Sunday, December 28, 2014

Successful People!

The Quran has, among other beautiful chapters, this amazing chapter on 'the believers'. 
Chapter 23 verses 1-11

It starts with a very beautiful message and a good news that those who believe in God Almighty are indeed successful
There are a few characteristics of these believers which make them achieve this success. These characteristics are then mentioned in the verses that follow this good news. 
Almighty God says in the first few verses of this chapter that the successful people or the believers are those who:
  • humble themselves in their prayers
  • who avoid vain talk
  • who are active in their zakat
  • who guard their modesty except with those whom they are married to
  • who faithfully observe their trusts and their covenants
  • and who strictly guard their prayers  
After mentioning these qualities the Almighty God then states that these successful believers are entitled to be the heirs who will inherit Paradise and they will dwell therein forever! 
The Creator, as we can see clearly, is so Merciful and Kind. He not only Wants to See us successful but also Guides us to the ways to achieve that success. 
Pondering on the qualities of those believers who are successful and who will inherit Paradise makes us realize that this not only guarantees success in the Hereafter but also ensures that we lead a pious and successful life on this earth.
  • Imagine a prayer that is not done with humility and submissiveness...
  • Imagine engaging in useless and unimportant talks...
  • Imagine not fulfilling the duty of giving zakat which is a beautiful way of helping ourselves and others who are poor: (although in this case the zakat or purification is mentioned with the context of self purification, self analysis and basically the purification of self).
  • Imagine not guarding one's modesty and indulging in illegal, illicit relationships...
  • Imagine not fulfilling the oaths, promises, trusts and covenants...
  • Imagine not taking care of our prayers and not performing them diligently...

If we ponder on all these points we will realize...
that it all sums up to our own doom...our own loss in this world and that in the next too! 
Bearing all these virtues in mind we can see how 
  • praying with sincerity strengthens and maintains our Faith, 
  • avoiding useless talks preserves our intellect and energy and directs it in the right way
  • Purifying the soul gives us a clean and light heart which in turn helps us lead a conscious and happy life
  • guarding one's modesty keeps us safe from evil deeds and diseases and motivates us to enter into healthy legal relationships which last a lifetime
  • Fulfilling the trusts renders us trusworthy and hence we earn the respect and love of others also leading to a successful professional life
  • Taking the prayers seriously always keeps us attached to our origin and source i.e; to God...we know we are from God and to Him shall we return one day. 
 So the believers should take care to fulfill all these conditions to own the everlasting bliss and the never-ending joys! 
Meeting of the Creator is the best thing that a creature can ever wish for. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Crowned Glory

Dear readers, have you ever thought why the king wears the crown? Why the dignitaries in most cultures and societies have some kind of head covering? If you know of Indian culture you can see how the heads of the villages, communities and religions wear something on their heads which covers their heads and gives them a distinguished and respectful look. 
Have you ever thought why when someone visits a Temple, Mosque, Synagogue, Church, Gurudwara etc. he or she feels better covering the head as a mark of respect to that place as as a beautiful feeling of sincerity and spirituality? 
We have known the nuns, the Queens, the Kings, the head of many fields having their heads covered with  scarves, crowns, caps or turbans. What is so different about a covered head? Why is it more significant when one has a position or a special honour? 

