Tuesday, November 19, 2013

What we give, we receive


بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ 
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful


I am fascinated by the concept of Law of Attraction (LOA). And I know, there are thousands of people out there who are also fascinated by this concept. One of the reasons for Law of Attraction to be well-known and widely accepted is due to its main principle, that is, if we give positivity, then we will in return receive positivity, yet if we give negativity, we will be repaid with negativity. In simple terms, what we give, we get back, whether it's good or bad. This principle is such an interesting, workable, easy and appealing principle to be practised in life. Everyone can practise it.



Being a Muslim, one cannot help but wonder, does this principle exist in Islam? The principle, described in books on Law of Attraction, sounds so fancy and to some unrealistic, so does it have a root in the teachings of Islam? If it does, in which part of the Quran or Ahadith that talks about this?

In truth, yes, Islam has long professed the principle of "do good, and you'll receive good" in its teaching. The proof is encrypted in Surah Al-Israa' 17: 7:

إِنْ أَحْسَنتُمْ أَحْسَنتُمْ لِأَنفُسِكُمْ ۖ وَإِنْ أَسَأْتُمْ فَلَهَا
(If you do good, you do good for yourselves; and if you do evil, [you do it] to yourselves.)
[Jika kamu berbuat kebaikan, (maka faedah) kebaikan yang kamu lakukan adalah untuk diri kamu; dan jika kamu berbuat kejahatan, maka (kesannya yang buruk) berbalik kepada diri kamu juga]

In fact, in Islam, when one does good, he will not only receive good, he will also receive Allah's love pleasure and blessings. Subhanallah, beautiful indeed is Islam.

There are a lot of principles of Law of Attraction that are actually rooted in the teachings of Islam, in the Quran and Ahadith. They may not be presented in the way authors of Law of Attraction present it in their books, but the principles are there, uniquely scattered for us to discover and understand. In future post, I will reflect more on the connection of the principles of Law of Attraction with the teachings and practices of Islam, insyaAllah.

Wallahu'alam.


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Life without judgment : A concept rooted in Islam


بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ 
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful


I like to follow successful, positive and inspiring people on Twitter and Facebook. Their perspectives, ideas, reflections and responses are greatly inspiring, unique and insightful. Most of all, their optimism inspires and moves me. One of those that I have just started following is the founder of Buffer app, Joel Gascoigne. You can follow him here: @joelgascoigne

Recently Joel Gascoigne tweeted "Accepting what comes to us without judgement", linked to his writing on Medium.com. He expresses that he is fascinated by a quote he discovered in the book "Autobiography of a Yogi", which he told was one of Steve Job's favourite books. The quote is:

“The one who pursues a goal of evenmindedness is neither jubilant with gain nor depressed by loss. He knows that man arrives penniless in this world, and departs without a single rupee".

And Joel reflects : "I’m fascinated by this idea that we should be unaffected by perceived positive or negative, and should instead accept what comes to us". He then continues to quote few more quotations from few more books, all are expressing the same idea, about accepting whatever that comes to us and make the best out of it. At the end of the entry, he concludes by saying: "I think non-judgement of people and situations is a key way to increase happiness, and so it’s something I’m trying to work on".

After reading the whole entry, it got me reflect on one very significant thing. While Joel is fascinated by the idea that "we should be unaffected by perceived positive or negative, and should instead accept what comes to us", here I am fascinated by the connection between this particular life concept to the saying or "hadith" of the beloved Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wa salam, which was mentioned 1400 years ago.

In a hadith related by Muslim, Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him) said,

“Strange indeed are the affairs of the believer, for all their affairs are for their good–and that is for none but a (true) believer. If pleasing things happen, they’re thankful, and that is good for them; and if distressful things happen, they remain patient, and that too is good for them.”

