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Discussion in 'Tasawwuf / Adab / Akhlaq' started by Unbeknown, Sep 12, 2013.
Bump. Important reminders, especially in this “me, me, me” era.
Ponder over this to escape this subtle trick of the nafs:
C.S Lewis writes: "When you teach a child writing, you hold its hand while it forms the letters: that is, it forms the letters because you are forming them."
Now imagine that a very learned scholar, who has roamed to distant places in order to gain knowledge, sits to teach his toddler to write. He holds his son's hand and makes him 'draw' an 'A'.
What if the son turns right back at him and says, "Papa, do you see that 'A'? I just wrote it myself. Am I not great and deserving of a special treat from you? Don't you think I am better than my brother who does not know how to write a single word?" Then he trots off to other kids and starts boasting and looking down upon them thinking, "Oh! these my friends are so ignorant. They have no idea what I've achieved. I've just written an 'A'"
Is this kid not utterly foolish and a big headed? and he is also so ungrateful to his father. He struts about right in front of a greatly learned man because he 'drew' an alphabet and that too aided by the scholar himself! Will the scholar not feel angry at him or sorry for his stupidity?
Allah ('azzawajal) is beyond any similitude.
But the case of a vainglorious, 'feel-gooder' is similar to the child above. What worth are his good deeds in the sight of his Lord, The Creator of the Worlds? And yet he expects great rewards and stations and looks down upon his fellow muslim brothers. He is both foolish and ungrateful.
He should think:
1) It was Allah's ('azzawajal) will to create this action in me. I deserve neither praise nor reward. But I hope that He will reward me out of His Grace. And I fear lest I He stops getting good actions done by me and punishes me out of His Justice.
2) That the other person did not do it unfortunate for him but does not make me better than him.
3) What cause then have I to feel good about myself when there's absolutely no guarantee that my next action will be like the former!
4) Allah('azzawajal) is the One who has us do pious acts and then gives us rewards and stations if He wills or neither if He wills. So my work is to constantly strive to do good *hoping* for His Mercy and fearing His Justice.
May Allah('azzawajal) make us act better than we speak. Ameen.
The wasaawis after performing a good deed:
1) Kibr- arrogance: This nullifies any benefit of the deed
2) Feeling good about yourself- Thinking that you are pious and thus have a great station in the court of Allah('azzawajal).
This is a major deceit of the nafs and utter foolishness. It is said that
"A fearful sinner is better than a doer of vast amount of good deeds whose good deeds make him feel secure from Allah's ('azzawajal) pre-ordination and who begins to feel that he *deserves* a reward and has no cause to have any fear whatsoever. So he stops having a humble and fearful disposition towards his Lord, when these are in-fact incumbent upon the slave. But the sinner because of his owning himself in the wrong feels fearful of Allah's ('azzawajal) wrath and begs His forgiveness again and again and he is always humble for he perceives that he being a sinner he is does not deserve any special reward or consideration. So the former may infact be earning punishment and the latter a reward!"
Why we should not gloat about our actions:
Using the term 'cause' or 'First Cause' for Allah(azzawajal) in a literal sense is Kufr (eshaykh students mark the upper-case 'k' ) :
A certain Jewish king, the same who is referred to in the Sura "Signs of the Zodiac," I made up his mind to utterly exterminate the Christian faith, and with that view he set up a huge idol, and issued commands that all who refused to worship it should be cast into the fire. Thereupon his officers seized a Christian woman with her babe, and as she refused to worship it, they cast the babe into the fire. But the babe cried out to its mother, "Be not afraid, the fire has no power to burn me; it is as cool as water!" Hearing this, the rest of the Christians leapt into the fire, and found that it did not burn them. The king reproached the fire for failing to do its office, but the fire replied that it was God's servant, and that its consuming properties were not to be used for evil purposes. It then blazed up and consumed the king, and all his Jews with him.
Second causes only operate in subordination to, and form the impulsion of, The Creator.
Air, earth, water, and fire are God's servants.
To us they seem lifeless, but to God living.
In God's presence fire ever waits to do its service,
Like a submissive lover with no will of its own.
When you strike steel on flint fire leaps forth;
But 'tis by God's command it thus steps forth.
Strike not together the flint and steel of wrong,
For the pair will generate more, like man and woman.
The flint and steel are themselves causes, yet
Look higher for the Creator of the Cause, O righteous man!
For the act of creation precedes this cause.
How can a cause exist of itself without having been created?
The Creator makes the cause operative,
And again helpless and inoperative.
Men's minds recognize the causes,
But only prophets perceive the action of the Creator.
Note: I have taken the liberty to alter the verses so that they do not create a wrong impression in the mind of the reader. Calling Allah(azzawajal) the First Cause is problematic on many grounds.
I was moved to tears upon hearing a verse......ain't I good?
I rode a neighbor to his destination.................ain't I good?
I refuted that gumrah successfully..................ain't I good?
I advised someone against a sin.....................ain't I good?
I attended an Ijtema....................................ain't I good?
I offered tahajjud.........................................ain't I good?
I gave charity..............................................ain't I good?
I recited a juz..............................................ain't I great?