Friday, April 26, 2013

Friday Nasihah

Living The Quran
Surah al-Naml (The Ant) Chapter 27: Verse 4
"As for those who will not believe in the life to come, We make their deeds seem fair to them, and so they wander about in distraction."
Believing in the life to come is the motive that keeps whims and desires in check, urging us to lead a life of moderation. When such a belief is lacking, a person cannot restrain himself from pursuing wanton desires, thinking that his only chance for indulging in pleasure is that offered in this life. Yet life on earth is scarcely long enough to fulfil a small portion of what people desire or hope for. It is in the nature of human beings that they love immediate pleasure unless they are guided by a divine message that tells them of a future, permanent life that follows this short one, and that this life is but preparation for that future life. If they heed this guidance then they will find much greater pleasure in different types of pursuits.
It is God who has moulded human nature in this fashion, giving it the propensity to follow His guidance when it opes its receptive faculties to this, and the opposite propensity to remain blind when it shuts such faculties down. His will is always done, in both situations. They choose not to believe, and thus God's law comes into operation making their deeds seem fair and attractive to them. They cannot see any foul element in what they do and so remain unable to find a clear way leading them aright.
Compiled From:
"In The Shade of The Quran" - Sayyid Qutb, Vol. 13, pp. 108,109
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Understanding the Prophet's Life (peace be upon him)
Worse Than Dajjal
Abu Saeed reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) came to us while we were discussing about Dajjal and said, "Should I not inform you of that which I fear for you even more than the dangers of Dajjal? It is the hidden Shirk (Riya); A person stands to pray, and he beautifies his prayer because he sees the people looking at him." (Sunan Ibn Majah vol. 2, #3389)
The primary cause of riya is a weakness in Iman (Faith). When a person does not have strong faith in Allah, he will prefer the admiration of people over the pleasure of Allah.
There are three symptoms that are indicative of riya, and it is essential that a believer avoid all of them.
1. The love of Praise - As mentioned in a hadeeth of the first three people being thrown into the hellfire; the scholar (who taught for fame), the martyr (who fought for fame), and the person who gave his money in charity (so people would say he is generous). All three of these people desired the pleasure of people over the pleasure of Allah. The person who desires the praise of people must feel some pride in himself, for he feels himself worthy of being praised. There is a danger, therefore, of him becoming arrogant and boastful.
2. Fear Of Criticism - No one likes to be criticised. The dislike of criticism regarding religious practices may be divided into two categories:
a) The first category is that of a person who neglects a commandment of Allah in order to avoid the criticism of his peers.
b) The second category is that of a person who obeys certain commandments of Islam, not for the sake of Allah, but because he fears people will look down on him and criticise him if he does not do it. For example, a man may make his formal prayers in the mosque because he does not want people to criticise him for praying at home, or to think that he is not praying at all.
3. Greed for people's possessions - If a person covets what other people possess, whether it is rank, money or power, then he will wish them to envy him similarly. For example, if he is jealous of a position of a certain person in society, he will try by every possible means to attain the same position. Such desires lead people to spend their lives putting on a show for other people so that they will admire their rank, money, or power.
Compiled From:
"Riyaa: Hidden Shirk" - Abu Ammar Yasir al-Qathi
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Personal Destiny
None of us are born as passive generic blobs waiting for the world to stamp its imprint on us. Instead we show up possessing already a highly refined and individual soul.
Another way of thinking of it is this: We're not born with unlimited choices.
We can't be anything we want to be.
We come into this world with a specific, personal destiny. We have a job to do, a calling to enact, a self to become. We are who we are from the cradle, and we're stuck with it.
Our job in this lifetime is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it.
If we were born to paint, it's our job to become a painter.
If we were born to raise and nurture children, it's our job to become a mother.
If we were born to overthrow the order of ignorance and injustice of the world, it's our job to realize it and get down to business.
Compiled From:
"The War of Art" - Steven Pressfield, pp. 145, 146

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