This hadith is describing the attribute which a true Muslim should practise in his daily life; the attribute of accepting what ever that comes to him with an open heart and a positive mind, relating everything back to the will and permission of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala and trusting that everything happens for a good reason, with a good wisdom.  In Islam, it is called "redha",  the state of "contentment with what Allah (swt) has given us" (Ar-Razzaq: The Provider, by Jinan Bastaki in SuhaibWebb). More on contentment can be read here: Link. More insights on the hadith can be discovered here: "Everything is Good for the Believer..." by Syaikh Faraz Rabbani of Seekers Guidance.

MashaAllah, Subhanallah, to me, the resemblance of this hadith to the concept mentioned by Joel, is enlightening. From this discovery, I could reflect on several significant views:

Firstly, it is enlightening to know that such concept of accepting and feeling pleased with whatever that comes or happens to our life is a concept that has been taught in Islam to Muslims, since the time of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w), and in fact ever since the times of the previous prophets of Allah. As a Muslim, one would naturally recognize that most of the positive concepts of life management, such as this particular one that I am discussing, are all rooted in the teachings of Islam. Such realization should make Muslims feel grateful. Such knowledge should be part of their daily life practices so that their life will be more positive. Yet, some Muslims are still clouded with negativity, still struggling hard to be optimistic and contented with their life. And I admit, this is the area of life that I'm still learning to improve. May Allah be gentle on me and assist me in this mission. May Allah help all Muslims in attaining a happy, contented life. Ameen.

Secondly, yes, to the Muslims, such concept of accepting whatever that comes to us, is learned through the Quran and Ahadith. While for the inspiring and successful people, such as Joel Gascoigne and Steve Jobs, who are not Muslims, they could still get access to such treasure of wisdom through other sources like motivational, inspirational or managerial books. Subhanallah, Allah is indeed Rahman and Raheem, He has made knowledge, easily accessible and spread to all, whether Muslims or non-Muslims. And MashaAllah, these people have such an admirable character that they constantly have the effort to keep on reading and exploring knowledge in order to become better individuals and maintain a more manageable life. No doubt, the more one explores, the more wisdom one will find.

Significantly, I wonder, will their exploration lead them to the realization, that all of these knowledge and wisdom that they have read, are actually reflections of the true Original Sources, reflections of the true teachings Islam, the pure teachings of Al-Quran and Ahadith? Will their discovery paves the way for them to understand the most actual Wisdom of all, that the true teachings of Islam are the practical positive ways of life? Joel Gascoigne, in his entry, reflects on the significant of a quote that he has read from an author. So then, will he appreciate the significance of the saying of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) above, once he discovers that it resembles the same concept?

I hope Allah will provide these highly inspirational people with the gifts of guidance and the Truth. I hope they will continue to inspire others. And I pray that Allah will provide Muslims with the ability to exemplify and lead to the Truth. Ameen.

Wallahu 'alam.



Saturday, July 6, 2013

Reflections on The Kite Runner

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ 
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.


"When we were children, Hassan and I used to climb the poplar trees in the driveway of my father’s house and annoy our neighbors by reflecting sunlight into their homes with a shard of mirror. We would sit across from each other on a pair of high branches, our naked feet dangling, our trouser pockets filled with dried mulberries and walnuts. We took turns with the mirror as we ate mulberries, pelted each other with them, giggling, laughing."

(The Kite Runner, p.3)



I have an idealistic mind. I love peace and the state of innocence. Therefore, my choices of reading are usually light with a hopeful ending.

But The Kite Runner, is different. Deliberately choosing to read The Kite Runner is like the act of deliberately "torturing my inner-self". Thanks to my sense of strong curiosity, so now I have understood the profound effect of The Kite Runner. Right after I have finished reading it, I closed its cover, hold it in my arm and it left me hollow for few minutes. It made me think and reflect on several things;

The forgotten, neglected beauty

"We sat against the low cemetery wall under the shade thrown by the pomegranate tree. In another month or two, crops of scorched yellow weeds would blanket the hillside, but that year the spring showers had lasted longer than usual, nudging their way into early summer, and the grass was still green, peppered with tangles of wildflowers. Below us, Wazir Akbar Khan’s white walled, flat-topped houses gleamed in the sunshine, the laundry hanging on clotheslines in their yards stirred by the breeze to dance like butterflies. We had picked a dozen pomegranates from the tree. I unfolded the story I’d brought along, turned to the first page, then put it down. I stood up and picked up an overripe pomegranate that had fallen to the ground".

