"I have a hard time taking instruction from my husband, but thanks to Google, I didn’t have to. I found a website to guide me through the motions, with an audio file to teach me Arabic pronunciation. In my bedroom I moved awkwardly from position to position. With the help of a free download I turned toward the Kaaba, Islam’s holiest site, which Muslims everywhere face to pray. I stood noble and tall, as God’s representative on earth, then bowed at the waist, then folded all the way down to the ground like the lowliest of servants. My body strained to embody nobility and servitude, strength and powerlessness. That repeated up-and-down movement dislodged something deep inside. The weight of my forehead against the floor broke apart what I’d spent a lifetime trying to protect: my fragile individualism and brittle self-determination. With my face to the floor, an oppressive weight rolled off my shoulders: the burdensome arrogance and guilt that came from believing I was the master of my life, the sole source of its brokenness and beauty. I began to weep for all I did not understand and could not control."
The problem, often not discovered until late in life, is that when you look for things in life like love, meaning, motivation, it implies they are sitting behind a tree or under a rock. The most successful people in life recognize, that in life they create their own love, they manufacture their own meaning, they generate their own motivation. For me, I am driven by two main philosophies, know more today about the world than I knew yesterday. And lessen the suffering of others. You’d be surprised how far that gets you.—Neil Degrasse Tyson
Only the person who has experienced light and darkness, war and peace, rise and fall, only that person has truly experienced life.
“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” - Lao-Tzu
We are living in a culture entirely hypnotized by the illusion of time, in which the so-called present moment is felt as nothing but an infinitesimal hairline between an all-powerfully causative past and an absorbingly important future. We have no present. Our consciousness is almost completely preoccupied with memory and expectation. We do not realize that there never was, is, nor will be any other experience than present experience. We are therefore out of touch with reality. We confuse the world as talked about, described, and measured with the world which actually is. We are sick with a fascination for the useful tools of names and numbers, of symbols, signs, conceptions and ideas—Alan Watts
"It is strange how you can observe the ignorant and deluded person tirelessly pursuing the world, night and day, avidly desiring it, most careful in amassing, guarding, and enjoying it, then coming up with numerous excuses for doing this, while remaining ignorant of his religion, never having sought knowledge and never having sat with a scholar to learn from him. When someone remonstrates with him about it, he justifies himself with such arguments as lack of free time and excessive occupation, all of which leads to his falling from the sight of God. For God - may He be praised - has made it easy for him to seek knowledge, for scholars abound and the effort required to learn the obligatory amount is insignificant, contrary to the affairs of this world where even small gains require strenuous efforts and enduring hardships. The cause of this is but death of the heart, the little consideration according to religion, and the carelessness with which things of the hereafter are taken. Such a person sees his need for the things of this world ever present before his eyes, while his need for knowledge is absent and remote from his mind, for he will only need it and recognize its benefits after he dies. But he has forgotten death and what comes after it, overcome as he is by his ignorance and lack of knowledge. Such a person is one about whom God - Exalted is He - says, "But most people to not know. They know some appearance of the life of this world, but of the hereafter they are forgetful." (30:6,7)
(Imam al-Haddad, “Counsels of Religion”)
Even if you studied for a hundred years and collected a thousand books, you would not be eligible for the mercy of God expect through action. - Imam al-Ghazali
In ancient Greece (469 - 399 BC), Socrates was widely lauded for his wisdom.
"Socrates, do you know what I just heard about one of your students?"
"Wait a moment," Socrates replied. "Before you tell me,
I’d like you to pass a little test. It’s called the Test of Three.”
"Test of Three?"
"That’s correct," Socrates continued. "Before you talk to me about my student let’s take a moment to test what you’re going to say. The first test is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?"
"No," the man replied, "actually I just heard about it."
"All right," said Socrates. "So you don’t really know if it’s true or not. Now let’s try the second test, the test of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my student something good?"
"No, on the contrary…"
"So," Socrates continued, "you want to tell me something bad about him even though you’re not certain it’s true?"
The man shrugged, a little embarrassed.
Socrates continued, “You may still pass though because there is a third test - the filter of Usefulness.
Is what you want to tell me about my student going to be useful to me?”
"No, not really…"
"Well," concluded Socrates, "if what you want to tell me is neither true nor good nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?"
The man was defeated and ashamed and said no more.
This is the reason Socrates was a great philosopher and held in such high esteem.
Never underestimate our heart’s ability to be brought back to life, no matter the difficulties it has endured.
Allah is the Living and the Sustainer.
Fudayl Ibn ‘Iyaad (رحمه الله) said:
“A servant does not reach (taste, acquire) the reality of eemaan until he considers tribulation (calamity) to be a blessing and comfort (opulence) to be a calamity, and until he loves not that he should be praised for worship of Allaah.
For many people happiness is being measure by the wealth, luxury and money you have in your bank account but the reality of happiness is in Alhamdulilah. It remove every afflictions, grief and sorrow. It also remove the self, to be thankful to Allah. Alhamdulilah itself is a ‘domain’ of paradise.
To emulate the Prophetic character is to live according to a moral and ethical value system imbibing and contributing and constructing a pluralistic, just and egalitarian situation that will endeavor to perfect the human condition to secure peace and tranquility for the individual and society.