Sunday, June 13, 2010

The secret of guidance

Contentment and happiness are blessings that are given only to those who follow the straight path. By happiness we mean this, when one adheres to the straight path, though he may be afflicted with hardships along the way, he is confident of a happy ending and a future abode in Paradise. One can sense the joy of a righteous person by his mannerisms and by his treading the straight path. He knows that he has a Lord and that he has a role model in the Messenger (bpuh), he has the Book of Allah(GOD) in his hand, illumination in his heart, and a conscience that prompts him to do well. He is advancing to a greater state of bliss and is always striving for betterment.
There are two paths, one that is figurative and the other that has a physical reality. The first path is that of faith, which one treads in this transient life, a life that is fraught with temptations and desires. The second path is in the Hereafter. Every person will have to go across that second path in order to reach Paradise. Anyone who fails will plunge into the Fire. This path or bridge is teeming with spikes. Whoever is guided to the path of faith and belief in this life will safely cross the path of the Hereafter, the speed at which he crosses will be proportional to the level of his faith. And know that if one is blessed with being guided to the straight path, his worries and anxieties will quickly vanish.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Nine gems for a good and noble life

1. Wake up in the last third of the night to beg forgiveness from Allah(GOD).
2. At least once in a while, seclude yourself from people in order to contemplate.
3. Stay in the company of the righteous.
4. Remember Allah often.
6. Recite the Book of Allah(GOD) with understanding and reflection.
7. Fast on a hot, dry day. (“He abandons his food, drink, and desire, all for Me.”)
8. Give charity secretly. (“Until the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand has spent.”)
9. Be as abstemious and abstinent as possible in this fleeting world.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Don’t be sad, Learn to deal with your reality

In this life, if you inwardly disparage something you can’t have, its value will diminish for you. And if you are contented with not getting something that you really wanted, then your heart will find solace.
I once read about a man who fell out of a window. The ring he was wearing became stuck around a nail that wasn’t nailed down completely on the ledge, and consequently, his ring finger was pulled from its root, leaving him with four fingers. The amazing thing is not the incident itself, but the contentment shown by the man long after the accident, contentment that is illustrated in the following words, “It hardly ever crosses my mind that I have four fingers on one hand or that I have lost a finger. It only comes back when I remember the accident. Otherwise, my work is going well and I am content with what happened.”
“Allah (GOD) has made His decree, and as He pleases, He does.”
I know a man who lost his left arm as a result of a disease. He has lived for many years since he got married and has children. He drives his car without difficulty and performs the various tasks of his work with ease. He is so at ease that it is as if Allah (GOD) created him with only one arm to begin with.
“Be content with what Allah (GOD) has portioned out for you and you will be the richest of people.”

How quickly we adapt to our circumstances! And it is amazing how we adapt our thinking when a change in life-style is imposed upon us. Fifty years ago, a house consisted of a carpet made from palm tree leaves, a jug for water, a small amount of coal, and a few other paltry items. People managed as they do now, and a lack of resources or comfort did not make life any less important than it is now.
A poet said :
“The soul desires more if you encourage it, But it returns to contentment when it is disciplined.”

There are many lessons to be learned. One of them is that greatness is not in appearance or clothes; other lessons are that having few material possessions is not an indication of misery and that happiness does not reside in comfort and wealth.
Another lesson we should take away from the narrative is that a person’s character and qualities are the yardsticks of his worth, and not his clothes, shoes, or house. His worth is weighed by his knowledge, generosity, manners, and deeds.
You must learned that, happiness is not found in opulence, mansions, gold, or silver; instead, happiness is something that manifests itself in the heart through faith, contentment, and knowledge.

Train yourself to surrender your will to whatever is decreed for you. What will you do if you do not believe in the decree of Allah(GOD)? Whatever you plan other than complete submission to Allah’s Divine Decree will provide no benefit for you. And so, you may ask, what is the solution to hardships?...... The solution is to say sincerely, “We are contented, pleased, and have surrendered our wills.”

Al-Khansaa an-Nakh‘aiyah was told in one breath of the death of her four boys, who all died in the path of Allah, at the battle of Al­Qaadisiyah. Her only reaction was to praise Allah(GOD) and thank Him for choosing what was best. Faith fortifies one’s ability to persevere through hardship. And through gratitude, one achieves happiness in this life and in the Hereafter. If you are loath to follow this advice, then ask yourself this: is there a viable alternative? If that alternative is bitterness, complaining, and a refusal to accept what has happened, then you will only bring upon yourself pain in this life and in the Hereafter.
“Whoever is contented, then for him is pleasure, and whoever (displays) anger, then for him is wrath.”

The best remedy and course of action after a calamity is to say with sincerity, “Verily, We belong to Allah(GOD) and indeed, to Him is our return.” This means that we are all from Allah’s creation, that we belong to Him, that we are in His kingdom; and that we shall return to Him. The beginning is with Him and the return is to Him. The whole affair is in the Hands of Allah(GOD).

If you were shocked to learn that your house burned down, that your son died, or that your life’s savings were lost, what would you do? From this moment, prepare yourself mentally. Trying to escape or elude what is decreed is a fruitless endeavor that brings no benefit. Be satisfied with what has been decreed, acknowledge your reality, and earn your reward. You have no other option. Sure, you might say that there is another option, but it is a base one and I warn you to stay clear from it, it is to complain and grumble, and to lose your composure by flaring into rage and anger. What can this attitude and behavior possibly accomplish? You will earn anger from your Lord, and people will revile you. Furthermore, what you have lost will not return and your calamity will not be lightened for you.