(The Kite Runner, p. 85)

Reading The Kite Runner, which portrays the innocence, freedom and purity of Afghanistan, specifically Kabul, around fifty years back, is fascinating to me. I am fascinated at the way the landscapes of Afghanistan are told in the story; untouched. I am fascinated by the idea that children could run around freely exploring the wonders of nature, they climbed trees and picked fruits; pomegranate, peaches, mulberries. In schools, they learnt the arts of Khayyam, Hãfez, and Rumi, which were taught in their common language, Persian, one of the most exquisite languages of the world. And in winter, when the school was closed, they played kites.

Yet, when I stopped reading for a while, and let my mind wondered to the reality of Afghanistan now, I became speechless. Unfortunately, as time changes and as Afghanistan writes its history filled with change of power, wars, fights, the search of stability, global recognition as well as trust and a better future, some of its entities of innocence, freedom and purity are either neglected, unappreciated, forgotten, manipulated or banned. Kite fighting, for example, was once banned by the Taliban who ruled Afghanistan until late 2001. The true nature, beauty and uniqueness of Aghanistan are hidden, not widely known. They are either gone or overshadowed by the idea and images portrayed by the Western media especially, that it is one of the most dangerous countries in the world (Olson, 2010: Forbes)

Afghanistan is not the only country which true beauty and uniqueness are hidden or disappeared. Countries such as Pakistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Syria and few others have their own special uniqueness and beauty; their cultures, histories, traditions, heritages and scenic nature. However, some of them are either being overshadowed by the news highlights of the fightings happening in these countries or they have disappeared, destroyed in the hands of irresponsible people fighting for their selfish cause. Look at what is happening in Syria now. Buildings and cities were tarnished, civilians and their sheikhs were killed. Gone were the heritage, beauty and tranquility that it used to have. Gone. And this, is painfully heart-breaking.

Love, sincerity and loyalty

"...I have been dreaming a lot lately, Amir agha. Some of them are nightmares, like hanged corpses rotting in soccer fields with bloodred grass. I wake up from those short of breath and sweaty. Mostly, though, I dream of good things, and praise Allah for that. I dream that Rahim Khan sahib will be well. I dream that my son will grow up to be a good person, a free person, and an important person. I dream that lawla flowers will bloom in the streets of Kabul again and rubab music will play in the samovar houses and kites will fly in the skies. And I dream that someday you will return to Kabul to revisit the land of our childhood. If you do, you will find an old faithful friend waiting for you. 


May Allah be with you always. 
-Hassan-"

(The Kite Runner, p. 201)

And it's heart-breaking also when dreams are shattered and unable to be fulfilled, like what Hassan, one of the main characters in the Kite Runner, has to face.

Reading The Kite Runner and knowing about Hassan, one of the main characters in the Kite Runner, is really touching. The portrayal of his loyalty towards Amir, how he values their friendship despite Amir's betrayal, his appreciation towards Amir's father, his obedience towards his father, his Hazara origin, his difficulties, his love towards the wife and son, his well treatment towards his mother who used to abandon him, his dreams and how they shattered, and his ending fate, are intensely heart-breaking to me. The more I read about Hasan, the more I felt my heart was torn apart. I can't help but to feel attach to him through the ties of sympathy, compassion and mercy.

Nevertheless, the way Hassan carries himself, through his speeches, actions and his final letter to Amir do not show that he wants the readers' sympathy or my compassion. Symbolically, he wants us to know and understand that he still chooses goodness and sincerity, in the midst of the malice, meanness and lies. Despite having to bear his own difficulties, he still hopes, wishes and wants the best for the people he loves and cares. And most importantly, he does all that unconditionally. Though being put down really really low by some people in his life, he actually possesses gems that other people do not own; He has a very pure heart and soul. In the story, he may be seen like a victim, yet symbolically, it is he who is the hero. His existence has actually and subtly taught us the forgotten values that we often neglected nowadays; to always be appreciative, to love unconditionally, to uphold sincerity and loyalty.

