Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Humility in Islam

The teachings of Islam greatly emphasize Humility. Infact, what expelled the Satan from the Heavens was  that he refused to be humble and insisted on being proud and arrogant.

And [mention] when We said to the angles, "Prostrate to Adam," and they prostrated, except for Iblees. He said, "Should I prostrate to one You created from clay?" 17:61 Quran 

Islam is the religion of submissiveness to the Almighty God. This submissiveness entails humility and worship. The acknowlegment that we are mere servants of God and must worship the One Who deserves to be worshipped because He is the Creator of all, makes us feel humble and submissive.

 When a slave understands his worth and origin of existence and his End then he feels humble in front of the One Who has created him. Not only does he realize that he was nothing and then came into being by the Will of the Almighty God but also that God is capable of taking him back any time in any state. When one ponders on the origin or birth and keeps in mind the end of every living thing one feels so helpless and dependent. 

O People, if you should be in doubt about the Resurrection, then [consider that] indeed, We created you from dust, then from a sperm-drop, then from a clinging clot, and then from a lump of flesh, formed and unformed - that We may show you. And We settle in the wombs whom We will for a specified term, then We bring you out as a child, and then [We develop you] that you may reach your [time of] maturity. And among you is he who is taken in [early] death, and among you is he who is returned to the most decrepit [old] age so that he knows, after [once having] knowledge, nothing. And you see the earth barren, but when We send down upon it rain, it quivers and swells and grows [something] of every beautiful kind. 22:5 Quran 

Some of rhe dictionaries define Humility as follows: 
-the quality or state of not thinking you are better than other people : the quality or state of being humble
-the quality or condition of being humble; modest opinion or estimate of one's own importance, rank, etc.

This means that humility is not just a way of being submissive in front of God but it is also a way of behaving with other people. Here you do not submit to someone's will as you do for God but what you display is the simplicity of character, free from pride and arrogance.

Generally people do not like to be around those who are boastful, proud and rude because of their physical appearance, wealth, talent etc. 
People are most comfortable with those who are down to earth, simple and easy going. 

Humility is an overall virtue that brings the person closer to God due to the realization of His Greatness and one's weakness and it also brings him closer to people due to the comfortable feeling others get from a humble and lenient person.

If one wants to be loved by the Almighty one must be Humble and Submissive. If one wants the love of the people he should not eye their position, wealth and any other quality that he does not have. He should be content with his own possessions and never be jealous or competitive with others. Each of us has our own share of things in this life. No two persons are alike in every way. 

Humbleness shows in one's manners, talks and dealings. Being humble to parents, elders and teachers is greatly emphasised in Islam. Even showing humility with children is encouraged in the traditions of the Prophet peace be upon him. 

Seeing the Prophet kissing his grandson, a person named Alaqr’a Ibn Habis found this behavior strange and said, “I have ten children, but I have never kissed any of them.” The Prophet (s) replied, “The one who has no compassion will not be treated mercifully” 
(Bukhari and At-Tirmidhi).

Hence, humility is a great virtue and one must work on it to improve it because with this one can attain both the love of the Creator and His creation. 

Humility is the solid foundation of all virtues. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Standard of Loving

The train had started moving ahead slowly, Those who had come to see her off came near her window to say goodbye to her. She too waved her hand and looked back from the moving train to have a final look at everyone. She could see him standing a bit far from eveyone else. He did not say goodbye to her but she could sense the wish in his eyes. For the first time in her life she could feel as if she is leaving a part of her heart behind. Literally some piece seemed missing in her heart. She could not know if it was love.
She had seen him attending to his ailing father. They had barely talked to each other. Sometimes she could only catch him looking at her but could only see him lost somewhere else. He seemed too dutiful and serious. There was no affair and no confessions.Something was being planned by God to happen later. She always felt strange when he was around; hesitant and shy. They never had a proper conversation or eye contact to read each other's heart and mind.

What impressed her about him was his selfless service to his father. She witnessed a dutiful son religiously attending and taking care of his father. Her heart filled with respect and admiration for him.

What if you did not have a love-affair but be sure that all your affairs are done in love.  

Love is not something which can be defined easily. Generally people understand it in terms of roses, beauty and romance but love is much higher than all these superficial things. The depth of love can be understood only when you rise above the trivialities and attractions that are short lived.

I believe that all marriages are love marriages because marriage itself demands love between the spouses which is higher than the short lived fascinations and infatuations of the heart. Marriage is a life long affair and it is up to us to make it a love affair with a higher purpose of creating harmony and standard in a society that starts from home.

About those passionate love skits I would say that it is not the cupid that strikes rather it is the stupid that is at work.

So, coming back to the story I started with, their attraction was above all the glamour of beauty, money, style or mere desire. What captured her heart was his values and not his physical being.
When you like someone because of his goodness and values he seems to you the most handsome person in the world.

