Welfare of Humanity, Humiliation, Time-Management Tips
Issue 973 » November 17, 2017 - Safar 28, 1439
Welfare of Humanity
Al-Maidah (The Table Spread) Sura 5: Verse 45
"We decreed for them in it (Torah): a life for a life, an eye for an eye, a nose for a nose, an ear for an ear, a tooth for a tooth, and a similar retribution for wounds. But for him who forgoes it out of charity, it will atone for some of his sins. Those who do not judge in accordance with what God has revealed are indeed wrongdoers."
Security and stability are basic human needs and are equally as important as food, clothing and shelter. Without security and stability, a human being is not able to properly conduct his daily life and contribute to the development and advancement of society. The ultimate objective of the Islamic legal code is to secure the welfare of humanity in the world and to build a civilization wherein every human being can live in a climate of peace, justice and security. This is a civilization that allows a person to fulfil his every spiritual, intellectual, and material need and cultivate every aspect of his being.
To safeguard human life, property and honour, Islam has prescribed punishments for those who commit crimes against these. These seemingly harsh punishments for murder, theft, fornication and rebellion are prescribed by the Creator and handed down through the teachings of all His prophets. On the one hand, these punishments are the just rewards for the crimes, and on the other, they also serve as deterrents to others to refrain from committing anti-social acts. In the case of personal injury, the victim has the option of foregoing the right of retaliation. This good by him may atone for many of his sins.
It is instructive to note that although the right of retaliation and the law of retribution are prescribed, the Islamic approach is to reform the individual and so it addresses the innermost soul of man and what motivates him. In this way, it tries to deter him from disobedience and make him obey Allah. The following passage on this issue by Sayyid Qu?b is very pertinent: "In the final resort, it is fear of God and consciousness of Him that work on man's conscience, both in public and in private. They are the motives that deter man from committing evil when no other human being sees him and when he is certain that he cannot be brought before the law in this life. Important and necessary as the law is, it cannot replace fear of God, because what escapes the hand of the law is far greater than the number of cases that are brought to justice. No human soul and no society can remain good if it relies only on the law without adding to it the fear of a higher, divine authority that works on human conscience."
"Treasures of the Qur'an: Surah al-Fatihah to Surah al-Mai'dah" - Abdur Rashid Siddiqui
The one who is in need of what people have might think that those people will actually benefit or harm him, and this is an illusion. The real One who benefits or harms you is your Lord. Out of illusion, one might think that people who have power or wealth, for example, will bring benefit or harm to him. Thus, one allows himself to be humiliated by the people he is in need of. In fact, people never bring benefit or cause harm to others. Neediness is the source of humiliation, and illusion is the source of neediness. Freedom from all of this is the solution and is another step in God's way.
It is true that one must interact with people, ask them for help or a favour. There is nothing wrong with this as long as seeking peoples' help does not bring with any neediness in one's heart, which in turn produces humiliation and servitude. It is all about the feeling of neediness or humiliation in the heart.
It is normal to ask for your needs, but when you ask people to do you a favour or ask them for money, you must ask them with dignity—without begging or feeling humiliated. Do not plant the seed of neediness in your heart, or it will lead to humiliation that grows like a tree, God forbid, and eventually, humiliation transforms us into slaves to others than God.
If you free yourself from the illusion that people have the ability to benefit or harm you, you will be saved, and you will deal with people with the right state of heart. The Prophet (peace be upon him) gave Ibn Abbas (may God be pleased with him) the following advice, and Ibn Abbas at that time was a young boy. The Prophet said: "O young lad! Know that if the whole nation were to unite and try to benefit you with something, they would never benefit you except by that which God has written for you. And if the whole nation were to unite and try to harm you with something, they would never be able to harm you except with that which God had written for you." [Tirmidhi]
Real freedom comes from servitude to God. This is the definition of freedom in the Islamic worldview. And if you are a true servant of God, then you are free from other than Him. You are free from human beings, material things, and even from your own desires. You are free from any social, political, psychological, or financial pressure. You have no illusion, no neediness, and no humiliation, and you have your freedom.
"A Journey to God: Reflections on the Hikam of Ibn Ataillah" - Jasser Auda
1. First things first: Figure out the real priorities in your life. What's worth spending an hour on? What comes first? What is a must-do and what is good-to-do?
2. Allocate time consistently to activities that matter. Unless you plan for and schedule time for community work, or studies, or attending to parents, spouse, or children, on daily basis, it's not considered important enough to you; chances are you will eventually start neglecting these high priority actions.
3. Schedule your day around five daily prayers. No compromises. This will not only develop your discipline but also your will-power to live a purposeful life.
4. Plan for significant events in your life yearly. Whether it's getting married, or applying for university, or going to Hajj, or paying Zakat, or attending a conference, or organizing a community event, plan for it so other trivial matters do not distract you from your goal.
5. Be an early riser. Schedule your important tasks, especially that require mental exercise, earlier in the day, and see the Baraka (blessings) from Allah do the magic!
6. Honour other's time. Aim to make it to the meetings, classes, events 10 minutes before the start time. If you are running late, inform the other parties. Honouring other's time is part of fulfilling your promise. Breaking a promise not only causes inconvenience to others but also makes you lose respect in their sight.
7. Just do it! Don't waste any opportunity to do good. Don't wait to 'get old' to fix your life. If you are not willing to live a purpose-driven, productive life now, then how do you expect Allah to give you a chance in the future?
8. Be optimistic and futuristic. Do not let failures and disappointments in life distract you from your lofty goals. Look beyond the temporal realities and plan for the future that matters. Otherwise, you may remain a loser now, as well as in the future.
9. Think of a positive legacy you would like to leave, regardless of the time you have. Make your intention today to make a positive difference in your life and the lives of others. If you die tomorrow, your intention will count as your plan for a mission-driven life. But it won't happen if you don't act today to develop a firm intention and plan.
"9 Things You Can Do To Revive the Prophet's Time-Management Sunnah" - Taha Ghayyur