In our world full of egoism and individualism, I wonder, can we still find such loyal and trustworthy companion like that? Yes, I believe we still can, but rare. So once you've found them, never take them for granted, never let them go.

Hope

"Then, just like that, the green kite was spinning and wheeling out of control. 
Behind us, people cheered. Whistles and applause broke out. I was panting. The last time I had felt a rush like this was that day in the winter of 1975, just after I had cut the last kite, when I spotted Baba on our rooftop, clapping, beaming. 
I looked down at Sohrab. One corner of his mouth had curled up just so. 
A smile.
Lopsided. 
Hardly there. 
But there. 
Behind us, kids were scampering, and a melee of screaming kite runners was chasing the loose kite drifting high above the trees. I blinked and the smile was gone. But it had been there. I had seen it. 
“Do you want me to run that kite for you?” 
His Adam’s apple rose and fell as he swallowed. The wind lifted his hair. I thought I saw him nod.
“For you, a thousand times over,” I heard myself say. 
Then I turned and ran. 
It was only a smile, nothing more. It didn’t make everything all right. It didn’t make anything all right. Only a smile. A tiny thing. A leaf in the woods, shaking in the wake of a startled bird’s flight. 
But I’ll take it. With open arms. Because when spring comes, it melts the snow one flake at a time, and maybe I just witnessed the first flake melting. 
I ran. A grown man running with a swarm of screaming children. But I didn’t care. I ran with the wind blowing in my face, and a smile as wide as the Valley of Panjsher on my lips. 
I ran."

(The Kite Runner, p. 339; The Ending)

Unlike Hassan, his son Sohrab, is bitterly affected by everything that's happening to him; his father and mother were shot to death, and his innocence as a child was taken away from him. While Amir, tries his best to look after Sohrab, in the hope that this could cure his wound and guilt towards the late Hasan.

Khaled Hosseini's ending of The Kite Runner is indeed brilliantly and beautifully inspiring. He ends it with Amir receiving the best gift that he would expect from Sohrab; a smile. He ends it by giving Amir a light of hope, despite all the guilt and difficulties. He ends it by telling us the readers, that despite anything, there is some hope. No matter how hard circumstances are and were, hope for something better is always there.

Always believe, that hope is always there.

Hope is there.


Wallahu'alam.


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Law of Attraction and Prophet Muhammad s.a.w


بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ 
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

In his book, 'Law of Attraction; the science of attracting more of what you want and less of what you don't', the author Michael J. Losier mentions that "There is a physiological foundation for positive thinking and its effect in creating the Law of Attraction" (pg. 9). He asserts that "the Law of Attraction isn't a fancy term or new-age magic.  It is a law of nature that every atom of your being is in constant response to, whether you know it or not" (pg. 9). 

According to him, the vibration that every atom undergoes in every being; especially in human, causes the law to occur. He proceeds that "In the 'vibrational' world, there are only two kinds of vibration, positive (+) and negative (-)" and for human being, this vibration corresponds to your feelings or emotions which makes "Every mood or feeling [that you express] causes you to emit, send-out or offer a vibration, whether positive or negative". 

Hence, if we are expressing good feelings, the vibration that we are sending out or emitting will be positive. However, if we are experiencing bad feelings, we will be sending out negative vibration. Then here comes the key element of this whole thing; whatever type of vibration (i.e feeling) that we are expressing, they will come back and be attracted to us, matching the forms that we have expressed; positive or negative. In simple words, what we give or feel, we get back. That's why, we need to always be mindful of the feelings that we express.  