Even after coming back from that memorable vacation at her aunt's place she was quite lost. She was going through something that she never imagined happening to her. It was strange that God had planned those hearts to meet this way and to feel the bonding for each other because later they were to be united by Him in marriage!

And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquillity in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought. 30:21 Quran 

Some time passed and she witnessed how surprisingly she was married to the person whom she admired for his sincerity, integrity and kindness.

All her married life she observed these values in him and learned to be kind, giving, caring, selfless and highly value oriented. Love seems to be a simple word in front of the greatness of their emotions for each other.

The priceless gift of life is love, with the help from God above. Love can change the human race, make this World a better place. For love dissolves all hate and fear, it makes our vision bright and clear, So we can see and rise above our pettiness on the wings of love.

Monday, June 20, 2016

The broken god

Many years ago, I was on my way to a friend's house on a cycle rickshaw. The rickshaw was cycling fast through a broad road with houses and other buildings on one side and a park and dumpster on the other side. I was sitting and enjoying the scene of green plants and the blue skies that were in my view. Suddenly my vision struck on the dumpster on the way and in a matter of seconds we were ahead of it. But what I saw near the dumpster or big trash bin is still fresh in my memory. There lay a broken god. It was dumped there by some "devotee" who thought that now his god was no more worth keeping in the house. The statue of that god was quite big and it was dumped in the trash. It was lying there on its face and it had a broken shoulder and arm.

I reached my friend's place and had a good time there but I could not get this scene out of my mind. I was reminded of the story of Abraham or Ibrahim, the Prophet of Allah (May peace be upon him) who was the son a idol maker named Azar. Ibrahim alyhissalaam, at a very young age, realized that gods can not be handmade and they can not be designed by the creation themselves. He started to seek the reality of the Creator and sought the signs of sun, moon and stars and when they all went out of sight or got overpowered by other things he realized that God is the One who is above all these things that experience change and decline. God is the Creator of all things and He never tires, never breaks and does not need any one for anything.

Allah - there is no deity except Him, the Ever-Living, the Sustainer of [all] existence. Neither drowsiness overtakes Him nor sleep. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. Who is it that can intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what is [presently] before them and what will be after them, and they encompass not a thing of His knowledge except for what He wills. His Kursi extends over the heavens and the earth, and their preservation tires Him not. And He is the Most High, the Most Great.
Surah Al Baqarah 255

Those who argue that the images are made and statues are designed for focus and meditation do not realize that this has a reverse effect as these images and particular shapes and designs lead to distraction and not focus. An idol maker makes the statue of god as and how he pleases giving the deity whatever features he likes. He makes it look attractive, beautiful, powerful or whatever but this is what is given by him to the lifeless model. If the same sculpture is broken it is he who repairs it and some even do not bother repairing...they just dump their broken gods.

If some fly comes and sits on the deity it does not have the power to get rid of it. We as Muslims believe in One Supreme God, God the Almighty. No one can make an image of Him. He is the One who Makes, Creates, Changes, Destroys and will bring every living thing back to life again for account. Allah the Almighty is all powerful. He is the One who has Created the sun, the moon and the skies and everything that is there in the Universe and beyond. We believe in Him without seeing Him and without making an image of Him because He has no image. There is none like Him. Even the old scriptures of Hindus, Sikhs etc, state that there is no image of God.

O people, an example is presented, so listen to it. Indeed, those you invoke besides Allah will never create [as much as] a fly, even if they gathered together for that purpose. And if the fly should steal away from them a [tiny] thing, they could not recover it from him. Weak are the pursuer and pursued. 
Surah Al Haj 73

In our religion, Islam, we are told not to make fun of anything that others worship as gods besides Allah. But we are commanded to spread the message of Islam and invite every one to ponder on the fact that God is way above what is ascribed to Him. Some faiths ascribe sons to God but they fail to realize that God is some one who is far above every need and base desires.

There is no compulsion in religion. The right direction is henceforth distinct from error. And he who rejecteth false deities and believeth in Allah hath grasped a firm handhold which will never break. Allah is Hearer, Knower.
Surah Al Baqarah 256

If the people keep image or statue of gods for focus and devotion then they should realize that focus comes for directing one's thoughts toward some entity that is free of any artificiality and superficiality.

According to one definition of focus:
Focus is your ability to center your attention and energy on a specific task, object, or activity for a sustained length of time. It allows you to shut out distractions, so that you can work persistently to achieve a desired state or goal.

The same god when broken is thrown out and now you need a new one to regain your focus. I am not making fun of those who worship idols I am just trying to bring you to realize what Abraham, the prophet, realized even after he was brought up in the environment of idol worship and idol makers. He realized that God cannot be made rather He is the Maker. He realized that God can not be broken and thrown out rather He can break you and throw you out or He can make you and take care of you as He is the Most Merciful and the Most Kind.