Imagine a king who's sitting on his throne with all his glory and power and has a bright bejeweled crown on his head. He is wearing a robe and everyone around him is showing respect toward him. Now imagine that same king in the same clothes as his courtiers and his head uncovered and he is standing amongst them. No body will recognise him as a king if someone new enters the palace. The crown that a king wears is specifically to denote that he is the king and he is distinguished among his people. The kings can have different head gears according to the kingdom they represent. Some kings wear turbans, some kings might wear caps etc.
 In the same way the Queen is distinguished by the graceful attire she wears and the head covering she adorns. If a queen is inappropriately dressed and not in her proper attire then the subjects would not feel the respect and honor for the queen. It is not suitable for a ruling person to dress in a manner that does not fulfil the demands of his distinguished position. 
They do not need to lavishly spend for the attire but even with a simple graceful and respectable clothing they can win the hearts of those who regard them as their leaders and benefactors. The head covering specifically is a sign of dignity and respect. 
In the old traditions in India it is still a good sign that a daughter in law comes before her father in law with her head covered. Most of the Indians do not regard it as a useless tradition or that which is against the norms of the society because it simply conveys the values of the bride and the respect that she shows to the elders at home. 
The muslim women as a whole have been commanded by none other than the Creator to adorn this crown and graceful attire. It is not specifically a chador or a burqa that they need to wear to fulfil this duty but they are required to cover up their bodies so that they appear graceful and do not show off in front of everyone as the women in the times of ignorance did. 
The Muslim woman is commanded to maintain her glory and dignity by covering her head and her body in a way that she is not exposing the shape of her body and is not attracting the unwanted attention of the strangers in public. 
Just like a king and a queen, when they appear in public, are not easily approachable and cannot be harmed by just anyone around, and just like they can be approached by a selected few who have a special position in their court, a Muslim woman too is asked to dress up in a dignified and graceful way so that no one has the guts to feel free to approach her for evil intentions and she has the right to show her beauty and charm to some very close ones at home. 
She is not a thing to be displayed openly for everyone to see. She is special and she is a crowned beauty. Her glory is such that everyone respects her and looks at her excellence of character and her intelligence rather than her physical attractiveness alone. 
With all her grace and dignity she can do whatever she is capable of doing and she can seek knowledge and wisdom to enhance her quality of life and that of those under her care. 
A crown is a symbol of position, honor and dignity and so is the way Allah has commanded the believing women to take. A Muslim woman who covers herself to fulfil this command of her Creator is actually doing an act of worship. 

She is a precious jewel and not a pebble on the street. 

Dear sisters, consider yourselves as jewels and shine with all your glory and be safe by adorning yourself with the protective and honorable armour that none other than your Creator has commanded.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Fitting shoes.

Each one of us has our unique way of dealing with our life situations.  Others may guide us and suggest the way that should be taken to meet our challenges but in the end it is us who have the first hand experience. 
So often we hear people say that no one can ever understand their condition because they have not been into the same situation or we hear them say that people will understand them only when they step into their shoes. But even this is not something which can make anyone understand others' pain. Stepping into someone's shoes can take place but the shoes won't fit them as best as they fit the owner! This is being taken a bit too literally. The point is that even if the other person goes through the same trials in life he won't react to them in the same manner as that person. Every person has his uniqueness which has differences of personality, behaviour, experiences, life situations, feelings, outlook toward life, emotional intelligence and much more. 
No person can claim to fully understand the other person's challenge, his pain or trouble which is bothering him. 
We do sympathise with others and tell them how we share their pain and sorrow and we console them saying that we are with them in their loss. We use phrases like 'we can understand what you are going through'or 'we know how it feels'. These words and phrases are truly comforting but they are not completely true as the sufferer knows his own suffering better than anyone. 
Suppose we meet a recently divorced woman, or an orphaned child, or parents who have lost their child, we can console them and sympathise with them but we can not really feel their pain as they themselves feel.
Some months back when there were news of the war torn cities we saw such heart rending pictures of dead citizens, children and women drenched in blood and totally destroyed houses and schools. Can we say that we can understand and feel what the inhabitants of that city went through? Can we feel their pain as they did? Did we hear the sound of guns and bombs just nearby and did we experience that terror in our hearts when someone felt death just round the corner? No. 
We can only feel sad for them. If we have a sensitive heart and mind we can feel bad for them and it can affect us in a way that makes us thoughtful and ready to take action to help them in the best possible manner. When we see others in pain we can not feel the pain as they do but it does affect us and this drives us to say comforting words to them, to console them and to help them out of their plight. 
The least a person can do for relieving others of their sorrows is to pray for them with a sincere heart. 
A heart full of love and empathy for others is the heart which drives others to reach out to them.  
We as sensitive human beings should realize that each person is fighting his own struggle. Each person is wearing his own shoes which fit him best. We should be thankful to what we have and what we can contribute to help others. The words that we utter should have the spirit and meaning so that we are truly able to bring comfort into the lives of those who are going through tough times. 

The Return Journey

Yesterday I was invited at a friend’s place to a dars (a talk that involves remembering Allah and giving good advice to the audience). H...