Actually, the main intention of this post is not to summarize "The Law of Attraction". But hey, if I have done it and made your understanding on the law easier, then that's good. The point that I would like to write about is my reflection while reading and trying to understand this process of Law of Attraction. I have discovered that  there is logical and scientific explanation to this law and I do believe in it. And being a critical thinker, I reflected the manifestation of this law further, further into the lives of great people in history, further back to our beloved Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. 

Looking from the perspective of Law of Attraction, with the manifestation of positive and negative vibration, energy and feelings, I picture our beloved Prophet Muhammad s.a.w must have been someone who always have strong positive vibration in him. His frequency of positivity or positive emotions must have been very very high. The positivity or the good feelings that he had sent out, he had expressed and he had emitted must have been very powerful that all this positive powerful energy return to him with great strength and in variety of forms; He was being loved by everyone during his time, he is being loved until now, he was and is always being respected, he had been surrounded by great companions of his time, he had been chosen as the Messenger i.e Rasul Allah, he is being admired and prayed upon by everyone, he had achieved all his dreams especially his dream of spreading Islam to various nations, he had achieved his mission to fulfill God's commands upon him, he had been praised by Allah many times and above all, he is a man whom is dearly loved by Allah, the one and only God, the Almighty. Subhanallah. MashaAllah... 

It is told to us that Prophet Muhammad, whenever he smiled, the whole room will be filled with joy and light. When people looked at him, people will automatically fell in love with him. When people met him, the meeting would make them feel ease and tranquil. His presence was always celebrated. He had a naturally nice smell that the nice smell would stick to anybody whom he touched. He had no shadow cause he himself is the light. He was a very soft spoken person. He was a trusted person and always stay amanah that made a great woman like Khadijah fell in love with him. He was a truthful leader who lead with just. He was a great friend, he never spoke of bad things, bad words or bad speeches to anyone even to those who opposed him. He was always patience. And above all, he always obeyed Allah and had high taqwa and tawakal upon Him. MashaAllah..With such great character, attributes and powerful positive things surrounding him, I wonder, the vibration of emotions in him must have been magnificently and beautifully formed. 

We may not achieve the standard of positive frequency that our beloved Prophet Muhammad had set, cause we are after all laymen. Yet his positivity could inspire us that if we do good and feel good, good things will come back to us. When will we receive back all the good things that we have given out is unknown. It could be now, it could be later, it could be in this world or it could be in the hereafter. 

Wallahu 'alam.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

"Love between two lovers is so special that even God will back down"

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ 
 In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. 

One day, I was "channel surfing" and I came across a Hindi movie on TV and decided to watch it for a while. There was a scene of a group of men and women talking about two lovers (a hero and a heroin), who happened to be their relatives. These two lovers were so deeply in love yet some parties were against their love. So these men and women were discussing about the situation and how they hoped the lovers would finally get their happy ending of being united forever. 

A said, "Oh God, I hope they will be united because their love is so pure.."
B responded, " Love between two lovers is so special that even God will back down.."

And I chuckled at that part. "Love between two lovers is so special that even God will back down.." "...even God will back down.."

Hindi productions often contain highly philosophical sayings and thoughts of which make them unique. Yet, being a Muslim, one can't help but notice that the philosophies presented in these art forms are, at times, a bit skewed or distorted. Like the one above. It's skewed and distorted from the Truth that is based on Islamic Worldview. This is a typical case of how the worldview of life is misunderstood. And this sort of misunderstanding does not only happen in scripts of movies or stories in novels. I believe, these voices of misunderstanding are always whispering in human minds and in fact, it is from the mind that all this originated. Specifically, it is from the mind of which the capability to see and understand has been made limited.    

The saying above; "Love between two lovers is so special that even God will back down..", shows how limited and skewed the mind's perception towards God has been. If I may uncoil it, the saying is glorifying the power of love by underrating the essence of God. It was probably based on the misconception and image that God is somehow like a human King, who is "sitting somewhere up there in his throne" and "just observing" human undergoing their everyday life, and when a commotion of some sort happens on Earth, such as the battles that lovers have to go through before being united, only then God will "jump in" and interfere. Sort of like the images of gods and goddesses portrayed by the Greeks and the Romans. 

