Thank you history!

“Whoever reads history, despair would never enter his heart!

He will see that the world is days which God rotates between people: The rich become poor. The poor turn rich. The weak of yesteryear are strong today. Rulers of yesterday are vagabonds today. Judges are accused. Conquerors are defeated.

Orbits circulate and life never stops. Events never stop running.

People exchange chairs.

No sadness goes on and no joy lasts.”

–Dr. Mostafa Mahmoud

Poems by Rumi – Set 4

Rumi “The closer I get, the more I see how far I am!”

“Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.”

“Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere..they are in each other all along!”

“If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?”

“If you enter paradise looking for thorns, you will find none there but yourself.”

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”

“Bring anger and pride under your feet, turn them into a ladder and climb higher.”

Jalaal-ud-Deen Ar-Roomi

Divine Strategies

Divine Strategies

(Salima Ibraheem), 801 Criminal Rows, is the heroine of the event.  She, along with her brother, killed her husband by beating and suffocating him. Moreover after he was killed, she ate the flesh from his dead body. That was her detailed confession before the prosecutor and the judge, and that exactly what the police report and the body attested.

I read about that accident as thousands did, and I felt the chills they must have felt.  I also felt very curious to know about that weird brutality in which the woman killed her husband; could hatred take a woman to that far?!

What would the face that eats dead look like?! I went to al-Qanater Women’s Prison, where she was detained, to my surprise I saw a pretty woman, with tiny facial features, very white teeth, with tranquil and serene face. She prays and fasts, and she sleeps deeply and peacefully. She was talking a lot about the divine mercy, the divine decree and the divine wisdom as if she was a Sufi man who lost his way.

Could the outer appearance contradict the inside to that extent? Could the images deceive us, and eyes, hands and tongue lie to us?

Could life become all disguise? I wonder how Allah (SWT) [1]creates beautiful faces for ugly souls. What is the motivation that brings out all that hidden evil from the inside of human soul? Who tears the soul’s veil to reveal its reality?

Perhaps the reason why that wife killed her husband was that he got married again and brought her a second wife. However, that is a normal issue especially in their Bedouin environment where polygamy occurs repeatedly without women eating their husbands! He then divorced her then got her back to him, and he used to abuse her in front of his second wife. Perhaps she killed him as revenge for her hurt dignity! Nevertheless, she admitted that she had multiple affairs with many men during the period of her divorce; meaning that she did not keep any dignity for her owns self. I wonder how that ruin of her soul does not appear on her beautiful, nice, peaceful and tranquil face, which looks as if it was a face of a saint.

 I remember when I once saw a very handsome young man who was charming, quite well-built and as attractive as a movie star. Moreover, he was very polite, speaking quietly and having coyness, then I knew later that he was insane; treated by electric shock.

The inside of that charming man was completely ruined; emptiness was his reality as he was entirely hollow from inside. To that extent the appearance can lie, and the image can deceive.

 (Verily Allah does not look to your bodies nor to your faces but He looks to your hearts…) (Book #032, Hadith #6220)                                                                                               

On the night of committing the crime, the husband came home with a present for his wife to reconcile her. (He did not know that, despite the long years of marriage life, he slept every night with a hyena.) She killed him at a moment when he was flirting her. How could she have the courage to do so?

The same question insists on me continuously:  How can realities disguise in deceitful garments? How can falsehood wear the garment of truth, ugliness wear the garment of beauty, and crime wear the garment of love? I wonder how the Creator (SWT) creates beautiful covers for dreadful souls! I wonder how He puts poison in a flower, and honey in a scorpion, how He hides explosives inside covers of silk! Is this the proof of the verse, “But Allah was to bring forth what ye did hide.” (TMQ[2], 2:72)                                                                                

Is it the Divine strategy by which Allah (SWT) gradually draws souls to examine them and disclose their inside, and what they hide in order to expose their realities, and reveal their ugliness? Thus a beautiful woman may be disclosed to be an executioner, and an ugly man to be an angel.

To my surprise, that woman who killed her husband did not feel remorse or pangs of conscience. She was certain that she was right in what she did!

Is it possible that we do not fully know our own selves? Abu- Bakr said that he would not be fully assured that he would enter paradise  even if one of his legs was inside it as long his other leg was still outside. He was afraid of Allah’s strategies that may disclose a deep hidden evil inside his own soul in the last moment that drives him to the eternal hell. Abu- Bakr was afraid of a deep hidden evil inside himself which he may not be aware of, or know about. 

His fear is considered the peak of piety as it reveals fear of Allah (SWT), humbleness, not being comfortable to the purity and innocence of his soul, not being conceited of his good deeds and his fear of the deep hidden evil that may be suddenly disclosed through a test. Abu- Bakr was not one of those who claim piety and seek for high ranks. He was a man of facts, and those of facts are in permanent fear of having a deep hidden fact, which they are not aware of or know about, disclosed and led them to peril. Those people are having fear; fear from the evil that may be hidden inside their souls, and fear from Allah (SWT). That is the true knowledge of one’s soul and the true knowledge of Allah (SWT). That is for the soul is the (big secret), and the mysterious unseen; it is unseen even for the one him/her self. The reality of the soul can never be disclosed except through suffering. It is always in guile; revealing one of its faces while hiding thousands.

Allah (SWT) is the absolute unseen and the entire secret. Moreover, He has (glory be to Him), if it is right to say, the highest planner. Why did He (SWT) describe Himself of (scheming)? He (SWT) said: “They plot and plan, and Allah too plans; but the best of planners is Allah.” (TMQ, 8:30)                                                                                                                                    

Moreover, what is the difference between the divine scheme and ours?  Allah (SWT) schemes to reveal the fact, but we plot to hide it. That is why Allah’s scheme is all good while our plotting is all evil. Allah’s scheme is light while ours is darkness. His scheme is justice and ours is injustice.

Is there something worse than the guile of those two rows of pearly teeth, which eat the dead, suck blood and whisper with love while they intend to kill? There was only one thing in the appearance of that weird woman that indicated her true nature: her voice. It was metallic voice which was sharp, loud and continuously monotonous as if it was coming out from a metal tube, not from alive heart.  In her voice you cannot recognize grief, joy or anger. It was devoid of all human emotions; a smooth voice that did not show any emotion.  Her voice always made me feel that a non human thing was speaking and that I was in front of an inanimate object. She spoke about love in the same way she spoke about hatred. She spoke about Allah’s mercy in the same way she spoke about His revenge; with the same rigid face and the same monotonous metallic tone. The one who listened to her would feel that there was someone else speaking inside her; a devil, or a jinni, or a prompter speaking from behind. Is it possible that we get possessed by devils? Allah (SWT)said that devils possess only those who are like them, and that there should be agreement and resemblance between two in order that one can dominate the other.

