect ourselves to be satisfied with others.”

It has also been said:
“Don’t remain aloof from someone who impresses you with a good character and sound judgment because of some minor fault that is surrounded by an ocean of virtues. You will not find, as long as you live, a person so cultivated that he is free from blemish and sin. Contemplate your own self and how it often errs and strays. This kind of introspection makes your demand on others more balanced and makes you more sympathetic to the sinner.”

A poet said:
“Who is the one whose character is untainted, Sufficient worthiness for someone is that his defects can be counted.”

It has been said that one’s suspicions concerning one’s friend should not ruin a good mutual trust that has been tested over time.
A poet said:
“You seek a cultivated person who is free from defects,
But does the aloe exude a pleasant odor without smoke.”

Monday, March 23, 2009

Take advantage of health and free time (13-8)

You must not waste your health and free time: do not become remiss in performing deeds of obedience to your Lord because you depend on past good actions. Take advantage of your health and free time by working and striving. Remember that you cannot always make up for lost time and that sooner or later, you will rue those times that you have wasted away in idleness. The wiser said: “If work causes one to tire, then inactivity causes one to decay.”
Another wiser said :
“Don’t spend your day doing something that will not benefit you and don’t let your wealth remain idle by not investing it in some project. For there is too little time in one’s life to throw it away on something useless, and one’s supply of money is too small not to invest it. So the wise one is too judicious to waste his time in nonsense and to spend his money in something that will not bring a return.”
More profound than that is the saying of ‘Eesa (Jesus):
“Piety is in three: in speech, in sight, and in silence. Whoever’s speech is not in remembrance (of GOD) has spoken nonsense. Whoever looks without trying to learn a lesson has forgotten (his true purpose). And whoever’s silence is not accompanied with reflection has been heedless.”
Also more profound than that is the saying of mohammad (bpuh):
God does not judge you according to your appearance and your wealth, but He looks at your hearts and looks into your deeds.

GOD protects those who believe (13-9)

Every man, whether he admits it or not, is in need of a god, and it follows that god must possess certain qualities, such as omnipotence, power, richness, and everlastingness. The One Who has all of these , and all other perfect qualities , is ALLAH, the Lord of all that exists.
Therefore the sincere seeker is drawn to and then finds comfort in his belief in GOD. He is the sanctuary of the weak and of the ones who seek refuge.
Whoever worships other than GOD, even if he loves Him to a certain degree, is much worse off than the one who enjoys eating food that has been poisoned.
The need we have for GOD is shown by the connection sought by us between the transient and the Everlasting, the weak and the Almighty, the poor with the All-Rich.
And whoever does not take Allah to be his Lord and God will positively take other than Him as a god.
He will, for example, take pictures, objects of love, or his desires to be his deity, and then he becomes the slave and servant of that false deity, And of this there is no doubt.
Know that the need of the slave to worship ALLAH alone, without associating partners with Him, is more urgent than the need to breathe air.
A person’s reality resides in his heart and soul. And neither one’s heart nor soul is healthy except by worshipping Allah.
“Whoever craves for a meeting with GOD, loves Him, And GOD will be for him stronger in love, The opposite holds true for the one who hates. So ask GOD For His Mercy and Favor, but don’t depend on this alone, but perform good deeds also.
Even if one finds pleasure in other than GOD, it is a condition that will not last, for when one becomes bored with one object or person, he immediately seeks another. He will find blessings with this person at one time, and find annoyance and vexation with the same person at another time. Indeed, he might even come to hate a person whose company at one time had given him the utmost of pleasure.
As for GOD, one is in constant need of Him, on all occasions and at all times.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Signposts on the seeker’s highway (13-10)

If one wants to know whether one is climbing upwards toward success, there are certain signs and indications that can help him to determine his progress:
1. As one becomes more knowledgeable, one becomes more humble and merciful to others. Think of an expensive pearl, the more heavy and valuable it is, the deeper it is in the ocean. A wise person knows that though knowledge is a gift, GOD tests the one whom He gives it to. When one is thankful for the gift of knowledge, one will be raised in ranking.
2. The more one performs good deeds, the more one becomes cautious and fearful, in the sense that he does not feel secure from error, such as a slip of the tongue or a change of heart. He is always in a state of watching over himself and of being wary. He is like a careful bird: each time it lands on a tree, it soon leaves it for another, afraid of the skilled hunter and his bullet.
3. The older one gets, the less covetous should one be for this world, for he comes to know with certainty that his time is soon finished.
4. The wealthier one becomes, the more generous should one be towards others. The wealthy person must understand that his wealth is a trust given to him, and that GOD is testing him in that wealth.
5. The higher one’s status becomes in society, the closer should he be to ordinary people, showing humility and fulfilling their needs.

But there are also signs that indicate wretchedness:
1. The more knowledge one attains, the more haughty and arrogant he becomes. Such a person’s knowledge is not beneficial. His heart is empty and his company is heavy to bear.
2. The more he increases in deeds, the more proud he becomes and the more contemptuous he becomes of others. He doesn’t give the benefit of the doubt to anyone except to his own self Thus, he deems that he is the only one who achieves salvation while all others are bound for destruction.
3. The older he gets, the more avarice and cupidity become part of his character. He gathers, but he never shares. Calamities and misfortune fail to move him into becoming a benefactor to others.
4. The wealthier he becomes, the more miserly he becomes with his money.
5. The higher his position in society, the higher his level of arrogance and haughtiness.

In each of the points discussed above, I mentioned some of GOD’s favors, favors by which He tests His slaves, some of those slaves will pass the test while others will fail it.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Being blessed with honor is also a test (13-11)

If one is endowed with power, honor, status, rank, or wealth, he must realize that he is being tested.
Thus GOD gives a blessing to see who accepts it properly, by being thankful for it, by preserving it, and by taking advantage of it in a good way; and to see who denies it, by not being thankful, by wasting away the favor, or even by using it to wage war against the One Who gave it to him in the first place!
We must understand, therefore, that blessings are trials from GOD. It is through trials that the gratitude of the grateful person becomes revealed while the ingrate becomes exposed. And we must remember that GOD tests us in good times as well as in bad times.