This shows that this sort of mind does not (has not) achieved the understanding that God, His attributes and His essence are beyond that, beyond what human mind can think off. In truth and based on the Islamic Worldview, God is the One who controls everything, and I mean EVERYTHING from the biggest and most awe-inspiring occurrence like the movement of Earth, the sun and the moon, to the smallest and slightest happenings like the dropping of a leaf to the ground,  the movement of our eye balls looking around and the beating of our heart while we're breathing. Exalted is God that He knows everything from the silent whisper of our hearts at this moment to what's going to happen in 50-100-1000-years and infinity from now. Magnificently, He is not only the One who controls everything (Al-Muqeet) and knows everything (Al-'Alim), He is also the Most Wise (Al-Hakeem) that He knows what is the best for everything, every man, and every one of  His creations:

وَعِندَهُ مَفَاتِحُ الْغَيْبِ لَا يَعْلَمُهَا إِلَّا هُوَ ۚ وَيَعْلَمُ مَا فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ ۚ وَمَا تَسْقُطُ مِن وَرَقَةٍ إِلَّا يَعْلَمُهَا وَلَا حَبَّةٍ فِي ظُلُمَاتِ الْأَرْضِ وَلَا رَطْبٍ وَلَا يَابِسٍ إِلَّا فِي كِتَابٍ مُّبِينٍ

[سورة الأنعام 6: 59]

With Him are the keys of the unseen, the treasures that none knoweth but He. He knoweth whatever there is on the earth and in the sea. Not a leaf doth fall but with His knowledge: there is not a grain in the darkness (or depths) of the earth, nor anything fresh or dry (green or withered), but is (inscribed) in a record clear (to those who can read). 

(Surah Al-An'am 6: 59)

Analyzing the above misconception and coming out with the appropriate explanation to it make me realized the importance of having the right mind or the right way of thinking, the importance of having the correct perspective and worldview on life. This is because, when one's worldview is skewed, then the person's perceptions, beliefs and understanding on life will also be off track from the genuine truth. When one's worldview is correct, then his perceptions, beliefs and understanding on life will also be on the right path. When one's perception towards God is twisted, then something in his belief system is also distorted. 

So how do we make sure that our worldview is correct? How do we know it is correct? Or how do we change our worldview? I believe the answer is by following the voice of curiosity in our head and by feeding the urge to seek knowledge. Speaking based on my own personal experience, it is the voice of curiosity in me that makes me continue searching and re-discovering knowledge, be it new or forgotten ones. There's this feeling of wanting to untie and clarify matters in me that help me to uncover more things, understand better and have better perspective or worldview on life and its rules Alhamdulliah. Hence, one should not stop seeking knowledge; one should not stop thinking and one should not stop finding answers. Every time we come across something new or something old yet forgotten, keep on asking ourselves, "Is this the truth?" and "What is the truth?". Keep on trying to find the answers. Keep on reflecting.

So, let's reflect, is it true that "Love between two lovers is so special that even God will back down"? Is this the truth? Is this the true portrayal of God handling the case of two lovers who are facing challenges in being united?

Based on the correct worldview, the worldview of Islam and its teachings which believe that God i.e Allah, the Exalted, is the One who controls everything (Al-Muqeet), knows everything (Al-'Alim) and He is also the Most Wise (Al-Hakeem), if the lovers have to be departed, which to men is a sad thing, it does not mean that God is being cruel. It actually shows God's will that He has the power to permit or disallow any happenings and His discretion is based on His judgment because He is God, He knows everything, He knows the grief, the sadness that they have to face, and He certainly knows what's the best for the two hearts, the two souls.

In the Quran, it is mentioned:
وَمَكَرُوا وَمَكَرَ اللَّهُ ۖ وَاللَّهُ خَيْرُ الْمَاكِرِينَ 

And they planned and Allah (also) planned, and Allah is the best of planners.

