Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday Nasihah - Righteous Stones, Voluntary Deeds, Clear Expectations

Living The Quran
Righteous Stones
Al Baqara (The Cow) - Chapter 2: Verse 74 (partial)
'... and verily of stones there are some from which gush forth rivers, and verily there are of them some that cleave asunder and water issueth therefrom, and verily there are of them some that fall down in awe of Allah ...'
The above is a beautiful description, in parable, of three grades of a righteous people:
a) those who do universal good, such as the Prophets (like big rivers in their beneficence.)
b) those whose outlook is not so broad, yet who do immense service within their limited sphere, such as the saints (awliya) and martyrs (shuhada) (like smaller streams and rivulets); and,
c) those who are true and faithful at least to their own selves; the general community of the faithful (like stones which are impressionable)
Compiled From:
"The Glorious Qur'an: Text, Translation & Commentary" - Abdul Majid Daryabadi

Understanding the Prophet's Life
Voluntary Deeds
On the authority of Abu Huraira who said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, "Allah the Almighty has said, 'My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him.'" [Bukhari]
Allah, the Creator and Fashioner of humans, has obligated certain deeds. Those are deeds that are needed by all humans for the purification of their souls. Beyond those deeds, though, Allah has left the door wide open for individuals to concentrate on those deeds that they are most inclined to. For example, some people are dedicated to their voluntary prayers. Other may be attracted to fasting, charity or the pilgrimage.
There are others who are more inclined to doing good toward others. They perform the obligatory deeds and then beyond that they spend their time tending to others' needs. When these people tend to those matters, they become the key by which they come closer to Allah and enter Paradise.
This reality is all by the mercy of Allah. Beyond the obligatory deeds, people are free to pursue those good voluntary deeds that they are most attracted to. There are so many areas of voluntary deeds that it seems inconceivable that a person could not find some voluntary deed or deeds that she would like to perform in order to get closer to Allah. Allah's path to paradise is wide enough to accommodate all of those different leanings. However, this is all dependent on the individual first fulfilling, in general, the obligatory deeds.
Compiled From:
"Commentary on the Forty Hadith of al-Nawawi" - Jamaal al-Din M. Zarabozo, pp. 1408-1409
Clear Expectations
How often have you seen someone get hurt because another person led them on? Our tendency is to want to flatter and please others, and, as a result, we often set unclear or unrealistic expectations.
To please your dad at the moment, you might say, "Sure, Dad, I can help you fix up the car this weekend." But, realistically, you're booked the entire weekend and don't have a second. In the end, you disappoint your dad. You would have been better off being realistic up front.
To develop trust we need to avoid sending vague messages or implying something that is not true or not likely to happen.
Whenever you get into a new job, relationship, or setting, you're better off taking the time to lay all expectations out on the table so that everyone is on the same page. So many withdrawals are made because one party assumes one thing and another party assumes something else.
Build trust through telling it like it is and laying out clear expectations right up front.
Compiled From:
"The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens" - Sean Covey, pp. 142-143

I'm really loving the volutary deeds part. I love to dawah. Most people choose sunnah prayers. Me not so much. We all are inclined to what attracts us.

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