”… evil ones among men and jinns, inspiring each other with flowery discourses by way of deception.(TMQ, 6:112). A devil does not possess (dominate) except a devil like him, so that they can communicate and affect each other.  As for the servants of Allah (SWT), the devils have no way to affect them. Allah (SWT) said, “For over My servants no authority shalt thou have,” (TMQ, 15:42). Thus the one who says that devil dominates him, we reply to him by saying: (because you are a devil like him).

For those who think that Divine scheme is contrary to Divine Justice, we say that it is the essence of justice. That is because Allah (SWT) does not scheme except against a malicious one. “They plot and plan, and Allah too plans” (TMQ, 8:30). “As for them, they are but plotting a scheme And I am planning a scheme.” (TMQ, 86:15, 16). The fact is that Allah (SWT) gives a person, who hides something evil in himself, power over another one who hides something evil as well; and that is the ultimate justice. Here we see a fully perfect balance as in each scale there is a malicious soul that hides something evil. Therefore, their true reality is revealed through the plotting of both malicious souls against each other. That is life, and that is why Allah (SWT) created it: to establish the truth. “It is He who created the heavens and the earth in true…” (TMQ, 6:73). This is the ultimate good in the issue of creating the world, despite what appears of blood shedding, crimes, evil and atrocity. What matters is how things will end. That is because the evils of this world, no matter how strong and persisted are transient. A transient evil does not matter as long it eventually reveals everlasting good. 

If we think quietly and contemplate profoundly what is happening in the world around us, we realize that the matter is serious, despite what appears on the surface of playfulness and futility. There is a measure of everything, and everything is run according to accurate balance. 

We are the skilled deceivers; everyone imagines that he plans perfectly and intelligently. However, we, without being aware, disclose each other, and disclose ourselves through the complex successive dilemmas in which destiny casts us. We are disclosed through the successive events which are called the worldly life until nothing in ourselves is hidden, and then we die after everything is disclosed.

Those who are fully aware of the truth of life tremble from fear. That is because they know that this life is not futility, rather it is dreadfully serious.  A cunning person always asks me how the civilized, clean, white, European technology professor ends up into Hell, while a simple Muslim man crying at the Ka’ab ends up into Paradise! We reply that the man crying at the Ka’ba has already gone to Paradise while he is still in this world. He is already in Paradise; that is because he realized the essence of the matter of life and death. He is connected to the absolute entire knowledge, while the European professor is still occupied with studying iron, copper etc. He is occupied only with the matter of science; he failed to recognize the essence of life. There is no doubt that science is beneficial for the world, but it has no value in the Hereafter. Allah (SWT) did not prevent us from detecting iron and manganese, but He rather commanded us to do so.“…and We sent down Iron, in which is (material for) mighty war, as well as many benefits for mankind,”(TMQ, 57: 25)

This is a command of getting the benefits of iron. However, the religion of Allah (SWT) demands us to go beyond this to realize the matter’s essence in order to search for an everlasting benefit. Thus the Muslim can gather the benefit of the worldly life and that of the Hereafter. Iron and manganese are important, but they are not everything. The simple man who weeps at al- Ka’ba is not an idiot.  He weeps because he has a different profound knowledge; that is knowledge of himself and his Lord. He stands on a higher threshold of knowledge than that of the professor of technology whose knowledge stops at iron and manganese.

There is a huge difference between that man who has profound knowledge of himself and his Lord and the professor whose knowledge stops at the material and its laws. The real idiot is the one who knows about material while being oblivious of the Lord of the material.

Acquiring material science is easy and can be found in books and schools. In Egypt alone, there are more than ten thousand obtaining doctorates, more than a hundred thousand having masters and diplomas, but how many in this country, of ones or dozens who can be said about them from those who have profound knowledge of themselves and their Lord. I have acquired the science of medicine when I was young, now that I am an old man, yet I have not reached the full knowledge of myself or my Lord which is a pinnacle that only few individuals can reach. Those whom their Lord said about them: “Whenever the Signs of ((Allah)) Most Gracious were rehearsed to them, they would fall down in prostrate adoration and in tears.” (TMQ, 19:58)                                                                                                                                                     

That is the same state of that man who prostrates weeping at al-Ka’ba; that is his rank, his degree and his status which is very far from that of the civilized, intelligent Swedish professor of technology. That professor is one of the masters of the land, who is possessing limited property in limited time while the prostrating man is a master of the ancient and latest generations; for him a vast, eternal kingdom in the heavens without boarders. So, who is heedless of the truth and who is fully aware of it?

However, we are in materialistic era in which mentioning Paradise and heavens makes cunning people smile; those who are only interested in the worldly life. They even laugh at our naivity. Their only interest in this world is swift profits. It is then out of justice that Allah (SWT) deals with those malicious people with divine strategy ….” They plotted and planned, but We too planned” (TMQ, 27:50) All that  prosperity, richness and welfare they enjoy is to lure them and draw them gradually (to destruction) “by degrees shall We punish them from directions they perceive not.” (TMQ, 68:44), “Do they think that because We have granted them abundance of wealth and sons, We would hasten them on in every good? Nay, they do not understand” (TMQ, 23:55,56) “Mighty indeed were the plots which they made, but their plots were (well) within the sight of Allah, even though they were such as to shake the hills!” (TMQ, 14:46)

However, if that intelligent fellow, who never runs out of arguments, sees that our rationality and that our logic is about to defeat him, he then screams, “Who am I compared to the greatness of Allah, why will he punish me when I am worth nothing? I am nothing but a trivial atom.” Of course this is false humility and fabricated submission. That is because if he truly realized his Lord’s greatness and his own triviality, he would fall down prostrate before Allah’s glory, and he would feel humbleness before Allah’s reverence, but it is all about argumentation and controversy. We reply to his guile saying: you are not trivial for your Lord, nor is your position insignificant as He breathed into you of His spirit, ordered His angels to prostrate themselves before you, made the whole universe subject to you, gave you immortality and granted you freedom; if you wish, you can be devoted servant to Allah, or you can be diabolical. So, how come you claim your position is trivial with all these privileges?! It is but the trickery of malicious people when they run out of arguments, they then show weakness and helplessness saying: we are nothing but flies, O, Lord. Has the dust any right to be rude? Does the mud have enough significance for You to concern Yourself about it or punish it?

