Law of Success, Anger and Misfortune, Invisible Bars

Issue 834 » March 20, 2015 - Jumada Al-Awwal 29, 1436

Living The Quran

Law of Success
Al-Zumar (The Crowds) - Chapter 39: Verse 74 (partial)

"… and excellent is the reward of [righteous] workers."

This world is real. Baseless opinions, superstitions and dreams have no real value in this world. The consequences of our actions are not only visible in the Hereafter but also in this world. God’s law of consequence and reward is one and the same, because, the God of this world and the Hereafter is the One and Only. Therefore, the law that govern the fruits of our labours and that determines our success do not change whether we are in this world or the Hereafter.

The Sunan of Allah (Divine Law) that governs our success is eternal and never changing as is evident in numerous verses of the Quran similar to the one above. According to that law, no success has ever been promised to those who are lazy, slackers, idle, neglectful and passive. Their dreams and hopes are never realized.  The Divine Law of consequence and reward does not distinguish between those who believe and those who reject God. Everyone will face the consequences and rewards of his or her actions and deeds. Similarly, those who do nothing cannot expect any reward or success, regardless of the faith tradition they claim to belong to. It is for this reason that believers are always attentive and work tirelessly towards success both in this world and in the Hereafter. Passive and idle efforts clash with the Divine Law of consequence and reward which can only result in total destruction in both worlds.

Compiled From:
"Ideals of Successful Life" - Muhammad Abdul Rahim, p. 345

Understanding The Prophet's Life

Anger and Misfortune

Patience is of two kinds: patience in anger and patience in misfortune. As al-Hasan said: "A creature can swallow no bigger draught than the draught of forbearance in anger, and the draught of patience in misfortune." That is because the principle is patience with what causes pain. The man who is brave and courageous is one who patiently endures the cause of pain.

If the painful thing is one that can be got rid of, it stirs up anger: if it is something that cannot be removed, it causes grief. This is why the face turns red from anger, due to the excitation of the blood in one conscious of his power, whereas it turns pale with grief due to the depression of the blood in one conscious of his impotence. This is why the Prophet (peace be upon him) brought the two together in the authenticated Tradition related by Muslim on the authority of Ibn Masud, who said: "The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: 'Who is considered a raqub among you?' They said: 'One to whom no children are born.' — 'That is not a raqub! A raqub is a man who receives nothing from his children. What is considered a suraa among you?' We said: 'One whom men cannot throw down.' — 'Not so, a suraa is one who controls himself in anger.'" Thus what he mentioned includes both patience in misfortune and patience in anger.

Compiled From:
"Public Duties in Islam" - Ibn Taymiyah, p. 107


Invisible Bars

It is difficult, in these times of global communication and culture, of speed, sometimes of haste and collective emotionalism to take the time to reconcile ourselves with the slow, dense time of critical reason, of knowledge, understanding, and complexity. Day-to-day mingling and personal involvement is what awakens minds, brings awareness, and spurs the desire to go further, to understand better, and to carry out a dialogue. This is why we must really live and work together on shared projects.

Over and beyond all the theories that could be devised, it is important to ask everyone: how many women and men from outside your "own circle," your "own culture," or your "own universe of reference" have you met during the past month? With how many of them have you exchanged views, debated, or even worked at a common social, cultural, or political project? How many women and men have you met in the past month, or two or six months, with whom you have experienced cultural, religious, and social diversity, been positively questioned, and been compelled to reconsider your way of thinking, your certainties, and your habits as well as some of your prejudgments and prejudices? It is easy to think of oneself as "open" in a universe peopled with always the same citizens and friends, and where openness is thought rather than actually experienced. Mental ghettos are not mirages; they actually exist in palpable reality: being "open" inside one's mental or intellectual ghetto does not open its door but simply allows one to harbour the illusion that there is no ghetto and no door. The most dangerous prisons are those with invisible bars.

Compiled From:
"What I Believe" - Tariq Ramadan, pp. 114, 115