Determination can overcome insurmountable barriers (13-12)

When someone is possessed of great determination, he can, by the will of GOD, climb to great heights of virtue.
And determination, by the will of GOD, will bring great good to you. People will see you as one who is learning, doing good deeds, working for higher aims, or basically, one who is achieving.
Do not, however, fall into the error of confusing determination with arrogance. Between the two lies a distance as great as that between the sky and earth. When one has strong determination, one rues every missed opportunity, and therefore he is one who is constantly goading himself on to reach his goal.
Strong determination is a characteristic of those that are righteous, just, and sincere, while arrogance is a sickness that is predominant among tyrants and wretched people.
Determination carries one upwards, while arrogance makes one fall, dragging its victim down to the depths of ignominy. O’ students of knowledge, remain steadfast and resolute in the path that you are upon, and do not falter.

Monday, March 16, 2009

And when I am ill, it is He Who cures me (13-13)

Here are some bits of advice that have been passed down to us from the wise regarding different issues.
The wiser said : “Stay healthy longer by working hard, by avoiding laziness, by abjuring drinking, and by refraining from eating too much.”
Some of the wise said: “Whoever wants health should eat properly and well. He should drink water moderately. Lying down after eating lunch and walking after dinner are recommended. And one should be wary about taking a shower right after filling oneself with food.”
The wiser said : “Whoever wants to stay, and there is no true stay (meaning life is transient and will come to an end), should eat lunch and dinner early.”
Plato said:
“Five things weaken the body, and at times can even prove to be fatal: to be poor, to part with loved ones, to drink sour things, to refuse advice, and to not only be ignorant, but to also laugh at the wise.
Four things weaken the body: talking too much, sleeping too much, eating too much, and engaging in sexual intercourse too frequently. Talking too much weakens the strength and sharpness of the mind and makes one age faster. Sleeping too much blinds the heart, making one lazy and callous. Having intercourse too often weakens one’s strength and has harmful effects upon the body in general.
Four things destroy the body: anxiety, grief, hunger, and sleeplessness.
Four things bring serenity to the heart: to look at greenery, to look at flowing water, to see a loved one, and to gaze at fruits upon the trees.
Four things weaken one’s eyesight: walking barefoot, having a frown on one’s face early in the morning and before going to sleep, crying frequently, and reading words in small print.
Four things strengthen the body: wearing soft clothing, taking a shower using water of a moderate temperature, eating sweet and rich foods, and smelling pleasant odors.
Four things take the mirth and freshness out of one’s face: lying, insolence, asking too many questions imprudently, and perpetrating evil deeds frequently.
Four things bring light and mirth to one’s face: a sense of honor, fulfilling one’s commitments, generosity, and piety.
Four things make others abhor and loathe you: arrogance, jealousy, lying, and spreading false rumors about others.
Four things make sustenance come to you freely: standing up at night to pray, making repentance late in the night, giving charity habitually, and remembering GOD in the first and last part of the day.
Four things prevent sustenance from coming to you: sleeping in the morning, not praying frequently, laziness, and treachery.
Four things weaken one’s mind and understanding: constantly eating sour foods and fruit, sleeping on one’s back, worrying, and feeling anxious.
Four things help one to improve one’s understanding: having a light heart, not overfilling oneself with food and drink, adding sweet and rich foods in moderation to one’s diet, and getting rid of extra body fat.

Take your precautions (13-14)

In all facets of life, one should take precautions and study the possible outcomes of every action, because by being careful, one will have no cause for future self-recrimination. If the results of one’s endeavors are good, one should thank and praise GOD. If the results of one’s endeavors are not so good, one should say, “GOD has made His decree and whatever He pleases, He does.”

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Verify the facts yourself (13-15)

The judicious person is he who, when hearing some news, does not hurry into judgment based merely on what he hears. Instead, he verifies and authenticates what he hears; he thinks things over and he consults with wiser and more experienced people. It has been rightly said that to err by forgiving someone is better than to err by punishing him.

The life of this world (13-16)

One’s welfare in the Hereafter hinges upon how one conducts oneself in this life. It is imperative for every person to bear in mind the link between this life and the next, for some have wrongly thought that there is only this world; they spend their time gathering things and becoming attached to this life, a life that is fleeting. Then they die with their wishes and aspirations in their chests, unfulfilled and forgotten.
Sometimes I am amazed at our long-term hopes in this world, at our future expectations for a life in which one may die at any moment.
Ask yourself these questions:
1. Do you really suppose that you will find peace and tranquility while you are not pleased with your Lord or with His decree, and while you are discontented with your sustenance and your talents?
2. Have you thanked your Lord properly for His blessings and favors, to the point that you deserve to ask for other favors? Whoever is incapable of handling a little is more than likely unable to handle a lot.
3. Why do we not benefit from those talents that GOD has given us, failing as we do to develop and cultivate them? Had we used those talents, we could have given to others and contributed to society.
Positive qualities and talents are often buried deep within us. Yet in so many of us, these talents are buried like expensive minerals underground, minerals that only the expert can mine, wash, and polish, making them shine. Therefore, our task lies in mining for our talents and then developing them.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Life is toil (13-17)

Don’t grieve over the vicissitudes of your existence, you cannot escape hardship.
Life, for the most part, involves work and responsibilities. Happiness is an exception or only a fleeting phase that comes and goes sporadically. You long for this life, yet GOD does not want it to be a permanent abode for His righteous slaves.