However, were any of them to realize that he is dust, and were all his deeds and sayings to come out of that feeling, he then would have some other completely different position with Allah, but this is their guile, and whatever they plot, Allah’s planning and His strategies are much bigger.

 

Dr. Mustapha Mahmoud

Translated by: Amany Elmorshidy

[1] Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Salam (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) 

[2] Translating the meaning of the Qur’an

Distant Lights

Introduction

The origin of this booklet is a message sent by Sayyed Qutb to his sister, Amina Qutb. It was published in Tunisian magazine, in its sixth volume, forth year, March, 1959, and was titled as “Distant Lights”.

 (1)

In the name of Allah

Dear sister,

I present these ideas to you.

Once you contemplate the concept of death, you then see it everywhere and behind everything. You think of it as a prevailing force that casts its shadow over all of life. You see how it makes life trivial, inconsiderable and trembling in fear.

However, at the moment, I see it as a small and powerless force compared to the super abundant, overwhelming force of life. It can hardly snatch the crumbs falling off the table of life to feed on. The huge proliferation of life is swarming all around me. Everything is heading to growth, flowage and prosperity. Mothers conceive and give birth, in humans as well as in animals. Birds, fish and insects all lay eggs, which hatch into life. Soil bursts out with plants that bloom with flowers and fruits. Sky pours out with rain and seas swarm with waves. Everything on earth is growing and increasing.

Once in a while, death rushes in to snap a bite and leaves. On the other hand, it may wait in silence till it can pick up the crumbs falling off the table of life to feed on, while life is going on in its way, vivid and flowing out. It hardly feels the existence of death or even sees it. It may scream out of pain when death rushes to snap a bite of its body. However, its wound heals in no time and the scream of pain soon becomes mirth. In addition, people and animals, birds and fish, worms and insects, grass and trees spring to overwhelm the face of earth with vivid colors of life, while death is waiting there to snap a bite and leave or just pick up the crumbs falling off the table of life to feed on.

The sun rises and the sun sets; the earth goes around it, and life originates from here and there. Everything is heading to growth; growth in number and in kind, qualitatively and quantitatively. If death could alter this, then it would have long ago stopped the growth of life. Thus, it is but a small and powerless force compared to the super abundant, overwhelming force of life. It is the power of The Everlasting God from which life originates and continues.

(2)

When we live only for ourselves, life appears to us as short and insignificant. In this case, our life starts when we start to perceive the outside world surrounding us and it ends with the end of our limited lifespan… However, when we live for others, that is when we live for an idea, life then appears to be long, deep and meaningful. In this case, our life starts with the beginning of humanity on Earth and continues after we pass away.

In such case, we gain a hundredfold of our own lifespan, and we gain it as reality and not illusion. Regarding life in such a way redoubles our feeling of our days, hours and moments, as life can not be measured by the number of years we live, but the amount of feelings we experience. Moreover, what the (realists) call (illusion) in this case is actually “fact”; a fact that is more valid than any of their (facts). That is because life is nothing else but our feeling (experience) of life. If you divest any human of his appreciation of life, it means divesting him of life itself in its real meaning. Moreover, when a human feels multiplied feeling of his life, it means he actually lives a redoubled life. I do see this matter is too intuitive to be argued about.

We live a multiplied life for our own selves when we live for others. Moreover, the more we multiply our care for others, the more we multiply our appreciation of our own life and the more we multiply this life itself at the end.

(3)

The seed of evil stirs up, but the seed of good bears fruit. The first rises fast towards the sky, but its roots are near to the surface; they are not deeply rooted in earth. It blocks light and air from reaching the tree of good, which in its turn grows slowly and steadfastly as its deep roots compensate for the lack of light and warmness.

However, when we go past the counterfeit glittering appearance of the tree of evil and examine whether it is truly strong, it appears to us as weak, fragile, puffed up, not having real solidity. While on the other hand, the tree of good endures in the face of affliction, keeps firm against storms and continues growing calmly and slowly, not caring about thorns and dust thrown on it by the tree of evil!

(4)

When we touch the good side in people, we discover that there is much goodness that our eyes may not be able to see at first glance!!

I have tried this myself with many, even with those who appear at first as wicked or having little compassion.

If you show some sympathy to their faults and foolishness; show some true cordiality to them, show some genuine care- not artificial- to their interests and their concerns, then the spring of goodness in their souls will be revealed to you. That is when they give you their love, cordiality and trust in return for the little things you provide them from your own self whenever you give them in loyalty, sincerity and purity.

Evil is not deeply rooted in the human soul to the extent we may sometimes imagine. It is only in that hard outer shell by which humans face the struggle of life to survive. Whenever they feel safe, this hard shell reveals sweet and pleasant fruit. It only uncovers to those who can make people feel they have peaceful intentions, and can give them true cordiality and real sympathy in their struggle, pains, errors and foolishness as well. Showing some generosity at the very beginning can achieve all this sooner than many would expect. I have tried all of this, tried it myself. I do not raise it as just some winged words resulting from dreams and illusion.

(5)

When seeds of love, compassion and good grow in our souls, we then release ourselves from a lot of burdens and troubles. We then do not need to falsely flatter people because we will be truthful and sincere when praising them. We will be able to unveil treasures of goodness hidden inside their souls; we will find good qualities which we can truthfully praise. No human is completely bereft of a good side or a good merit that makes him deserve a kind word. However, we are not able to detect or see this good side of a human unless the seed of love grows inside our own selves.

Moreover, in such case we no longer need to bear the burden of getting upset with them or even enduring their faults and foolishness. Instead we will sympathize with their weaknesses and their imperfections and not hunting for them; that is when the seed of love grows inside our own selves. Naturally, we will not bear any grudge against them, or be frightened of them. That is because we only bear grudge against others when the seed of love is not growing enough inside us. Moreover, we fear and guard against them because we lack the confidence of good.

How much tranquility, ease and happiness we grant ourselves, when we grant others our compassion, love and confidence. That is when the seed of love, compassion and good grows in our own selves.

(6)

When we isolate ourselves from people thinking that we are purer, more kindhearted or more intelligent than them, then we have not done something important. We only choose the easiest way and the least effort.

The real accomplishment is to associate with those people while being filled with tolerance, kindness, sympathy in their weaknesses, faults and imperfections and having the true desire to purify, educate and raise them to our level as much as we can.

