Pious Souls, Good in Everyone, Will Power
Issue 539 » July 24, 2009 - Shaban 2, 1430
Living The Quran
Chapter 19: Verse 96
"Allah the Most Gracious bestows love on those who believe and do good."
Allah the Most Gracious evokes everyone's love for believers who are engaged in good deeds. It is significant that the divine attribute of "grace" is especially mentioned in this context. For it represents His mercy and grace. Allah infuses our love for such pious souls.
An authentic hadith, recorded by both Bukhari and Muslim, states that when Allah loves one of His servants, He tells Gabriel: "I love this servant of Mine. You should also love him." The latter passes on this message to other angels stationed at various heavens. So much so that love for this person permeates even the fish in the water and the ants in their colonies.
We have witnessed first hand how Allah showers His grace on His pious servants. They are loved in all the corners of the world. Men are captivated by them. Such a phenomenon is consistent and may be observed by anyone at any time.
"Guidance from the Holy Quran" - Sayyid Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi, pp. 227, 228
Understanding The Prophet's Life
Seek the Good in Everyone
We must recognize that every person who believes in Allah and in His Messenger cannot be devoid of some inborn good, however evil his practice may be. Involvement in major transgressions does not uproot a person's iman unless the transgressor deliberately defies Allah and scorns His commands. Here, as elsewhere, we have to heed the Sunnah of the Prophet, peace be upon him, who used to treat wrongdoers as a physician would treat a patient, not as a policeman would treat a criminal. He was very kind to them and always listened to their problems.
During the lifetime of the Prophet there was an alcoholic who was repeatedly brought to the Prophet and was repeatedly punished, yet still persisted. One day when he was brought again on the same charge and was lashed, a man from among the people said: "May Allah curse him! How frequently has he been brought [to the Prophet to be punished]?" The Prophet said: "Do not curse him. By Allah I know he loves Allah and His Messenger." It is also reported that the Prophet said: "Do not assist Satan against your brother." The Prophet prevented them from cursing him because their action could create discord and ill feeling between the man and his fellow Muslim brothers - his transgression should not sever the bond of brotherhood between him and other Muslims.
Deep contemplation of the above example and incident amply demonstrates the Prophet's insight into the inherent element of goodness in man. We need, more than ever before, to study and follow the exemplary pattern that the Prophet has set for us. Those extremists who indiscriminately accuse whoever makes a mistake of kufr or shirk must understand that they have to change their strategy and learn that a great deal of the corruption and perversion they abhor results mainly from ignorance of Islam, bad company, or forgetfulness. The solution is to help people overcome and defeat all these problems. To be harsh, to accuse others of kufr, and to find fault with whatever they do only serves to alienate and estrange them. A wise man once said: "Rather than cursing darkness, try to light a candle for the road."
Islam: The Way of Revival,"The Ethics of Daw'wah and Dialogue" - Yusuf al Qaradawi, pp. 224, 225
Train Your Will Power
Many people fail to get ahead because they have no willpower to do what they know they should be doing. Nor can they help themselves to avoid the things which they know will ruin them. Many such people would like to give up smoking, to stop using drugs, or to avoid affairs outside of marriage. Many find that gambling or alcohol addiction is wrecking their lives. Yet these people have no willpower to set their life on the right course. They feel helpless, and they have to deal with a nagging conscience that pricks them with what they could have done, or should have done.
Yet there are some strong-willed people who seem to be able to do what they know is right and avoid what they know is wrong. Such people experience peace of mind knowing that they are doing the right thing. Their willpower is obviously working for them.
But how do they do it? What is the secret? The secret is that you can train your willpower.
Suppose you made a resolution to skip lunch for a month and actually stuck to your decision. You may save your lunch money, lose a few pounds, develop sympathy for the poor, and give your digestive system a much-needed rest. More importantly, you will strengthen your willpower.
The reason this works is that you teach yourself to avoid lunch even when you know you could have it if you decide. Your stomach may growl, but you won't listen. Thus you train yourself to ignore the calling of your lower physical self and reach for the higher goals of real human achievement. If you stick to your decision day after day for a month you can develop a regular habit of doing the right thing even when your desires are calling for something else.
Every year, for one month, able Muslims go through a similar fasting exercise. They observe the fast as a compulsory practice which God prescribed in His revealed messages, especially in His last revealed book. One of the many benefits they experience from fasting is its training aspect. The willpower they develop in the one month helps them to continue doing the right thing and avoiding the wrong throughout the year. They find the fast such an effective method of spiritual training and of achieving a closeness with their creator that many Muslims also keep some additional, optional, fasts on other days of the year. They eat an early breakfast before dawn and a late dinner after sunset. From dawn to sunset they would have no food or drink; they would also refrain from sexual activity. Whereas the baser selves regularly call for these things, Muslims train themselves with the help of God to fulfill their natural needs in the time and manner which God declared suitable for human dignity and well-being.
During the fast Muslims also train themselves to always avoid lying, cheating, backbiting, and all manner of false speech and immoral actions.
"How to Train Your will power to work for you" - Shabir Ally