If this world were not a place of trial, it would have been free from disease and hardship; it would have been a comfortable abode for the best of men, the Messengers and Prophets.
Adam faced difficulties and troubles until the day he left this world.
Nooh’s (Noah) own people scoffed and ridiculed him.
Ibraheem (Abraham) was tested by the fire and by the command of slaughtering his son.
Ya‘qoob (Jacob) was separated from his son and wept until he lost his sight.
Moosa (Moses) endured the tyranny of Fir‘aun and afterwards the disobedience of his own people.
‘Eesa (Jesus) was poor (may peace be upon them).
Muhammad (bpuh) patiently endured poverty and the impudence of his people.
And in a literal sense, there are countless examples of the righteous, the scholars, and the truthful being imprisoned for their beliefs.

Treading the middle path saves one from destruction (13-18)

There are two factors that help one lead a happy life:
1. Moderation in anger.
2. Moderation in fulfilling one’s desires.

One has to be moderate in fulfilling his desires, lest his desires and lusts increase to the point of constantly seeking to be satisfied, an outcome that will lead to his destruction. The same can be said about anger, for it too can lead to destruction.
What is required in all affairs is moderation. Strength, when in excess, makes violence and killing easy. And yet if there is a shortage of it, one will not be able to defend oneself against transgressors. But when one uses strength moderately, he can display the qualities of patience, bravery, and wisdom, each in its proper place and time. The same goes for desire; if there is too much of it, then wickedness and licentiousness will prevail; if there is too little of it, then one will become weak. However, if it is present in due moderation, one will achieve both chastity and satisfaction.
“Upon you is to follow the guidance of moderation.”

One is judged by one’s dominant characteristics(13-19)

To be successful means for you to have good qualities which outnumber and overshadow your bad qualities. When this becomes a reality in your life, you will find that people will shower compliments upon you, even for qualities that you do not possess. People will not accept criticism of you either, even if what is said about you is true —a mountain is not increased in worthiness by an extra rock nor is it diminished by one less rock.
How perfect and how just GOD is in managing the affairs of His creation!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Relief after hardship (13-20)

Hardship, no matter how great and far-reaching it becomes, never endures or lasts. Rather, the harsher and more difficult one’s circumstances become, the closer one comes to ease, corn fort, and relief. Then help and aid are forthcoming from GOD. Is not the end of every dark night a bright morning ?

Pause to reflect (13-21)

If a person fears GOD and observes His commands in times of ease, he has acquainted himself with GOD. In addition, a special link or relation will develop between him and GOD. GOD will then know him during bad times, meaning that He will help him because of his obedience to Him during good times. “Acquaint yourself’, and, “He will know you”, suggest a special kind of knowledge, one that points to closeness between GOD and His believing slave and to love of GOD for that slave.
Patience, when truly applied, has the effect of changing misfortune into a blessing. It is all a matter of one’s perspective and frame of mind. For GOD does not test us in order to destroy us, but rather to assess our patience and degree of faith. This is because GOD has a right to be worshipped in bad times just as He has the right to be worshipped during times of ease and well-being. Most people are faithful in their duties and responsive to commands when things are going well and in accordance to their inclinations. A crucial point to understand is that the true test is often to worship and follow commandments that are contrary to one’s liking. And in this regard people differ in their faith. How they perform in those situations will determine their ranking with GOD.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Whether you have a little or a lot,learn to be thankful (13-22)

The person who is not thankful to GOD for cold, pure water; will not be thankful to Him for a mansion or a luxury car.
The person who is not thankful for warm bread will not be grateful if he suddenly becomes blessed with luxury food items, because an ingrate sees a little and a lot to be the same thing. Many before us have made binding promises to GOD that, if He were to give them blessings, they would in turn be grateful and give charity.

Everyday we see people of this sort, people that are mentally distressed, empty on the inside, and bitter towards their Lord because He did not give them more. They feel this way despite their good state of health and in spite of the nourishing food that sustains them daily, not to mention all of the basic needs that they have. They are not thankful for these things, nor are they thankful for the free time that they have. What would then be the case if they were given castles or mansions! Indeed they would deviate even further from the path of their Lord and they would increase in haughtiness and disdain.
The one who walks barefooted says, “I will be thankful to my Lord when he blesses me with shoes.” And the one with shoes postpones being grateful until he gets an expensive car. We take blessings cash down and are thankful on credit. Our wishes from GOD are never-ending while we are slow and lethargic in applying His commandments.

Three plaques (13-23)

A wise person hung up three plaques in his office that he would read daily.
Written on the first was, “Your today, your today!” Meaning, live within the boundaries of today, working and striving.
The second said, “Reflect and be thankful.” Meaning, contemplate GOD’s blessings upon you and then be grateful.
And “Don’t be angry,” was written on the third.

Pause to reflect (13-24)

There are two points we should bear in mind when we think about the issues of hardship and relief:
First, when one can no longer bear a hardship, he will lose all hope in human beings, and as a result, his heart will depend upon GOD Alone.
Second, whenever the true believer feels that relief is slow in coming, and whenever he feels that his prayers are not answered; he will blame no one save his own self. He will say to his self, “I am in this situation only because of you. Had you been worth anything your prayers would have been answered.” Such self-reproach is more beloved to GOD than many good deeds. When a slave of GOD goes through this process of introspection and self-reproach, he breaks down before his Lord and admits his shortcomings and confesses that he deserves the calamity that befell him and that he doesn’t deserve to have his prayers answered. At this point, the answer for his prayers comes quickly and the black cloud above him dissipates.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Contemplate the universe (14-1)

Look around and contemplate the signs that are present in the creation. The brook, the tree, the flower, the mountain, the earth and the sky, the sun and the moon, the day and the night — they will all remind you of the Creator of all things. Thus your faith will increase and so will your degree of righteousness.

Do not be disorderly in your affairs (14-2)

Debt, financial responsibilities, and bills to pay can play a major role in causing sadness and anxiety. There are three principles regarding this issue that we must both understand and apply:
1. The one who is prudent will not become dependent upon others. Whoever spends prudently by spending only when necessary and not by wasting will find help from GOD.
2. Seek to derive your sustenance through lawful means, for GOD is At-noble, pure, and good and does not accept other than what is noble, pure and good. And GOD does not bless an income that is earned through unlawful means.
3. Work diligently to earn wealth lawfully and stop being inactive and lazy.