This does not mean to abandon our high principles or to falsely flatter those people by praising their vices, or showing them that we are higher than them. It is the accommodation to all these contradictions, and having the tolerance required to achieve that accommodation, that is the real grandeur.

(7) 

When we reach a certain level of ability (potency), we find nothing wrong with asking for help from other people, even from those who are less powerful than we are. It does not derogate us that the support we have got from other people helped us reach our high position. We try to do everything by ourselves and we disdain to ask for others’ support or to join their efforts to ours. Moreover, we feel embarrassed when people know that other peoples’ support helped us reach a special position. We do all this when we lack self confidence; that is when we actually have some weakness in any side of our personality. When we are really strong, we then do not feel any of that. It is the child who tries to keep your hand off when you hold him up while trying to walk.

When we reach a certain level of power and ability, we will receive other people’s support with gratitude and joy. We will be thankful to their help and happy that there are people who share us the same beliefs and principles as well as effort and responsibility. It is the joy with the emotional response is the sacred freed joy.

(8)

When we (monopolize) our ideas and beliefs, and get angry when other people arrogate them for themselves, and when we strive to assure ascribing them to ourselves, we only do all this when our faith in those ideas and beliefs is not big enough. That is when those ideas and beliefs are not emanating wholeheartedly from the depth of our hearts that is when our ideas and beliefs are not more beloved to us than our own selves!

The pure joy is the natural fruit of seeing our ideas and beliefs are adopted and embraced by others while we are still alive. When we only imagine that our ideas and beliefs will be strongly embraced by others after we pass away, this will be enough to fill us with happiness, satisfaction and tranquility!

Only merchants stick to trademarks of their goods in order not to be exploited by others who deprive them from gaining profits. On the other hand, intellectuals and ideologists find their happiness in people embracing their ideas and beliefs to the extent they ascribe them to themselves, not to their original creators!

They do not really think they are the original creators of these ideas and beliefs, but just (modest) people who convey and interpret them. They feel that the real source from which they derive their beliefs and ideas is not of their own creation, and all their sacred joy is the fruit of their confidence that they are always connected to that original source!…

(9)

There is huge difference between understanding facts and realizing facts. The first is related to science, while the second means knowledge!

In the first (understanding facts) we deal with no more than terms and mere conceptions, or experiments and partial results. However, in the second (realizing facts), we deal with live responses and whole concepts.

In the first, information comes to us through external stimuli.

Then it remains in our minds aligned and distinct.

In the second, facts emanate from the depth of our own essences supplied with the same blood running in our veins and harmonizing with our own pulse.

In the first, there are items and headings….an item for science and under it there are its various subheadings, an item for religion and under it there are its headings, chapters and sections, an item for art and its headings, method and attitudes!.

And in the second, there is the one power that is connected to the biggest cosmic power, and there is the flowing stream that is connected to the original source!

(10)

We are in pressing need of specialists in every domain of human knowledge who take their laboratories and offices as monasteries and cells! Those who sacrifice their lives to serve their fields of specialization (specialties) feeling great enjoyment! Their feeling is like that of a devoted worshipper sacrificing happily his own soul for the sake of his Deity!

However, we should realize that it is not those scientists who guide for life, or choose the right way for humanity.

Pioneers are and always will be those who have exceeding spiritual powers. Those are the ones who hold up the sacred flame, with its heat all atoms of knowledge melt. Its light guides humanity in their way in life, supplied with all kinds of knowledge which strengthen it while pushing the procession towards the distant noble aim!

Those pioneers are the ones who realize by their insights the comprehensive unity that has diverse shapes in: science, art, creed and work. That is why they do not despise any of them or elevate it over its level.

Only humble-minded think there is contradiction among those diverse powers, so they fight science for the sake of religion, or fight religion for the sake of science. They despise art for the sake of work, or despise powerful liveliness under the name of the Sufi creed! That is because they only realize each power of those powers isolated from a group of other powers emanating from one source that is the Almighty power controlling over the whole universe. However, the great pioneers realize that unity because they are attached to that genuine source and take from it.

Those pioneers are few in the history of mankind; actually they are rare! However, there are enough of them. It is the Power overseeing the entire universe that fashions them and sends them in a specific time when there is urgent need of them.

(11)

The absolute submission to believing in supernatural phenomena and unknown powers is dangerous. That is because it leads to superstition and causes life to turn to a big illusion!

However, absolute denial of this belief is no less dangerous as it closes all ports of the unseen and denies every invisible power simply because it may be bigger than our human perception in a period of human life on earth. Therefore, this diminishes the existence—in space, energy and value as well. That is because it bounds the universe to the limits of the (known) only which is very little when compared to the greatness of the existence!

The human life on Earth is a series of inabilities to recognize the universal powers, or a series of capacities to recognize those powers. The more man develops and takes a step forward in his long way; his perception of the universal powers gets deeper.

The ability of man now and then to recognize one of the universal powers that was unknown to him or was beyond his perception at a point of time is supposed to waken his insight to an important fact. That there should be other powers not known to him yet because he is still in trial stage!

It is our respect of human mind that should lead us to attach importance to the unseen power in our life. That is not to consign all our affairs to it, but rather to feel the real greatness of this universe and how very limited our abilities are when compared to the vast universe.

This is very worthy to provide human soul with many powers of gaining knowledge. Moreover, it enhances our feeling of the close ties that connect us internally to the universe. Undoubtedly those ties are greater and deeper than what we could ever perceive with our minds till now; that is because we still discover new things everyday and life is still going on.

(12)

Some people think that admitting Allah’s absolute grandeur undermines man’s value and standing in the existence. They take it as if Allah and man were peers competing on the grandeur and power of the universe!!

I think that the more we appreciate the absolute greatness of Allah, the more our own greatness increases as we are created by a great God. 

Those who think that they promote themselves when they diminish their God or deny His existence are very narrow-minded. They can not see but the near horizon.

They think that man resorted to Allah only when he was weak and helpless, but now he is too powerful to be in need of a God! It is as if being weak and helpless awakened the insight while being powerful effaced it!!

The more man’s power increases, the more he should appreciate the absolute power of Allah. That is because man is worthy to perceive the source of his own power (that is Allah) the more his power of perception develops.

Those who believe in the absolute power of Allah never feel any inferiority or weakness within themselves. On the contrary, they feel honor and strength within themselves by leaning on the greatest power dominating the whole existence. They know that the domain of their greatness is here on this Earth and among those people. It never conflicts with Allah’s absolute grandeur in the whole existence. They find their real greatness and honor in their deep faith, which can never be found by those who puffed themselves up out of conceit. The swelling of their ego is so blown up, covering their eyes, that they cannot see all the horizons of the vast existence.

