Friday, May 4, 2012

Friday Nasihah

Living The Quran
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 (peace be upon him)
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
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

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