Friday, February 21, 2014

Friday Nasihah

Living The Quran
Mercy of Passions
An-Naml (The Ant) Chapter 27: Verses 54, 55
"And [remember] Lot, when he said to his people, 'How dare you commit such abomination while you can see? Do you indeed approach men with lustful desires instead of women? Nay, you are a people whose conduct shows every sign of jahl (tajhaluna)."
In this passage we see that the people of Lot, that is, the people of Sodom described as behaving in a characteristically jahil way, 'approaching' as they do 'men lustfully rather than women', which is an 'abominable sin' fahishah. Jahil is a man who goes to any extremes at the mercy of his own passions, and that not ignorantly, 'while you can see,' i.e. being fully aware that by acting in this way he is committing an abominable sin. This shows clearly that jahil has essentially nothing to do with 'ignorance' though it implies the act of ignoring wilfully the moral rule.
Compiled From:
"Ethico Religious Concepts in the Quran" - Toshihiko Izutsu, p. 32

Understanding the Prophet's Life (peace be upon him)
Evil Thoughts
"Verily, Allah has overlooked for my nation what their souls think about as long as they do not act on it or speak about it." [Bukhari, Muslim]
Although, one is not held responsible for the above types of thoughts, if evil thoughts do come to one's mind, the person should seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan. Those evil thoughts should then be repelled. However, there are times in which the person's faith might be weak and he allows those thoughts to grow. Hence, he should immediately seek refuge in Allah from those evil thoughts in order not to allow them to blossom into anything more harmful.
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) also said, "Satan comes to one of you and he says, 'Who created this and who created that?' until he says, 'Who created your Lord?' If he reaches that stage with a person, he [that person] should seek refuge in Allah and stop such thoughts." [Bukhari, Muslim]
Compiled From:
"Commentary on the Forty Hadith of an-Nawawi" - Jamaal al-Din Zarabozo, pp. 1356, 1357

We are probably deluged with more images of pain than any previous generation; they are beamed into our homes nightly on the evening news. It is easy to get compassion fatigue and tempting to dismiss these spectacles from our minds, telling ourselves that there is nothing we personally can do and that this misery has nothing to do with us.
Instead of steeling ourselves against the intrusion of other people's pain, we should regard our exposure to global suffering as a spiritual opportunity. Make a conscious effort to allow these television images to enter your consciousness and take up residence there. Extend your hospitality to them, and "make place for the other" in your life. It is a powerful way of developing "concern for everybody." If a particular image speaks to you strongly, focus on it; there may be a special reason for this. Bring this image deliberately to mind at various times in the day. Summon it when you are feeling sorry for yourself - or during a moment of happiness, when you are filled with gratitude for your good fortune. Make a friend of the distressed person, so that she becomes a presence in your life: direct your thoughts of loving kindness and compassion to her during your meditation.
But it cannot stop there. We must act practically to alleviate the pain of others. We cannot allow ourselves to feel paralyzed by the immensity of global misery. We cannot all rush off to foreign parts. Indeed, there is no need to do so: we will find plenty of opportunities on our own doorstep. Suffering is not confined to distant parts of the globe. Because we have a self-protective tendency to keep suffering at bay, we sometimes fail to recognize the signs of poverty, loneliness, grief, fear, and desolation in our own city, our own village, or our own family. So look at your world anew and choose your mission. There is a need that you - and only you - can fulfill. Do not imagine that you are doomed to a life of grim austerity or that your involvement in suffering will drain your life of fun. In fact, you may find that alleviating the distress of others makes you a good deal happier.
Compiled From:
"Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life" - Karen Armstrong, pp. 167-169

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful post. I particularly enjoyed the last part. Jazkillaah khayr.