13))

Sometimes slavery (thralldom) disguises itself in the garment of freedom. It then appears as breaking away from all restrictions, traditions and customs. It appears as removal from all human responsibilities in this life..

There is an essential difference between breaking the shackles of humiliation, pressure and weakness, and breaking those of humanity and its related responsibilities. The first means real freedom, while the second means giving up basic factors of humanity that release man from heavy animalism.

It is a false freedom because it is nothing but submissiveness and thralldom to ruffian desires and animalism. Humanity spent centuries on Earth struggling against those bestial desires to get rid of their choking shackles and move into human liberty…

Why does humanity feel ashamed of showing its physical needs? That is because it feels by nature that man’s elevation, despite his urgent needs, is the fundamental definition of humanity. Moreover, breaking away from the shackles of those needs is true freedom. That is because overcoming urges of flesh and blood, and defeating fears of weakness and humiliation, assert the true meaning of humanity!

Sayyed Qutb

Distant Lights

Translated by: Amany Elmorshidy

The Mercy of Allah

“Whatever of mercy (i.e. of good), Allah may grant to mankind, none can withhold it; and whatever He may withhold, none can grant it thereafter. And He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise”.( Surat Fatir)

 

In this verse you can see a form of the endless forms of the power of Allah. When the meaning of this verse is firmly established in a human heart, it then leads to an entire change in this heart’s feelings, conceptions, attitudes and values in this life.

It cuts off all the heart’s connections to any power of the universe and connects it only to the power of Allah. It leads the heart to give up any other mercy in the universe and connects it to the mercy of Allah. It closes all other doors except the door of Allah. Moreover, it blocks all other routes to open the route to Allah.

The mercy of Allah is represented in infinite aspects. Man can never enumerate it or list it in himself, his formation, or his honorable position, everything that Allah subjugated to him and all of the blessings Allah bestowed on him of which he knows and does not know; and what he does not know is more than what he knows.

The mercy of Allah emerges in what we are deprived of as well as in what we are granted. Those whom Allah bestowed His mercy upon can find it in everything, in any position, in any circumstances, they can find it everywhere. They find it in their souls, in their feelings; they can find it all around them, no matter how or where they are. They can find it even if they lost everything and seem to other people as if they suffer deprivation.

Those whom Allah deprived of His mercy miss it in everything, in every position, in every state and everywhere. They miss it even if they possess everything and seem to others to enjoy great luxury.

Every gift that is not accompanied by the mercy of Allah turns out to be a curse. Moreover, you can not find an ordeal wrapped by the mercy of Allah, unless it turns out to actually be a blessing. A man may sleep on thorns, and by the mercy of Allah he feels as if he sleeps on a comfortable bed. He may sleep on silk, while the mercy of Allah is not maintained, and it turns into prickles. He handles the hardest matter, and it turns to be easy and simple with the mercy of Allah. On the contrary, the easiest matter becomes hard and complicated if it lacks the mercy of Allah. He, supported by the mercy of Allah, plunges into dangers and fears and they become peace and security. However, he finds paved routes become deadly and ruinous if the mercy of Allah abandoned him.

There is no distress with the mercy of Allah. The distress is in its absence. There is no distress even if the one, wrapped by the mercy of Allah, is in the darkness of prison or in the hell of torment or in the routes of ruin. Moreover, there is no ease when this mercy is withheld, even if the one is leading the most luxurious life. That is because with the mercy of Allah all springs of happiness, satisfaction and tranquillity erupt within the human soul itself. Moreover, the agony of worry, weariness, pains and sufferings creep within the human soul if this mercy is lost.

If the door of this mercy is open while all other doors and routes are closed, nothing can harm you. You will find nothing but ease, relief, comfort and welfare. On the contrary if the door of this mercy is closed while all other doors and routes are open, nothing can benefit you. You find nothing but distress, anguish, hardship, worry and suffering.

If the stream of this mercy flows, then there is no worry even if your livelihood, income and residence worsen. There is no worry even if your life is hard and tough, as you find nothing but weal, comfort, tranquility and happiness. On the other hand, if the stream of this mercy is blocked off, nothing can benefit you, even if your livelihood, income and residence improve, you will find nothing but distress, hardship and misery.

Wealth, children, health, strength, authority and power become sources of worry, fatigue, annoyance and stress if the mercy of Allah abandons them. Only when Allah opens the doors of His mercy, they become sources of tranquility, comfort, happiness and ease.

Allah enlarges wealth– with His mercy- to become good enjoyment and richness. It becomes opulence and ease in this life and a supply for the Hereafter. However, if Allah withholds His mercy, the enlarged wealth turns to be source of worry, fear, and cause of envy and hatred. Moreover, it may be accompanied with deprivation by stinginess or sickness, or it may be wasted by excessiveness or carelessness.

Allah grants children- with His mercy- to be adornment in life and a source of joy and happiness. It is also a source of doubled reward in the hereafter by the righteous offspring that are devoted to Allah. These children could be a source of tribulation, suffering and misery day and night if Allah withholds His mercy.

Allah donates health and strength- with His mercy- to be a blessing and enjoyment in life, but if Allah blocked His mercy, the health and strength would be a curse. That is when the one abuses his health in what destroys his body, spoils his soul and saves evil end for the Day of Judgment.

Allah grants power and wealth- with His mercy- to be means of reformation, source of security and a means of performing good deeds and saving good memory for the hereafter. However, when Allah withholds His mercy, the power and wealth become source of concern not to lose them, and source of tyranny and injustice. They also provoke envy and hatred on their owner so that he can never feel tranquility or enjoy his wealth. As a consequence, they overburden him with heavy load of sins and suffering in hell fire.

Abundant knowledge, long life span and good standing are all changeable and may alter according to Allah sending or withholding His mercy. Even a little knowledge can benefit one and bear fruit, even a short life can be blessed by Allah, and Allah can grant happiness even in modest possessions.

Groups are like people and nations are like individuals, in every situation and in each case. It is not difficult to compare with those examples.

It is of the mercy of Allah to be able to feel His mercy. That is because you are already embraced and overwhelmed by His mercy, but your feeling of it, looking forward to it, and having hope in it, this is the real mercy. Your trust in His mercy and expecting it in every matter is the real mercy. The real agony is your agony when this mercy abandons you, or when you despair of it or doubt it. It is an agony that Allah never afflicts a believer with. “Surely none despairs of Allah’s mercy except the unbelieving people.”

