Friday, December 13, 2013

Friday Nasihah

Living The Quran
Love of Wealth
An-Adiyat (The Courses) Chapter 100: Verse 8
"Verily the love of wealth is strong."
Every man is created with a natural love of wealth for its own sake. He is naturally endowed with a love of possession and with a desire to retain what he possesses. There is no harm in the competition that arises from these natural inclinations for it encourages every man to give of his best so that he is zealous to work and to earn, and he both wants and needs such work. He is not conscious of being forced to work, and hence he does not expend his labour grudgingly or hopelessly. But in the end it is society that profits from his labour and his toil. Islam lays down principles that will ensure that profit to society and that will make it certain that no harm can arise from such complete freedom of individual or from the ratification of his right of personal possession.
Justice demands that the social system shall conform to the desires of the individual and satisfy his inclinations – at least so far as will not injure society – as a return for his contribution to it in the way of ability and labour, in the sweat of his brow, in the labour of his thought, and in the exertion of his nerves. Justice is the greatest of the foundations of Islam, but justice is not always concerned to serve the interests of the individual. Justice is for the individual, but it also is for society.
Compiled From:
"Social Justice in Islam" – Sayyid Qutb, pp. 130, 131

Understanding the Prophet's Life (peace be upon him)
Blocked from Generosity
The two authoritative collections contain the hadith narrated by Abu Huraira, who said, “The Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) depicted the miserly and the charitable person as two men in robes of iron that bind their hands to their chests and throats. Every time the charitable person gives something, the robe loosens until it hangs by his mere fingertips and erases his tracks. And every time the miserly person thinks of giving (but holds back), it tightens, every coil of the robe in its place.” At this point, Abu Huraira said, “And as he spoke, I saw the Messenger of God put his fingers in his robe and make as if to loosen a garment that would not loosen” [Bukhari, Muslim].
The miserly man is blocked from generosity and kept back from good deeds. And he receives the same in return. His breast is constricted, unable to expand. His stomach contracts. His soul is small, and his happiness paltry. But his cares and woes are many. Rarely will he help the needy or the beggar. He is indeed like a man in a robe of iron, his hands so bound to his neck that he can neither move them nor free them. Whenever he tries, the coils spring back in place. For whenever such a man wishes to give, his miserliness holds him back and his heart remains imprisoned.
Compiled From:
"The Invocation of God" - Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, p. 38

If we are going to recognize and accept what makes us human, including our imperfections and less-than-extraordinary lives, we must embrace our vulnerabilities. This is extremely difficult, because we are afraid to be vulnerable. We equate vulnerability with weakness, and in our culture, there are very few things we abhor more than weakness.
It is extremely painful to share a vulnerability or fear with someone, only to have them use it against us as an insult, as leverage in an argument or as a fodder for gossip. However, the need to reach out and talk about our experiences can be a strong force. So strong, in fact, that it sometimes leads us to purging with people whom we have not developed the kind of relationship that can absorb that information.
When it comes to sharing information, it would be nice to believe that most of us have the ability to recognize the right people, the right times and the right ways to share. But alas, the reality is that most of us have turned to people we barely know and thrown up vulnerability all over them.
When it comes to sharing vulnerability, it’s wise to take time to test whether the other person is worthy of hearing our stories and to assess our own level of safety and comfort in sharing sensitive material. We want to trust that the other person isn’t going to deny and minimize our pain, or alternatively, overfocus on our problem in an unhelpful way. We don’t want to be put down, pitied, or gossiped about, nor do we want to have sensitive information used against us.
Compiled From:
"I Thought It Was Just Me" - Brene Brown, pp. 205-207

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