Pause to reflect (14-3)

Consider the following ill-effects of sinning and of being heedless to the remembrance of GOD: loneliness, not having your prayers answered, developing a hard heart, a lack of blessings in wealth and health, being prevented from knowledge, humiliation, anxiety, and being tested by evil companions who pollute your heart. The above-mentioned results follow sinning just as plants grow after being watered.
If these then are the effects of sinning, the remedy lies only in repentance.

A smile every morning (14-4)

To get off to a good start every day, a husband should smile when he meets his wife and vice versa. This smile is an introductory announcement of agreement and compromise.
“A smile in your brother’s face is charity.”

To speak in a friendly tone also breeds understanding in the home.
Would that both husband and wife remember the good points of the other, forgetting the negative ones. When a husband keeps the positive aspects of his wife in his mind while forgetting (or at least blocking out) her defects, he will find peace and happiness.
The poet said:
“Who is the one who has never erred?
And who is the possessor of pure good?”

Minor and trifling matters are the causes of most domestic problems, and I myself have witnessed many marriages that ended in divorce, not because of irreconcilable differences, but because of something small and unimportant. One such domestic strife began because the house was not clean; another resulted because dinner was not cooked on time; the cause of yet another was the woman’s objection to the inordinate number of guests coming to see her husband. A list of these and other problems can end up tearing a family apart, leaving children without a father or a mother.
It is incumbent upon us to live in a world of reality (especially as regards to our spouses) and not to dream up a utopia, one that has to be realized in the home. We as humans can become angry and irritable, weak and erring. Therefore, when we speak about or search for domestic bliss, we should keep the concept of relative happiness in mind, and not total happiness.
The husband must remain quiet when his wife becomes angry and vice versa, at least until the anger subsides and the storm abates.
Know that as soon as he awakes from this state, he will feel regretful for what happened, and he will come to recognize your value because of your patience. You should especially be patient if the angry person is either a spouse or a parent. Let them say whatever they want until they calm down and do not hold them accountable for their words. Whenever the angry person is met with anger, his anger will fail to subside, even after he has revived from his state of drunkenness.

An obsession for revenge is poison,that flows through a diseased soul (14-5)

The Crucified Ones in History is a book full of stories about revenge-seekers who inflicted harsh punishments on their enemies. What one realizes as one reads this book (which is probably what the author wants us to realize) is that killing their enemies was not enough to quench their thirst for revenge. The irony that the author conveys is that the crucified person, for instance, ceases to feel pain after his soul departs from his body. Meanwhile, the revenge-seeking killer will never find peace or happiness because the fire of revenge has engrossed, or rather taken over, his entire being.
So understand this: the seeker of revenge will always feel more pain and misery than the object of his revenge because he has lost both peace and serenity.
“Enemies do not afflict the ignorant person
Near as much as the ignorant person afflicts himself”

Pause to reflect (14-6)

When the believer is overcome by misfortune, only by repenting can he truly find a way out of his difficulties. Rather than looking outward, at extrinsic influences, the believer should search inward and see that he is blameworthy and deserves what has befallen him. Only when he reaches this level of consciousness can he begin the process of correcting, or in some cases redressing, his errors, and repenting to GOD for past mistakes. And when he takes care of these inner affairs of his, GOD will take care of his outer ones. These words might sound simple, but they are very few who apply them in practice.

Do not melt into someone else’s personality (14-7)

Man passes through three stages: 1- imitation, 2- selection and choice, 3- invention and creativeness. Imitation, the act of copying someone else’s personality and mannerisms, is either resorted to because of a strong liking for, or an extreme attachment to, the person being copied. When practiced in extremes, when an imitator copies someone else even in his tone of voice or bodily gestures, what he is really doing is burying his own personality. Though this might seem absurd to some, one need only look at the younger generation of today: you will find some teens imitating famous people in their walk, talk, and movements. All of their idiosyncrasies are abandoned for the sake of copying their idols. Had they been imitating noble traits and noble personalities, I would commend them, since imitating someone in seeking knowledge, in being generous, or in having good manners, is a truly noble action.
I feel compelled here to reiterate what I have said before: you are a unique entity, no two people are exactly alike in appearance.
Why then, do we wish to be exactly alike in other matters, such as characteristics and talents?
The beauty of your voice is in its uniqueness and the beauty of your appearance is in its being specific to you.

The middle course (14-8)

When you are moderate in worship, you are following the middle path. What this means is that you should not be so excessive in performing acts of voluntary worship that you hurt and weaken your body. Nor should you abandon voluntary deeds of worship altogether. In spending, you should not be extravagant, squandering away your resources, but neither should you be miserly. Moderation in character means finding a level between being harsh and overly lenient, between constantly frowning and constantly laughing, and between lonely isolation and excessive socializing.

Avoiding extremes (14-9)

Keep in mind that generosity comes between extravagance and meanness, and that courage comes between cowardliness and recklessness. A smile is between a frown and a laugh. Patience is between hardiness and squeamishness. Extravagance has a remedy: it is to put out a part of the flame. Meanwhile, the cure for negligence is to whip oneself into shape by developing a stronger level of determination.

Pause to reflect (14-10)

There is no quality that is harder to adopt than patience, regardless of whether patience is required after separation from a loved one or when unfavorable events occur. It is most difficult to be patient when the period of waiting is prolonged or when hopelessness takes over. During this period, one needs provisions, provisions that vary according to the situation:
1. Sometimes you should look at the level of hardship you are bearing and appreciate that things could have been worse.
2. Hope from GOD that He recompenses you for your sufferings in this world.
3. Keep in mind the reward of the Hereafter.
4. Know that anxiety and restlessness are of no use.
Add to this list anything else that may help you be patient during a period of hardship.

