Living The Quran Desire Al Jathiyah (Kneeling Down) - Chapter 45: Verse 23 (partial) "Do you see the one who took as his god his own vain desire (hawa) and [consequently] God left him to stray?"
Although in its literal sense, hawa can mean a passing whim,
and inclination, or a desire, without necessarily leading to either the
formulation or the expression of an opinion, the ulama have nevertheless used it to imply an opinion which originates in these impulses. Hawa has been defined as 'the pleasure-seeking inclination of the soul towards that which is not permitted by the Shariah.'
The Quran refers to hawa in contradistinction to guidance (huda, dhikr),
and identifies it with deviation from the truth which the Quran itself
has expounded. It is in this sense that the Quran warns the believers,
on no less than twenty-five occasions, against the dangers and
temptations of hawa and the hold that it can have on the hearts and minds of people. The phrase 'capricious people' (ahl al-hawa)
typically refers to those who say what they please, and who violate the
truth by indulging in corrupt and distorted interpretations which are
unacceptable to the believer. For, whenever opinion is allowed
to follow personal prejudice and desire, it leads to divergence from the
truth and even to outright falsehood.
The personal desire to be the winner at all costs, regardless of the
merit of one's case, and without concern for the well-being of others,
is an instance of hawa. One of the worst forms of hawa
is when personal craving for superiority and power masquerades under
specious reasoning and plausible argumentation in the name of justice,
piety, and truth. Compiled From:
"Freedom of Expression in Islam" - Mohammad Hashim Kamali, pp. 140-141
Understanding the Prophet's Life In Need of Allah
No matter what noble status a believer reaches, he will
always be in need of Allah and in need of worshipping Him. He will still
have to ask of Allah and he will still need to seek refuge in Allah.
This was the way of the Prophets and Messengers. They always had hope in
Allah. Yet, they also had a fear of Allah, even though they were from
Allah's most exclusive awliya (friend). The Prophet, peace be upon him, himself said: "By Allah, although I am the Messenger of Allah, I do not know what He will do with me." [Bukhari]
If anyone believes that he has reached a level wherein he is
no longer in need of Allah, beseeching Him and worshipping Him, he has
become deluded. He will then be one of the enemies of Allah instead of
one of His awliya. Indeed, as a person comes closer and closer
to Allah, his reliance upon Allah, his understanding of his need for
Allah and his worship of Him becomes even greater. Those are some of the
signs that he is getting closer to Allah and is truly one of His awliya. Compiled From:
"Commentary on the Forty Hadith of al-Nawawi" - Jamaal al-Din M. Zarabozo, p. 1440
Blindspot! Moral Authority
Moral authority is primary
greatness (character strengths); formal authority is secondary greatness
(position, wealth, talent, reputation, popularity). The interesting
thing about Moral authority is what a paradox it is. The dictionary
discusses authority in terms of command, control, power, sway, rule,
supremacy, domination, dominion, strength, might. But the antonym is
civility, servitude, weakness, follower. Moral authority is the gaining of influence through following principles.
Moral dominion is achieved through servanthood, service, and
contribution. Power and moral supremacy emerge from humility, where the
greatest becomes the servant of all. Moral authority or primary
greatness is achieved through sacrifice.
There are times of great chaos, confusion and survival when the
strong hand of formal authority needs to be used to get things back on
track, to a new level of order and stability or to a new vision.
However, in most cases when people use their formal authority early on, their moral authority will be lessened.
Remember that when you borrow strength from position, you build
weakness in three places: in self, because you are not developing moral
authority, in the other, because they become codependent with your use
of formal authority; and in the quality of the relationship, because
authentic openness and trust never develops. Compiled From: "The 8th Habit" - Stephen R. Covey, pp. 299-302