Allah never withholds anyone from seeking His mercy anywhere or anyhow. Anyone who asks for His mercy will definitely find it. Prophet Ibrahim (AS) (Abraham) found it inside the fire. Prophet Yusuf (AS) (Joseph) found it inside the well as well as in prison. Yunus (AS) (Jonah) found it inside the whale’s abdomen in three darkness. Musa (AS) (Moses) found it in the sea, while he was a completely helpless child, as he found it in Pharaoh’s palace while he was his enemy who was looking for him. The Companions of the Cave found it inside the cave while they missed it in palaces and houses. They said to one another, “then seek refuge in the Cave; your Lord will open a way for you from His Mercy….” Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and his companion found it in the cavern when their people were chasing and tracing them. The mercy of Allah is found by any one, who seeks refuge to it despairing of any other mercy, depending on no other power but the power of Allah, heading for no other doors but the door of Allah.

Furthermore, whenever Allah opens the doors of His mercy, no one can withhold it, and whenever He withholds his mercy, no one can send it. Hence, there is no fear of anyone or hope in anyone, there is no fear of anything or hope in anything. There is no fear to miss a means, and there is no hope having the means. It is only Allah’s well, and to Him return all affairs. What Allah opens, no one can withhold, and what He withholds, no one can send. The command is directly to Allah and there is none to put back His decrees. He sends and withholds in accordance with ultimate wisdom behind sending and withholding.

There is nothing hindering people to seek the mercy of Allah. All they have to do is to seek it directly from Allah without mediation or intercession except heading to Him in obedience, hope, confidence and submission.

There is no hope in any of His creation or fear from any of His creation as none can send a mercy that Allah withholds. What tranquility?! What stability?! What lucidity in concepts, feelings, values and standards, this verse establishes in the conscience?!

One verse depicts a new image of life and establishes in the feeling stable values and standards for this life. These values and standards never shake or oscillate or change no matter what the circumstances are.

When this one verse is well established in a human heart, he then will stand as firm and solid as a mountain facing all events, objects, persons, forces, values and considerations. Even if those all powers are supported by the combination of mankind and jinn, they cannot send the mercy of Allah if He withholds it, neither can they withhold His mercy if He sends it.

In The Shade of The Qur’an

Sayyed Qutb

Translated by: Amany el-Morshidy

The Key to True Love – An Islamic Perspective

 

Despite the appreciation we all have for the feelings of love……and even though love mostly becomes the idol of this age to which incense is burnt and sacrifices are offered by youths’ blood and from men’s reputations….despite the chants that are recited, and the drums that are beaten and the pipes that are blown for love….and the cinema and television that are devoted to glorify and raise it to the throne to be the first idol, the primary aim, the sole concern, the sole object and the necessary purpose of life without which life is not life………..

Although we all are either perpetrators or victims of love, and there is none of us except he is afflicted by a wound or an arrow or a burning from love, or he hurt others by an arrow, or a wound or a burning.

In spite of that extreme importance and absolute precedence of love, I ask for your permission to think again and to contemplate for a while in an effort to understand that maze in which we all wander.

I ask myself first, and then I ask you: Do you know why love is always associated with pain, and why it ends up with tears and disappointments?
Let me try to answer this question: love is always coupled with desire. You can not love a woman without desiring her. For this the compassionate and gentle breezes of love soon intermix with flesh, blood and human nature to turn into wind, storm and hurricane. That is when flesh and bones melt in a kiln of overwhelming desire and temporary pleasure which almost ignites to extinguish. 
Should I say that love implies a hidden cruelty and veiled aggression? Yes, it does; if it is tinted with lust, and it must be according to human nature.

Moreover, when a woman feels that a man seizes (takes over) her soul, she, in turn, tries to take away his soul and seize it. Here there is a hidden mutual aggression although it takes the form of love. 

The only time that love is mentioned in the Noble Qur’an is in the story of the Aziz’s wife, (the wife of a minister or a great man in old Egypt), when she felt violent love for her slave (Prophet Joseph PBUH). When Prophet Joseph abstained from committing adultery with her and would not give in to her seduction, she asked her husband to imprison and torture him when he entered suddenly while she was trying to seduce Joseph. 
“She said: “What is the (fitting) punishment for one who formed an evil design against thy wife, but prison or a grievous chastisement?” (Yusuf, 12: 25)

Moreover, while relating her love story to her friends, she said, “I did seek to seduce him from his (true) self but he did firmly save himself guiltless!….and now, if he doth not my bidding, he shall certainly be cast into prison, and (what is more) be of the company of the vilest!” (Yousuf: 12:32)

The violence of her love was accompanied with cruelty, imprisonment and torture. On the other hand, Yousuf said, “O my Lord! The prison is more to my liking than that to which they invite me…” (12:33)

That is because he realized by his insight that love is a prison, and lust is a shackle which grabs the man’s neck until death if he surrenders to it. Joseph believed that staying in prison for some years is more merciful than submitting to lust which is a lifetime of imprisonment.

Love cannot remain pure, fluttering and transparent; it soon, due to human nature, turns to be a part of a trinity which is: love, sex and cruelty. It is a cohesive trinity which sticks together forever. 

The story of love mixed with lust soon comes to an end in few minutes; that is after the two parties have sexual satisfaction. After that, they both feel weariness, boredom and the desire for a new lover to reignite the lust and curiosity again. That is why love soon crumbles to be doubt; when this occurs, each party then suspects the treachery of the other. This in turn leads to more doubt, suspicion, cruelty and jealousy. Thus love turns out to be misery, pains, tears and hurting.

Love is hardly ever detached from this trinity; (love, sex and cruelty). That is why it is always destined to frustration and disappointment, and doomed to fluctuate from one extreme to the opposite. Thus love apostatizes to be enmity and hatred, passions suffer hundred times a day and that is the essence of agony.

That is why this trinity can never be the basis of marriage nor building a family. It is not valid to establish the constant close ties between the two sexes.
It is from the signs of the greatness and the miraculous nature of the Noble Qur’an that when it speaks about marriage, love was not mentioned; instead it mentioned cordiality and mercy. That is the tranquillity and comfort that souls of married couples feel with each others. That is when marriage is established on mercy instead of love, and cordiality instead of lust.