Death (14-11)

A trusted man related that a man who drove a truck in his city once picked up a passenger to give him a lift. The passenger sat in the back where there was neither roof nor cover. There was, however, a coffin that had been prepared for burial. It started to rain and the man, noticing that it was a large coffin, decided to seek shelter inside of it. Another passenger came onto the truck and he also made his way to the back. He happened to choose a seat beside the coffin. While it continued to rain the second passenger thought that he was alone in the truck. Without warning, the first passenger stuck his hand out of the coffin to see if the rain had subsided. On seeing the hand, the second passenger became terrified, thinking that a dead man in the coffin was rising to life. From the sheer terror and shock of the moment, the man stumbled backwards, fell out of the truck, and smashed his head on the pavement, dying instantaneously.
This unexpected way of dying is how GOD had written for this man to die.
“Everything happens according to a Divine decree, And in the deaths of others are morals and lessons. ”
It is incumbent upon everyone to realize that death is hovering above us. At any moment, day or night, death can come.
we can learn how imperative it is for us to improve ourselves, to renew our repentance, and to know that we are dealing with GOD, Who is Most Generous and All-Powerful.
Death does not ask a person for permission prior to arrival, nor does it give one an early warning about its being on its way.
Man is cowardly when he faces danger; his heart begins to thump when the possibility of death arises, and then, without prior warning, he dies at a time when he feels most safe.
The strange thing is that we do not think about meeting GOD or about the transient nature of this life.

GOD Alone is All-Powerful (14-12)

Sometimes it is a minor incident that wakes one up to the reality of life. In the past, I traveled to another town in order to meet a friend of mine. He had to work late on the day of my arrival, so I went directly to my hotel. Being a quiet season, there were not many people in the hotel. The porter directed me to a room on the fourth floor far away from the activities of the hotel staff After entering the room, I placed my briefcase on the bed and went to the washroom to make ablution. I closed the washroom door behind me, and after washing up, I went to the door to get out. To my vexation, the door was jammed and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t open it. I tried many times using different techniques. Soon I realized that I was stuck in this constricted place with no window, no telephone, and worst of all, no one nearby to whom I could call for help. I remembered my Lord and supplicated to Him for assistance. I stood absolutely powerless for twenty minutes, though it seemed to be more like three days. For those twenty minutes I sweated, my heart rate increased alarmingly, and my body began to shake. The main cause of my high level of panic was that this had happened suddenly, without warning, and that I was in a strange place with no means of contacting anyone for help.
After what seemed like a lifetime, I decided to try and force the door open using bodily strength. I began to shake and jerk the door with my weak, skinny body. I continued to shake it until I tired and needed to rest. I carried on in this manner for a while, taking rest whenever I became exhausted. Finally, the door gave in and I emerged with the sort of feeling that someone might have who has come out of his grave. I praised and thanked GOD. I remembered how weak human beings are and how helpless we can become in the passing of an instant. Then I remembered our shortcomings and our forgetfulness of the Hereafter.
Death comes in ways that we do not expect. I have read and heard of men who go forth seeking death, and in the end, they are granted a long life. Meanwhile, there are others who go forth seeking safety and who end up dying in the very place that they felt most secure. One person seeks treatment for a sickness and in this way meets his death while another lives dangerously and remains safe.
How perfect is GOD, the Most-Wise; He has created everything and planned everything according to His divine Wisdom.

Unexpected relief (14-13)

I recently read of a story of a man who was paralyzed. He remained bed-ridden in his home for years, and eventually, boredom and a sense of failure overcame him. Doctors were unable to do anything for him. One day, while alone in the house, a scorpion descended from the ceiling of his room, and even though he saw it coming, he was unable to move. After landing on his head, the scorpion repeatedly stung him. His whole body, from his feet to his head, broke out into convulsions. Slowly, and to his astonishment, sensation returned to his limbs, and after a short period of time, he found himself to be walking about in the room. He then opened the door and went to his wife and children. They could not believe their eyes when they saw him standing before them. Only when they finally calmed down was he able to inform them of what had taken place.
How perfect is GOD, Who caused the scorpion to be a remedy for his ailment!
I mentioned this story to a doctor and he accepted its occurrence as being plausible. He told me that there are kinds of poisonous serum that, when their toxicity is chemically reduced, are used by doctors to treat paralyzed patients.
And GOD has not sent down a sickness, except that He has also sent down for it a cure.

Everything in the universe glorifies GOD (14-14)

The world of bees is full of wonders that remind us of GOD’s care. The tiny bee leaves its hive in order to seek out sustenance. It lands on a good and pure surface and sucks out nectar. It then returns with a liquid that provides remedy for people, always returning to its own hive without losing its way.
you should realize that there is a hidden care and protection from GOD and that you should supplicate and pray to Him Alone for all of your needs. You should realize that everyone else in this universe is weak and helpless; they also need to worship GOD, to ask Him for sustenance, for health, and for happiness, because He owns everything.
You must have an unshakeable faith in GOD, and you should know that all of your supplications and hopes have to be directed to Him and not to weak, helpless humans. When you truly appreciate your Lord’s favors, you will feel the need that the transient being has for the Everlasting, the dependence of the poor upon the One who is All-Rich, and the protection sought by the weak in the One who is All-Powerful. True power, wealth, and everlastingness all belong to GOD Alone.
If you know all of these things, you must apply your knowledge and worship GOD sincerely. If you seek forgiveness from Him, He will forgive you. If you ask Him, He will give you. If you ask Him for help, He will help you. And if you are thankful to Him, He will increase His favors upon you.

Be pleased with GOD (15-1)

When you are selective in your belief in pre-ordainment, your belief is incorrect. Being selective means to be pleased and contented with only those decrees that are compatible with your desires, while complaining against and begrudging those decrees that go against your desires.
Some people would be pleased with their Lord when things were easy, but they would begrudge His decrees when things became tough.
Contentment is a path that is followed by people who want to live according to a higher code, a code that is followed by those who are close to GOD.

