Living by It. One lesson a day…

… from Quran. Changing slowly, but surely.

Lesson 42 – Lose the Pride or You Lose (Big Time!) March 16, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Saima @ 11:43 pm
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” And your Rabb says: “Appeal to ME I will respond to (accept) your plea. In fact the people who are too proud to supplicate to ME will certainly be entered into Hell, abased (submissive, in humiliation).” “

Surah Al-Ghafir (Surah 40), verse 60

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Hmm so it’s a little frustrating when you’ve given somebody an open offer for something (a ride, a favor, piece of clothing, a shoulder to cry on) and they don’t utilize it even if that means investing in a problematic situation for themselves. I understand why one may not avail an evidently good opportunity – feeling burdensome, small, deprived are maybe some of the emotions that prevent us from it. Now it’s fine on a human level cuz most humans we interact with are weird that way… goodwill is hard to come by, purity is rarer than finding the perfect shade of turquoise shoes, ability to convince people of your generosity without ulterior motives isn’t as easy to feel or apply for that matter.

… But with God, it’s just not the same. And why would it be? He’s Pure, He’s Merciful and He’s Perfect in every sense of the word. You can go to Him for anything and everything, any time and every time, any place and every place, any hour and any day. But what happens is we usually let our pride come in between, this feeling of being able to do things OURSELVES, finding solutions OURSELVES, fixing ourselves OURSELVES, calculating and planning for the means to get what we want OURSELVES like He’s not the One making any of that happen. Now don’t misinterpret the value of human input with anything one does in getting to one’s goal… It IS critical but I feel we generally misunderstand the amount of power there is in prayer, in appealing to Him for things that are menial and things that are life-changing likewise.

The point that needs to be remembered is that first and foremost, one submits to His Absolute Power which means He’s the One who Gives, He’s the One who takes it away; one submits to His complete control over whatever we do, whatever he have. To think that I got a certain piece of gadget because I put in so many hours or so much effort is equivalent to not acknowledging His Mercy upon me in Providing me with it. Sometimes when we have to wait for things (to happen, to come to us, to play out), we interpret that as an answer, as an excuse to go about our things on our own like He’s not a part of it anymore. It’s basically just a balance between working for things that matter to us and relying on His Plan for us regardless of the outcome. It’s not easy finding a balance sometimes but nobody said it was going to be easy. Balancing IS always tricky. But deen and dunya we must always, always work to balance. It’s what we’re here for, right?

Something that I find striking in this verse is the fact that first Allah (swt) is showing His Generosity in it but then He’s ending it with a reminder of His Power and the need to submit to it lest we underestimate it while we’re headed towards hellfire.

 

Lesson 41 – My Protector March 9, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Saima @ 12:57 am
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“And those who take as protectors others besides Him, Allah does watch over them; and you are not the disposer of their affairs.”

Surah Ash-Shura (Surah 42), verse 6

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Of late I’m noticing how I’m losing the utter trust I used to place on Allah for most of my matters and finding different people to fill in instead. I’m meeting new people, I’m finding comfort in the old and the new ones in my life, I’m falling in love with some, out with others, I’m gravitating towards qualities I’ve always admired and holding on to this person for reason “a”, that person for reason “c” and that other person for reasons “d”, “f”, “q” etc. Of course with all this loving and discoveries comes a realization that none of these will ever come even close to perfection and that they will disappoint me and that the void I’ll feel as a consequence to those disappointments will be something I’ll have to deal with on my own. I’m not trying as hard anymore to better myself, more out of the excuse of never being able to attain perfection (in human form) than anything else; what I need to inculcate fully is the conviction that whatever I try to do will be rewarded with and the more I try, the more I’ll get CLOSE to what I admire as opposed to staying stupidly and frustratingly stagnant.

Anyway, so all these transitions of late and turbulent interactions and I hit upon this verse that talks about protection and how He’s the Only Protector really – not this friend for a certain aspect of my life, not a parent for another. I’m coming to understand that this human psyche of wanting things in tangible forms is pretty much equivalent to the losers who asked the Messengers of miracles, of signs, of proofs to convince them of the God they (the Messengers) talked about having to obey and worship. We ARE those losers and sadly enough, we seek for signs most days of the week, we seek reassurance from humans, we convince ourselves that this person or that has our back. I, for one, keep waiting for SOMETHING to happen before I can fully apply the knowledge I’m trying to gain. I either keep myself away from texts that I know will help me or I read them and not apply them because of this reason or that. EITHER WAY, I’M TOTALLY GETTING IT WRONG! I have to start doing things from today, from now on. I have to get the answers and bring changes now… and I have to do them with the understanding that all the people I’m holding on to in my life because of the beauty I see in them, well they are His CREATIONS… meaning He’s SO MUCH MORE than all that beauty combined, meaning the world should stand on one side and Him on the other. ALWAYS! Whatever I do for His pleasure will always give me more peace if only I were to truly apply that and not just talk about it. And I’m pretty sure if all I do is for His pleasure, His Mercy would translate into everything falling perfectly in place through the tests and the rewards, through the good times and the bad He Plans out for me. It’s just about placing trust in the Deity that convinces me of His unending Mercy and Protection and Friendship if I’m interpreting this correctly, not once but at least six times (48: 6, 9, 28, 31, 44, 46) in the same Surah!

If, however, and this is where it can get scary, I choose to find solace in the people He’s Blessed me with and not Him completely… I’m doomed. I won’t see it; I’ll feel great about the people in my life, the material gains He’ll still Allow to happen but soon enough my utter stupidity will become clear and my misdirections thanks to nafs and arrogance will lose all meaning just like that. Just like that! When you’ve become part of the rat race of this life you stop seeing things. My vision is blurry at the moment but I’m trying to understand and I seek His Protection, more from my own nafs than the world around me. May He Guide me better and Help me in the journey I’m trying to resume.

The reason why I’m not hitting upon the latter bit of this verse is because first I need to rid myself of the need for people and take Him as My Protector alone before wondering about other people using people and machines as fillers for the voids in their lives. Regardless, I’m not responsible for other people anyway.