“And among His Signs is this that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquillity with them, and He has put cordiality and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for those who reflect.”(30:21) 

It is cordiality and mercy which are the keys of marital life. 
Mercy necessarily contains love, but love does not have mercy. Love may turn, with lust, to be aggression.
Mercy is more profound, purer and clearer than love. It is a sublime and compound human sense as it includes love, sacrifice, tolerance, compassion, forgiveness and generosity.

We all, due to human nature, are able to love; however, only very few people can have true mercy. And among thousands of granules, there may be only one who has mercy, while the rest are seekers of love, euphoria and pleasure.

That is why the book of eternal wisdom which descended to us from Allah (SWT) reminded us that marriage is about mercy, cordiality and tranquility. With no mention of one word about love, thus The Noble Qur’an destroyed the idol of this era such as it had destroyed the idols of al-Ka’ba in the old days. 

Those who have vast experience of life and women know the depth and truthfulness of those words descended in the Qur’an.
There is neither confiscation of love in those Quranic words nor cancellation of lust, but they are to confirm that making love and lust without a frame of mercy, cordiality and legitimacy is just futility that must end to frustration. 

Animals can make love and practice lust and courtship. Man alone is distinguished by this frame of cordiality, mercy and compassion. That is because man can overcome his desires; that is when he fasts and resists hunger and sticks to chastity while he has strong desire.

Mercy and compassion is not weakness, but rather is the utmost power because it is overcoming animalism and the darkness of lust.

Mercy is the light and lust is the fire. People of mercy are those who have light, serenity and magnificence, and they are truly dignified.

Moreover, cruelty is cowardice while mercy is courage. Mercy and compassion are the characters of every courageous, generous and noble person. Moreover, those who are possessed by retaliation have nothing but trivia, shabbiness and wretchedness.

Mercy and compassion are the seal of paradise on the foreheads of the happy elite from the people of Earth. You can know them by their mark, their character and their light. 

Signs of a merciful person are calmness, serenity, tolerance, open-mindedness, patience, gentleness, self-examination before rushing into reactions, abstaining from fighting for immediate gains and self benefit, refraining from bearing a grudge, controlling desire, pensiveness, love of silence and enjoying solitude. That is because the merciful person has light inside himself that makes him feel comfortable despite being alone; that is because he is in constant dialogue with Allah, and permanent ease with creation.

Merciful people are few; they are the pillars of universe and its stakes by which Allah saves the Earth and what is on it. 

The Day of Judgment will come only when hearts run out of mercy, when grudges and undignified materialism prevail; when desires control people, then the structure of the Earth will collapse and be demolished completely. 

O, my Lord, I ask for your mercy
I ask for everlasting cordiality
I ask for a compassionate partner and a kind heart
O, my Lord, there is no mercy except with You, from You and towards You

Dr. Mustafe Mahmoud
Translated by: Amany el-Morshidy
Edited by: Catherine Gallgher

A World of Secrets

The believer does not suffer from something called psychiatric diseases. That is because he/she lives in acceptance and harmony with all that is happening to him, whether it is good or evil. He/she is just like a passenger of a plane who has full confidence in the pilot, that he cannot go wrong because he has ultimate knowledge and skills of controlling a plane. He will fly it efficiently in all circumstances and will pass by storms, heat, cold, ice and fog. 

In such a plane, and with full confidence in the pilot, he can sleep in his chair in complete contentment and tranquility. He does not shiver or shake if the plane falls into turbulence, or staggers in a turn, or tends towards a mountain. He knows that all those things happen by the pilot’s will and under his knowledge, and that they happen with wisdom behind them and for a purpose of greater safety. Everything is being masterminded, and every event is predestined, and there is nothing more perfect than what has already been predestined. That is why he gives himself fully to the pilot without accountability or arguing. He has full confidence in him; that is why he stretches in his chair with full serenity, in a state of complete trust.

That is the same sense of confidence the believer has with his Lord, Who drives the ship of destiny, controls the course of events, leads the huge universe, and runs galaxies in their orbits and suns in their rising and setting.

Everything that is happening to him, which he has no power over, is eventually good. If he has an illness and medicine fails to treat him, he says to himself, “This is good!” If his plants burn because of drought and all his means fail to avoid the disaster, he says to himself, “This is good, Allah will provide me with something better.” If he fails in love, he says, “Failed love is better than a failed marriage.” If his marriage fails, then he says, “All praise be to Allah!  Loneliness is better than bad company.” If his business goes bankrupt, he says, “All praise be to Allah. Perhaps Allah knows that wealth is bad for me, and that worldly earns will make me lose in the Hereafter. And if someone dear to him passes away, he says, “All praise be to Allah, Allah is worthier of our life than we are of it and He is the only One Who knows whether it is good or bad for us to live longer. All Glory be to Him, He is not questioned about what He decrees.”

The believer’s slogan is always: “But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not.”  (Chapter #2, Verse #216)  

He always has comfort in his heart, with a tranquil soul, seeing by the light of his inner insight that the world is a place for tests and affliction, and it is just a temporary resting spot and not a permanent home. It is a temporary shelter which will be completely removed with its good and evil. Only those who show patience and gratefulness are the winners.

The believer’s heart cannot be invaded by an evil obsession, nor is his soul troubled by any scruple. That is because his soul is always busy with the remembrance of The Almighty, The Most-Merciful, and his heart always whispers: Allah…..Allah…with each pulse. The Satan cannot find a step or a dark corner in such a heart to creep in.

It is a heart that cannot be moved by calamities or shaken by disasters because it is firmly established in the seat of Truth, which never changes or alters.

The believer gives different names to all psychiatric diseases that psychiatrists talk about. For him/her repression is called sticking to chastity….. Deprivation is a spiritual development….Feeling guilty is piety….  Fear (which is fear from Allah) is a protector from slipping into sin. Suffering is the way to wisdom and grief leads to knowledge.

Desires are steps of a ladder that the believer climbs over through suppressing them. He triumphs over his desires by reining them in to reach the status of serenity and spiritual strength.

Insomnia is a gift from Allah, as the night in which the believer cannot sleep can be spent in remembrance of Allah. Spending the night with Allah is a special blessing that the believer should be thankful for; not complaining or seeking for a tranquilizer. Furthermore, if s/he remains awake till dawn, this offers him/her a chance to make his/her dawn prayer which is a great grace.

In addition, going through feelings of remorse sometimes allow the believer to reflect, return to the truth and go back to Allah. Even Pain, including physical and psychological, is considered as a divine aid by which the believer can resist the lure of the worldly life and renounce it.