Pray that God, the Creator of heavens and the earth and all that is within them, Guides His servants to the straight path and helps them achieve the real success. Ameen.

The Command from God

And tell the believing women 
to reduce [some] of their vision and 
guard their private parts and 
not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof and 
to wrap [a portion of] their headcovers over their chests and 
not expose their adornment except to their husbands, 
their fathers, 
their husbands' fathers, 
their sons, 
their husbands' sons, 
their brothers, 
their brothers' sons, 
their sisters' sons, 
their women, that which their right hands possess, 
or those male attendants having no physical desire, 
or children who are not yet aware of the private aspects of women. 
And let them not stamp their feet to make known what they conceal of their adornment. 
And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed.

Surah An Noor Sign 31 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Recall. Admit. Ask Forgiveness

All of us, at some point (rather many points) in life  do things wrongly, make mistakes, indulge in sin and fall short of our duties. This might be due to our ignorance, immaturity, callousness or forgetfulness. The important thing is that we regard ourselves as beings who are errant and not divine. We must not get stuck on the thought that we can not be wrong and that it was justified if ever we did something wrong either to ourselves or others.

Sometimes it's neither.
We are neither wronging our own souls nor hurting anyone but it is much bigger than that. The sin is greater if it is against the One Whom we believe as our Creator, Provider and Sustainer; God, the Almighty.

But if we take a closer look all the sins that we do against self, others or the disobedience to God affect only us in the end. The effect of sins and wrongdoing never lets you stay in peace if you have even a speck of understanding left in you.

The only thing that can bring you peace in this regard is the realization and recall of your own mistakes and sins. Sit back for once in this beautiful Month of Quran, Ramazan, and recall all your bad deeds, mistakes, wrongdoings and sins.
You do not need to tell anyone about this.
Try to find a secluded place in your home or outside. It is soothing if you are able to stand outside watching the vast skies and imagining the Greatness of Allah and then realizing your weaknesses and sins.
Recall each and every thing that you can since you reached the age of maturity. Mention those things in front of Allah and admit that you did wrong. Admit your mistakes in front of the Only One Who Forgives each and every sin. No one else can forgive your sins except God.

Admit your mistakes one by one and ask Allah to forgive you. Ask Him to grant you sincere Repentance and help you be steadfast on it. Ask and plead Him to accept your Repentance. It may be that it is your sins that are stopping you to reach where you aspire to be. It is possible that it is your humility in accepting your sins that Allah would love and grant you your wishes and duas. Allah is always there to listen to you and to accept your repentance. It is we who do not feel the need to recall our sins, admit that we did them and ask for forgiveness.

But whoever repents after his wrongdoing and reforms, indeed, Allah will turn to him in forgiveness. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. 5:39 Quran

Allah loves those who are humble, who accept their weakness and turn to Him for strength. He loves those who Repent.
It is possible that since the time you reached the age of understanding you did not pray as you should have prayed, you did not fast as you should have fasted, you did not behave well with your parents as you should have behaved. Recall all that and turn to Him sincerely.

Do they not know that it is Allah who accepts repentance from His servants and receives charities and that it is Allah who is the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful? 9:104 Quran

This is the Month when we have to grab this chance of seeking forgiveness in a state of fasting and increased Iman. The one who loses this chance is indeed very unfortunate.
As a humble slave of Allah I insist that we all literally take some time out for this purpose. None of us are free from faults so we need to confess this in front of the Lord Almighty.

Once you do this with all your heart you will feel a heavy burden fall off your heart and shoulders...the heavy burden of sins and misdoings. You will feel cool and refreshed and a new hope will cover you that all your sins will be forgiven soon and Allah will shower you with His Mercy.

Call upon Him mentioning His Immense Mercy and the attribute of Forgiveness. Plead, Cry.
No denying that unintentionally or intentionally we do sin in various ways. We fall short in many ways. Ask Allah to accept your repentance. Promise Him that you will never do those sins again. Try to be conscious of this promise.

Let us not miss this golden chance to rid ourselves of our burden of sins. Let us not miss this rare chance to talk to Allah when His Mercy is in full swing, when He has opened the doors of Paradise and shut those of Hell. When there is no devil to blame for our negligence. Do not let this month pass by just like that.

Come let us all seek Allah's Mecry and Forgiveness for us and see the doors of abundance open for us and the path to goodness become clearer for us.

He surely Listens. He surely Forgives. He is the Most Merciful and the Most Forgiving. Have this Faith and seek Him.

[O Muhammad], inform My servants that it is I who am the Forgiving, the Merciful.
15:49 Quran

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...