Contentment even after being ruined (15-2)

In the past someone left his town in search for a number of camels that had gone astray. He was away from his home for three days. He was a rich man whom GOD had blessed with great wealth (camels, goats and cows) and a large family. His wealth and children were situated on a vast piece of property. Comfort and opulence surrounded him and his family while it never occurred to them that disaster might befall them.
The whole family fell asleep one night during their father’s absence. GOD sent upon them a torrential flood that propelled rocks, as one would expect a strong wind to propel dust. The house was uprooted and the absent father’s entire family and wealth were destroyed. After the weather had calmed, no trace of either family or wealth was left. It was as if they had never been.
After three days the man returned to his home. He returned only to find a hollow and empty land that showed no trace of life. With the shock that he felt, it took some time to take in the fact that he had lost everything.
And then, to make matters worse, one of his camels tried to run away. He attempted to grab it by the tail, but with its hind legs, it kicked him in both of his eyes, making him blind. Alone in the desert, the man called out for someone to take him to safety. After a long time had passed, he finally heard a Desert Men answering his call. The Desert Men took him before king of this country. The man told his story and king of country asked, “Bow are you?” The man answered firmly, “I am pleased with GOD.”
These powerful words spoken by this Man who carried true Monotheism in his heart became a lesson and moral for those to come after him. What was this moral? To always be pleased with GOD.
And let one who is not pleased and contented try another way if he so wishes

Be resolute in making a decision (15-3)

Whenever a decision has to be made, many of us become confused and hesitant, and this often results in headaches. Whenever presented with choices, You should consult others and perform that prayer which is prescribed for decision-making. You should think things through before making a final decision or before taking the first step in any given direction, but if convinced that one course is better than another, you should take action without wavering. The time for consultation and planning is then over and the time for action begins.
Always being hesitant is a defect in one’s character and often leads to failure and confusion. I know people who for years have been oscillating between decisions that should have been routine and easy. It is they themselves who have invited failure and frustration to enter into their lives.
You should study the practicability of your plans and ideas. Give yourself time to think things through, seek counsel with experienced and wise people, and pray to your Lord to guide you to the best between two or more choices. But in the end take action and do not tarry or linger in making your decision.

The believer is firm and resolute (15-4)

There was a man who for four years could not decide whether he should divorce his mean and cruel wife. Finally, he went to a wise person to seek advice. The latter asked how long he had been married to her, and the man answered, “Four years.” The wise man was astonished and said, “For four years now you have been sipping poison!”
It goes without saying that patience and forbearance are called for in situations similar to that of the previous story, but until when? At what point do we say, ‘Enough!’ A sensible person has a good idea whether the ending of such a relationship is good or not, and then he takes action.
Confusion and hesitancy attack people in many different situations, but in the following four especially:
1. Deciding upon a major in studies; a person who is weak in making decisions will be uncertain of which faculty to enter. Some people remain undecided even after the deadline for registration has passed. Others study in a faculty for one or two years and then transfer to another; at first, they will be leaning towards religious studies, then economics, then medicine , gradually wasting away their life in this fashion.
If the same person had consulted others who have more wisdom and experience than he does, and had sought guidance from GOD, he would have made better use of his time.
2. Deciding upon an appropriate job. Some people cannot pinpoint the most suitable job for their temperament. They move from job to job, always dissatisfied with the previous one. Finally, they decide to go into business for themselves. This kind of wavering often leads to financial instability.
I say to such people, “If you are comfortably earning money in the profession you work in, you should stick to it.”
3. Marriage. Many young people are in confusion, finding it difficult to choose their partner. In this regard, one can easily be influenced by the opinions of others. Sometimes the father deems a particular girl to be worthy of marriage, and the son agrees; however, the mother demurs. (The scenarios are endless concerning choosing a wife.)
My advice concerning marriage in particular is that one should wait until he is satisfied with a girl’s religion, looks, and character, because in the case of marriage, we are talking about a woman’s life, not some trifle to be discarded when one gets bored.
4. Confusion and lack of resolve are common to people who are contemplating divorce. One day, the husband might decide that separation is better, and on another day, he decides that things can be worked out.
The lack of peace in one’s life that results from this kind of wavering has to be amended by a resolute decision. Life is short, so we should all try to do our part in making every moment of life a happy one, both for ourselves and for those around us.

The tax on being an eloquent speaker (15-5)

We are successful to the degree that we are dutiful to GOD, and after that, to how we interact with His slaves. We can easily combine words and embellish our speech to please an audience; the difficult thing is to back up our words with virtuous deeds and a noble character.
A severe punishment awaits a person who orders others to do good without doing it himself, and who forbids others from evil while he perpetrates it himself. The dwellers of the Fire who had known him on earth for his sermons will ask why he is being punished so painfully. He himself will answer: “I had ordered you to do good without doing it myself, and I had forbidden you from evil while perpetrating it myself.”
The poet said: “O’ you who are a teacher of others, Would that you had sought first for yourself instruction.”
“An unrighteous man ordering people to righteousness, A doctor treating people while he is sick.”
When some of our pious predecessors wanted to exhort others to give charity, they would first give it themselves. Some of them related that the people would then voluntarily respond to their call.

Perfect comfort and rest are in Paradise (15-6)

There is neither rest nor comfort of a lasting nature until one enters Paradise. This life is full of problems, trials, ordeals, sickness, and worries.
A colleague of mine from Nigeria told me that, when he was a child, his mother would wake him up during the last third of the night to pray. He would answer, “Mother, I want to rest a little.” She would say, “I am only waking you up for your comfort’s sake. O’ my son, when you enter Paradise you will find your repose.

