Friday, September 14, 2007

Hardships vs. Blessings, Preaching Islam

Category: STRONG

Hardships are of two kinds. If they are a blessing from Allah, they turn you to remembrance of Him. If they are a punishment, they turn you against the Deen.

When things are blessed, they are a source of ease. A person with 100 dollars who gets offered a ride home from work by a friend and happens upon a great discount while shopping has blessed money. A person who comes home with ten times that and finds he has many bills and debts to repay has money that lacked blessing.

All money made from bribery or tainted with interest will be affected thus.

How does one recieve blessings? By showing contentment with what you have and not exceeding the limits (i.e, resorting to interest) in order to gain more.

Another example is a person who has an offer of marriage from a family of a girl that is judged to be of sound character and Deen-oriented. But he turns that offer down in pursuit of a marriage with a woman of wealthier status and a more notable family for no other reason but that... he is turning down many instant blessings of the former marriage for one that could potentially be laced with hardships. It does not mean he is sinning, but he's got his work cut out for him in pursuing a life that lends itself to being one in which it is easier to abstain from sin (as is the case when one is content with what Allah has given and not faced with hardships and frustration... one should seek to surround one's self in such an environment by carefully reorienting their life so it is pleasing to Allah). If in this way, one does not manage to achieve what they wanted, they can then pray to Allah to give them something even better, as they have responded to the situation appropriately thus far.

The relationship of this issue of contentment/blessings/etc. to hardships is that a person whose life might be seemingly mired in hardship could quite very well be leading a content life owing to the blessings in that 'meager' life. What is hardship? It is in your head. All the belief systems throughout history have tried to pound that fact home, as it is a basic principle of human spirituality. It becomes most easily achievable with Islam as it reforms the heart, or the 'spiritual head' and thus the biological mind has no choice but to follow suit.

On preaching Islam:

A few points:

- Never give out your own opinion on the Qur'an's interpretation. Even if your opinion is correct, your act is incorrect. The Ulema have been passing down and refining the science of understanding the Prophet(saw)'s interpretation, not devising their own. This disease has caused many rogue sects to crop up in the current era, including the oft-hyped 'militant' or 'terrorist' strain (counting the real terrorists and not simply those labelled as such).

- There are two kinds, the individual enjoining the right and forbidding the wrong, and the collective. Leave the collective to the Ulema and those qualified (see above).

- - If a person is already involved in sin, they will not listen. Wait for them to stop before you gently remind them.

- - If by enlightening someone you run the risk of angering them or turning their opinions against the Deen, even to the point of mocking the Shariah, then don't. Otherwise, it is fardh on you to correct/remind a fellow Muslim if you see them neglecting a fardh aspect of the Deen. If there is risk of harm to you, then it is up to you. If the chances are 50/50 that you will be received negatively to the point of the person committing an irrevocable sin (insulting or mocking Islam's laws), then you should pray and proceed gently as well or look deeper into the situation and reassess it then.

- Always show mercy and kindness to everyone, non-Muslims included. You should be reforming yourself and as such should be on the path to loving everyone for the sake of Allah. Hate the sin, not the sinner. If someone insults you, you pray for them. An eye for an eye is voluntary after all, the Prophet(saw)'s personal example was to turn the other cheek (and pray).

- Don't goad other people into sins.

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