Despair, carrying a grudge and envy are psychiatric diseases which the believer never suffers. Furthermore, he is capable of overcoming hatred, the urges for revenge and retaliation through forgiveness, pardoning and tolerance. He does not get enraged except to defend one who has been oppressed and help him/her attain justice; he never practices violence except to overcome an oppressor.

The prevailing feelings that overwhelm the believer are cordiality, mercy, patience, gratitude, forbearance, compassion, gentleness, forgiveness, acceptance and contentment. Being occupied with such positive feelings, the believer develops a state in which there is no place for psychiatric diseases or psychiatry.

For the believer, the worshiped idols such as wealth, sex, prestige and authority are all demolished, and are no longer able to fragment his\her emotions, or distract his\her attention. Hence the believing soul can attain focus to unite its energy. Here the fog of desires clears, the vision becomes lucid, eddies calm down and tranquility prevails. As a consequence the believer gains more control over his\her own self, becoming more able to lead it as he turns from slavery to his\her own self to be free, and that is all because of the believer’s profound understanding of Monotheism: (there is no God except Allah). Besides, he\she realizes that there is no ruler, or controller or owner of the creation except only One, thus he\she is freed of the fear of any tyrant and any master. For him/her, even death is seen as liberty and pleasant journey to meet with the beloved.

The soul is different due to faith and becomes protected from psychiatric diseases. It is ascended to such a status by faith, obedience and worship, to the extent that its choices become as the same as what Allah chooses for it and its inclination is the same as what Allah pleases. 

Narcissism and selfishness melt and no longer exist in such a faithful soul, thus it becomes a working tool and a hand executing the will of The Lord.

Such a believing soul is never afflicted by depression as it is always optimistic, having certain faith that there is no distress with the presence of Allah, and that justice can be achieved as long as there is Allah, The Utterly Just. For the believer, the door of hopefulness is always open as long as The All Able is alive and he never dies.

The believing soul is in permanent childish astonishment from the signs of divine power all around. A believer feels ecstasy of the beauty he can see in everything. He can see the traces of The Creator’s creativity in major galaxies as in minor atoms and micro electrons. The larger the scientific domain expands, the wider the area of fascination gets, and the ecstasy multiplies. That is why the believing soul does not know weariness, or apathy, or depression.                                                             

The grief of the believing soul is luminous. It is filled with hopefulness. In the hardest times of pain and tragedy, this soul never gives up hope and thinking well of Allah; that leads it to feel secure all the time, because it believes that Allah is always there.  For this soul, nothing saddens it more than its own deficiencies, shortcomings and sins; not the deficiencies or shortcomings of others.  However, its deficiencies do not discourage it from striving to reform its flaws.  Thus it is engaged in continuous Jihad (striving to reform oneself), continuous climbing up the tree of sins to get out of the cone shadow to the light spreading at the top of the tree. From that light, the soul is given life; not from the thick mud at the bottom of the tree.                             

Thus this soul is in fighting for existence, and always engaging in a war of internal purification. However, it is a calm and confident conflict, which never disturbs its tranquility or dispels its serenity.  That is because it has certainty that it fights its internal flaws with the power of Allah (SWT), not by its own power. That soul’s feeling of being in permanent companionship with Allah never deserts it. That is the reason why this soul feels lasting security despite the inside fighting against ghosts of defeat and forces of nihilism….it is not fighting alone.

That is the biggest Jihad that occupies the believing soul and protects it from being occupied by trivialities, complaints and little pains; it also preserves it from obsession on its own self, lamenting itself or celebrating its talents. It is busy by going beyond itself and ascending over it. It is always in a continuous journey of exit; a journey of ascension and going beyond itself. The constitution of this soul is: to always resist what you desire and bear what you dislike.

The feelings of this soul flow smoothly in complete harmony with the universe, perfectly compatible with its laws, easily adapted to the changes that exist. Tolerance and natural simplicity are deeply rooted in such a soul; it seeks friendship with everything, and its perfect ideal is Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) while he was embracing Mount Uhud saying, “This is the mountain which loves us and we love it.” (Muslim) Thus comprehensive love is the root of all feelings of the believing soul. It is in permanent reconciliation with nature, with destiny and with Allah.

Such a soul never suffers solitude when being alone; on the contrary it enjoys a magnificent feeling of being in the company of Allah. For this soul, loneliness does not mean emptiness, or silence; it is rather busyness in being engaged in a rich and precious internal dialogue and a deep feeling of the luminous presence of Allah all around.  This cannot be loneliness, but rather a secure embrace. The only torment for this soul is its sin, and when it suffers separation and distance from The Creator. It is an agony that can be relieved by the soul’s profound faith in Allah’s forgiveness, generosity, and His love of those who repent and pray for forgiveness.

The nearest the soul comes to its Lord is when it is prostrating itself before Him; that is when the believing soul melts in love and humility to Allah. One of the Awliya’ of Allah [i.e. those who believe in the Oneness of Allah and fear Allah much (abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which he has forbidden), and love Allah much (perform all kinds of good deeds which He has ordained)], said, “We are enjoying a pleasure (of closeness to Allah), which if the kings taste, they would fight us to attain it!” However, the kings are so far from experiencing such a pleasure, while they are sinking in the worldly life, imprisoned in its materialistic pleasures.

Religion, obedience and Jihad (striving against its forbidden desires) are the only way for the believing soul to be born again and get out of its mud cocoon. There is no other way for its birth; as science breeds conceit, art breeds nothing except idolization. Thus, only religion is the incubator in which the soul grows and reaches its target. Among scientists there may be some with mental illness, busy in inventing devastating weapons and poisonous gas. Among artists, there may be some deifying themselves and drowning in sensory pleasures. Religion alone is the path for the soul to attain integrity, salvation and healing.

The believing soul is always active, energetic and working to serve and help others. Its contemplation and worship never cut it off from being engaged in people’s everyday lives. You can see it in streets, markets and crowdedness of livelihood. That is because it sees work as an aspect of worship; and sweat and toil are the treatment and cure of the diseases of luxury, laziness and idleness.

The life of such a soul is a journey of longing for Allah, a trip of gaining knowledge and a message of helping others. Working is its gate to mental health. Its ultimate hope is to still be able to work until the last breath, and to die while planting a tree, building a wall or lighting a candle. Such a soul is a lifeboat, and it is protected from any psychiatric disease. It has no need of these days’ medicine as its life is truly a prescription of happiness.

Source:  “A World of Secrets”

Dr. Mustpha Mahmoud

Translated by: Amany Elmorshidy