Gentleness helps you achieve your goals (15-7)

In previous chapters, I quoted revealed texts to illustrate the importance of being gentle; here we expand on the same theme by mentioning some examples. Imagine yourself driving a car on an extremely narrow road that is enclosed on either side by a wall. There is no way for a car to pass except with a great deal of care, gentleness, and caution. However, if a driver attempted to go through this street at a high speed, he would constantly crash into the wall on the right, and then into the one on the left, eventually causing his car to break down. In both of these instances , that of driving carefully and that of driving recklessly at a high speed , the street is the same and the car is the same, but the way of driving is different.
A small plant that we nurture can be watered in different ways. If you pour water on it slowly, it will absorb the water and find nourishment in it. But if you pour the water from the jug all at once, you will only succeed in uprooting it. The quantity of water used is the same; the difference lies in the method.
Someone who is gentle in handling his clothes, in putting them on and taking them off can be confident that they will last for a long while. The one who treats his clothes in an opposite manner always complains of rips and tears. We need to establish a degree of gentleness into our lives, gentleness with ourselves.
“Verily, your soul has a right upon you.”
And gentleness with our brothers and wives: “Verily, GOD is gentle (and kind) and He loves gentleness.”
The Turks built many wooden bridges over rivers. At both ends they would inscribe these words: “Gentleness, Gentleness.” The one who passes calmly won’t fall, unlike the one who speeds across.
Written upon an entrance to some gardens of roses and flowers is, “Be Gentle.” The one who runs through the garden carelessly will not succeed in seeing many of the flowers, but to the contrary will probably wreak havoc to them.
There is a saying that goes: “The sparrow is not gentle like the bee.”
A flower does not feel the bee as it calmly sucks its nectar, thus achieving its goal with gentleness. On the contrary, when the sparrow lands on something, it announces its presence to people.
You will usually cause harm when you are hurried and rough, because goodness finds its roots in gentleness.
The hearts of people are attached to the one who possesses a gentle nature.

Anxiety does not help (15-8)

The point of the following anecdote is to illustrate that one should not worry excessively, but should instead surrender his will to the decree of GOD without feeling the slightest degree of regret.
When I was in school I would study diligently to be first among my classmates. After handing in my examination paper, I would fall into a state of worry, fear, and anxiety. I would go home, check the answers from the book, give myself a grade, and then repeat the process all over again. It is obvious now, in retrospect, that not once did my nervousness raise my grades by a single percentage point.

Peace of mind is in having the basic necessities of life (15-9)

At a young age I left my family to study in another city. I stayed with some of my uncles in austere and strait ened circumstances. To reach my school, I had to walk thirty minutes each morning, and to come back home, thirty minutes in the sweltering heat of noon. At home, I participated in preparing breakfast, lunch, and dinner. My duties consisted of vacuuming the house, cleaning the kitchen, and organizing the rooms. Furthermore, I worked hard in my studies and also gave time to participating in school activities. I always achieved good grades, which spurred me on to work even harder. I had only one gown in my possession, which I had to wash and iron constantly. Because of the paltry sum we received as a stipend, I wore this same garment at home, at school, and on special occasions. Bare necessities, such as money for food and rent, took up most of my money. We were all in a similar condition, so it was rare that we ever ate meat, and even rarer that we ever tasted fruit. All of us worked hard in our studies. Only once a month did I find the opportunity to relax or to go out for fun. We studied approximately seventeen subjects at school, with algebra, math, English and physics .
Now, as I reflect on those days I can remember that, despite all of my difficulties, I was happy and slept with a peaceful and calm mind every night. Later on, with the blessings of GOD, I bought a nice home, I ate well, I wore different kinds of clothes, and life in general took a prosperous turn. But, despite all of this, I do not feel the same peace of mind now as I did then. More complex problems have accompanied a more complex kind of life. So don’t think that having only a little is the cause of your sadness and anxiety, because it is not true. Most people who have life’s bare necessities have a conscience more sound and an existence more peaceful than the majority of rich people.

Be prepared for the worst-case scenario (15-10)

In High School I became extremely competitive in achieving top grades. In one particular semester I worked so hard that I did not expect to come any lower than second in the class. What do you think happened? I ended up failing in English, a subject that I dreaded — I simply could not make any sense of it. A black cloud of depression hung over me and for a number of nights that followed, I found it difficult to sleep. Certain of my classmates even took pleasure in my failure. What had occurred had been something totally unexpected. I became gloomy and sad for the next few days. A teacher noticed the state I was in and tried his best to encourage me and give me comfort.
Whenever this time of life comes back to me I am astonished at how gravely it affected me. The depression into which I fell did not help in the least, and it had no effect whatsoever in changing my failing grade into a passing one.
What I want to say to you is this: Do not think that if you become depressed or downcast because of failure, you will suddenly achieve success. It won’t happen. The only effect that such gloom can have upon you is to make your failure more complete.
When I had completed my masters thesis I was hoping to get an ‘A’ grade. I thought my work was deserving of an ‘A,’ but in the end I only got a ‘B.’ I overreacted when this happened and I became extremely agitated over my grade. A sensible friend of mine said to me, Suppose, that for one reason or another, you had never completed your masters degree. What would you have done? Furthermore, what difference does it really make whether you get an ‘A’ or a ‘B’: you still have a Masters degree.” What he said was obviously true and I returned to my senses. I now realize that the best way of dealing with similar situations is to be prepared in advance for the worst possible results.

I took away a good lesson from this experience. When the time came to submit my doctoral thesis, the faculty delayed the date of submission for a long time. My thesis was already finished and well prepared. Because I was ready for anything, their delaying me did not have a great effect on me.
Whoever is mentally prepared for bankruptcy in his business will not worry over a partial loss.

