Knowing Another, Good Manners, Intangibles
Issue 788 » May 2, 2014 - Rajab 3, 1435
Al-Hujurat (The Chambers) Chapter 49: Verse 13 (partial)
The Prophet Muhammad's (peace be upon him) greatest political achievement was to find a way of helping the Arabs to transcend the aggressive jahiliyyah that was tearing Arabia apart. Pluralisms and diversity are God's will; the evolution of human beings into national and tribal groups was meant to encourage them to appreciate and understand the essential unity and equality of the entire human family. But national and tribal chauvinism (asabiyyah), which regards one's own group as inherently superior to all others, is condemned as arrogant and divisive. Tribalism in this sense is still alive and well today. If we continue to make our national interest an absolute value, to see our cultural heritage and way of life as supreme, and to regard outsiders and foreigners with suspicion and neglect their interests, the interconnected global society we have created will not be viable. After the world wars, genocide, and terrorism of the twentieth century, the purpose of the tribe or the nation can no longer be to fight, dominate, exploit, conquer, colonize, occupy, kill, convert, or terrorize rival groups. We have a duty to get to know one another, and to cultivate a concern and responsibility for all our neighbours in the global village.
"Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life" - Karen Armstrong, p. 144
We should turn to Allah to seek His help in becoming a person of good character. It is recorded by Ahmad in different narrations from both Ibn Masud and Aisha that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to say, "O Allah, You made my physical being beautiful, so make my character beautiful."
Everyone should realize that good character is truly a great gift from Allah and it is only Allah who can bestow such a gift. Thus, the Prophet (peace be upon him) also used to make the following supplication, "Guide me to the best manners, no one can guide to the best of them but You. And turn me away from evil manners, no one can turn me away from them except you." [Muslim]
"Commentary on the Forty Hadith of an-Nawawi" - Jamaal al-Din Zarabozo, p. 1025
The depression brought the world to the very borderline of understanding of the forces which are intangible and unseen. Through the ages which have passed, man has depended too much upon his physical senses, and has limited his knowledge to physical things, which he could see, touch, weigh, and measure.
We are now entering the most marvellous of all ages—an age which will teach us something of the intangible forces of the world about us. Perhaps we shall learn, as we pass through this age, that the “other self” is more powerful than the physical self we see when we look into a mirror.
Sometimes men speak lightly of the intangibles— the things which they cannot perceive through any of their five senses, and when we hear them, it should remind us that all of us are controlled by forces which are unseen and intangible.
The whole of mankind has not the power to cope with, nor to control the intangible force wrapped up in the rolling waves of the oceans. Man has not the capacity to understand the intangible force of gravity, which keeps this little earth suspended in midair, and keeps man from falling from it, much less the power to control that force. Man is entirely subservient to the intangible force which comes with a thunderstorm, and he is just as helpless in the presence of the intangible force of electricity— nay, he does not even know what electricity is, where it comes from, or what is its purpose!
Nor is this by any means the end of man’s ignorance in connection with things unseen and intangible. He does not understand the intangible force (and intelligence) wrapped up in the soil of the earth—the force which provides him with every morsel of food he eats, every article of clothing he wears, every dollar he carries in his pockets.
"Think & Grow Rich" - Napoleon Hill, pp. 212, 213