Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday Nasihah

Living The Quran
Stages of Soul
Al-Qiyamah (The Resurrection) Chapter 75: Verse 2
"And I swear by the self-accusing human soul."
Self-training, or the training of the soul, has been accepted as an extremely important element of the Divine Religion. This training, according to some schools in Islam, has seven stages as alluded in the Quran:
1. If the soul lives only a life of ease in the swamp of carnal appetites, it is the evil-commanding soul (nafs al-ammarah).
2. If it falters time and again while following the way of the Religion to attain piety and righteousness, but each time that it falters it criticizes itself and turns to its Lord, then it is the self-accusing soul (nafs al-lawwamah).
3. The soul which always resists evil in devotion to God and is favoured with certain Divine gifts in proportion to its purity is called the soul receiving inspiration (nafs al-mulhimah).
4. When it reaches the point where it has a relation with its Lord in perfect devotion and sincerity, such that its consciousness is at rest, it is the soul at rest (nafs al-mutmainnah).
5. If it has reached the station where it abandons all its choices and is a representative of Divine will, it is the soul pleased with God (nafs ar-radiyah).
6. When its greatest aim is acquiring God's good pleasure and approval, such that it is always acting with this end in consideration of, "I am pleased with You, so be pleased with me," then it is the soul with which God is pleased (nafs al-mardiyyah).
7. Finally, the soul which has been perfectly purified of all sins and evil morals and has the capacity to be completely adorned with the full manifestations of Divine Qualities and Prophetic will-power and resolution is called the soul perfected or the soul pure (nafs az-zakiyyah or nafs as-safiyah).
Compiled From:
"The Quran: Annotated Interpretation in Modern English" - Ali Unal, pp. 1188

Understanding the Prophet's Life (peace be upon him)
Simple Request
The ultimate goal of every believer should be to earn the pleasure of Allah, and, through it, Paradise. So if this really is the goal of the believer, he should ask for it in every single dua that he makes, day and night, morning and evening. And if a person finds that he does not ask frequently for Paradise, then he must ask himself how important it is to him, and re-evaluate the priorities that he has made for himself.
Once the Prophet, peace be upon him, asked a Bedouin which duas he recited in his prayer? The Bedouin responded: "I say may tashahhud, and then I ask Allah for Paradise, and seek His refuge from the Fire of Hell. For verily, by Allah, I am not able to comprehend (and memorise) your humming or the humming of Muadh!" So the Prophet responded, bemusedly: "And around these two requests we hum!"
So this poor Bedouin, who used to pray behind the Prophet and Muadh ibn Jabal, admitted that he did not know the 'complicated' duas that the Prophet used to recite, and, therefore, was forced to ask something very simple. The Prophet responded that all of these 'complicated' duas that he used to make were, in reality, summarised in his simple request for Paradise, and seeking refuge from the Fire of Hell.
Compiled From:
"Dua: The Weapon of the Believer"- Yasir Qadhi, pp. 218, 219
Prayer of the Mind
Muslim spirituality is demanding and, through the Islamic teaching, touches all the dimensions of life. It begins, at the very moment when one becomes aware of one's human responsibilities before God and among humanity, by finding in oneself "the need of Him." The return to one's self gives birth to a feeling of humility that characterizes the human being before God. This humility should spread wide and deep through all the areas of life: at every stage of working on one's self there wiil be a struggle against complacency, pride, and the pretentious human desire to succeed alone, using one's own resources (on the social, professional, political, or intellectual level). This truly spiritual exercise goes beyond the framework of ritual religious practice or rare moments of contemplation, and its effect should be visible in every aspect of life - in the way which one treats one's body, manages one's possessions, carries out one's professional activities, lives with other people, and interacts with the whole of creation: in everything, those who reflect on the signs and are indwelt by "the need of Him" are invited to distance themselves from forgetfulness and arrogance.
To this state of recollection and humility must be added another concrete dimension of spiritual teaching that requires the establishment of a constant link between the demands of conscience and life choices. To ask ourselves, in every situation in life, the three fundamental questions (What is my intention in this action? What are the limits set down by my morality? What will be the consequences of the action?) will inevitably change not only our way of being but also our way of living. Our spirituality must be intelligent and question the ethical nature of all our activities, even those that appear to be the most natural and simple. This active, intelligent spirituality makes us attentive to the apparently "neutral" aspects of our life, which may sometimes have serious ethical consequence.
To ask the three questions with regards to one's profession means never to consider that any work is ethically "neutral," however scientific it may appear to be. To work for a multinational that plunders the planet, or in an armaments industry that produces death, or for banks that fuel a murderous economic order is not "to say nothing." And beyond these basic questions, the way in which one goes about one's work, and identifies with it and carries out one's responsibilities to perform the activity and to follow the rules in the best possible way, is an active and consequential spiritual undertaking with which everyone's conscience must engage.
Compiled From:
"Western Muslims and The Future of Islam" - Tariq Ramadan, pp. 122-124

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