You are doing well if you are healthy and have enough food (15-11)

Something important is that if a person is healthy and has bread and water, he has the whole world with him.
What is this world other than a healthy body, peace of mind, bread, water, and a garment to wear? Why don’t you and I use math to calculate what we have and what we don’t have? I think that most of us will find that we have more than 80% of the things that make life comfortable. Needless to say there are exceptional cases when one is deprived of important necessities, but for the most part, we weep over comforts that are missing without laughing and being thankful for those that we do have. We are sorrowful when afflicted, and ungrateful when all is well.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Extinguish the fire of enmity before it spreads (16-1)

Throughout my life, I found that whenever I defended myself against defamatory comments, loss and regret were the main results. At first I would think it wise that I should set things straight when some person criticized me, regardless of whether the criticism was verbal or written. In the end, however, I found the opposite to be true. By defending myself, more enmity resulted, and instead of the restoration of good ties between my critic and myself, he would attempt to malign me even further. Eventually I would wish that I had never confronted him in the first place. It would have been better to forgive, forbear, show patience, turn away, and ignore the defamatory remarks.
Therefore, if you hear malicious words from someone, do not answer back: it will only result in multiplying one attack into ten.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Don’t belittle another person’s efforts (16-2)

Life has taught me to put into practice something that has never failed me: to moderately express my approval of others. This policy always has a positive effect on all sorts of people. Soft and gentle words work wonders on the hearts of people; our religion teaches us to be generous and kind in dealings.
The author of the book How to Win Friends states that an important factor in attracting people to you is to praise and compliment them inordinately. I do not agree: moderation and justice are called for.

Therefore one should neither flatter others artificially nor be dry and distant with them.
Sure, we could take the path of looking down upon people with supercilious airs; but as a result, it is we who will lose our friends -and not they who will lose us. If you are not friendly, people will soon find someone else to make acquaintance with.

Earning the respect of others also contributes to bringing you happiness.

In life, I have been especially impressed by those who are charismatic in their dealings — those who seem to attract others magnetically by their good character. They always wear a smile for others, they have honest tongues, and their hearts are free from jealousy and rancor.
With the permission of GOD, it is within the reach of every one of us to achieve acceptance among the people of the earth. This acceptance is not bought with treasures or wealth, but it is earned through sincerity towards GOD, truthfulness, the love of GOD , a love for spreading good to others, and a lowly opinion of one’s own self
To achieve these and other good qualities, we must make an honest effort, because they require an upward climb. Evil characteristics are easily achieved for whoever wants them, for they demand only a downward descent.

The poet said:
“The evil character soon ceases to feel his wickedness,
A bodily injury causes no pain for the dead.”

The person who is self-absorbed is likely to feel inferior and melancholic on the inside. And there are some people who think more highly of themselves than they should. A few examples of such people come to mind, people who made some efforts to contribute to society, later feeling that their work deserved a lifetime’s achievement award.
People will love you if you applaud their efforts and give them attention.

During my high school years, I not only studied poetry, but I also composed it. On one occasion, the students of another school visited us. At the welcome party, I was asked to recite some of my poetry, not because of any skill that I could lay claim to, but because I was the only one in our school who had an inclination to verse.
I read some of my poetry aloud and the Literature teacher praised both my style and use of words, and I actually believed him. I thought that I had written something of genius and only when I was older and had returned to those lines did I realize how sophomoric my work really was.
The only thing we gain by putting others down is an extra enemy. Therefore be just in recognizing the efforts of others, and compliment them for their virtues.

Deal with others as you would have them deal with you (16-3)

A wise person said that the one who seeks out the faults of others is like a fly — it lands only on that which is foul. Some people are afflicted with the word “but.” Every time you mention someone to them, they will say something along the lines of, “He has some good in him, but...” What follows “but” is always criticism, blame, and censure.
The more just we are with others, the greater will their respect be for us. The opposite holds true also. No intelligent person can think that he will earn the respect and praise of others by belittling them and putting them down.

Be fair (16-4)

Be fair to your friends and call them by those names that they love most; do not use nicknames that they hate. Would you like it if others did the same to you?
Be fair to your wife. How often is it for a woman, that after an entire day of cooking, dusting, and cleaning, her husband returns home and is blind to her efforts? His indifference does more damage than any talk can do in making her feel inadequate and ignored.
So be attentive to others and thank them for any good that they do. Praise your wife’s appearance if she takes time to look good for you and thank her for her daily devotion to you.

Avoid being artificial (16-5)

I once read a poem of Abu Reeshah and was instantly captivated by his words. I memorized the poem and studied Abu Reeshah’s style. Soon afterwards, I had to present a poem at a school recital, so I tried to copy Abu Reesha’s style — the only problem being that I am not Abu Reesha. Hence the words that came out lacked coherence, and the poem in general was stale and insipid. After that day I stopped copying other peoples’ styles. I began to write according to what I felt, and in this way I was automatically able to infuse my personality into my poetry.
I realized that GOD created every person with distinct qualities, characteristics, and talents.

The Mutual rivalry for piling up of worldly things diverts you (16-6)

Once, after having received a handsome sum of money, I rushed to the bookstore with the intention of buying a copy of every book I could get my hands on; the enthusiasm of the moment overwhelmed me. I filled the shelves of my wall with books from many of the sciences. The topics included sociology, and books on general knowledge. I wanted to begin to read, but I didn’t know how to go about choosing a starting point. I found that different books in the same science tended to overlap each other. I found others to contain little of significance. I consulted some eminent scholars and asked them how I should go about studying. They guided me to a way that has proven to be successful. They suggested that I read only the main reference books in that I study them in depth. All other books, they said, I should leave alone, except when research on a specific issue calls for going to a number of books. I was very pleased with the results; I felt more organized and comfortable in following their simple yet sensible advice.

Never pursue minor issues when more important ones should be dealt with first. Whoever does not know his purpose will have a long and tiring journey that leads to nowhere.


Let us all seek the pleasure of Allah, Lord of all that exists. Let us stand before Him in worship, without associating any partners with Him; let us ask Him ardently and then wait patiently for the answer. For truly, He is sufficient for us; He is the One who Cures; He is the Creator and Provider; He alone brings to life and causes death.
“O’ GOD, grant us health and well-being always, in this world and in the Hereafter”
“O’ GOD, we seek refuge in You from anxiety and grief we seek refuge in You from incapability and laziness; we seek refuge in You from miserliness and cowardliness; We seek refuge in You from the burden of debt and from the subjugation of man.”