(Surah Al-'Imran 3: 54)

We, human beings, make plans through the best ways that we can. But we have limitations. And Allah plans things for us too and His plans is the best because He is the All-Knowing and the Most Merciful. He knows which plan of life is the best plan for us. Therefore, He knows what's the best for the two hearts, the two souls. In everything that He determines, there's wisdom. Hence, we need to strongly trust Him, have faith in Him and have 'tawakal' upon Him. 

And if these two souls are finally united despite the challenges that they must face, which of course bring happiness to these two hearts, it is not because God i.e Allah has backed down and given in to the lovers' true power of love. Instead, it is with His help, His utmost power, His mercy and His love towards them that they are united. In fact, it is He who has written it way earlier in His Qadr that the lovers shall be united and the feeling of love that sparks in their hearts has actually been sparked by Him. And to Him, we should rely our hopes because He is As-Samad, the only one whom we should depend on. 

Wallahu 'alam.



Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Sunnatullah and the non-Muslims

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.


I've just finished reading Rhonda Byrne's "The Secret". There are a lot of new insights that I've learned, understood and received from the book; on the power of love, being grateful, believing in goodness and a lot more. In particular, reading Rhonda Byrne's writing, her enthusiasm, beliefs, success and stories on "The Secret", which the main concept is based on The Law of Attraction, made me reflect that sometimes, we Muslims forget or are ignorant about the truth that even the most "magical" and "mystical" Sunnatullah could also happen to our fellow non-Muslims. Now what do I mean by this?

First let's look at what is the meaning of Sunnatullah. Sunnatullah means "the rules of the universe governed by Allah s.w.t" (Hasrizal Jamil, 2012: Link) or "a complete and integral system of cause and effect and it runs systematically and perfectly in accordance with the command of Allah" (Ismail R. al-Faruqi: Link)


The Law of Attraction contains life concepts that are based on Sunnatullah. And they are Sunnatullah that are "mystical" and "magical". Why do I term them as "magical" and "mysitical"? It's because logic can't explain the happenings of these kinds of Sunnatullah. To exemplify, let's look at one example taken from the concepts of Law of Attaraction explained in Rhona Byrne's book; the magic of giving sincere charity.

In one part of this book, Byrne explains that in order for us to be more financially stable, or blissfully wealthy, we must practise ourselves to love giving sincere charity to those in need, especially in the form of money. We should not be greedy. We must cultivate the sincerity and love of giving away wealth, in our hearts. She explains further that once we give with the intention to feel the love of giving money and the love of helping others, then money, wealth and riches will be attracted to us and will eventually come to us. However, she did remind readers that one should not have a materialistic mind set; "to get more money, I have to give more money". She affirms that one HAVE TO give with sincere heart and with the intention so that the heart will feel the love of giving charity, not for the sake of merely receiving wealth in return.

In Islam, the act of giving charity or known as sadaqah is highly encouraged. Below are dalil of encouragment from the Quran and Ahadith on giving charity or doing sadaqah:

In the Quran, Surah Al-Baqarah verse 276, Allah proclaims:

{2:276} يَمْحَقُ اللَّهُ الرِّبَا وَيُرْبِي الصَّدَقَاتِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ كُلَّ كَفَّارٍ أَثِيمٍ 
"Allah will deprive usury of all blessing, but will give increase for deeds of charity: 
For He loveth not creatures ungrateful and wicked". 


Allah’s Messenger, Prophet Muhammad (sallahu alaihi wassalam) said: “Charity does not in any way decrease the wealth, and the servant who forgives, Allah adds to his respect; and the one who shows humility, Allah elevates him in the estimation (of the people).” (Muslim #4.6264) 

It has been narrated from Abil Darda' that: “The Messenger of Allah (S) spoke to us on Jumu'ah and said, “O' People! Turn back to Allah (in repentance) before you die; and before you get too busy (in your life) perform righteous deeds; correct the relationship between yourselves and your Lord so that you may gain felicity; and give a lot of charity (sadaqah) so that you are given (by Allah) sustenance; and enjoin goodness upon others so that you may be protected (from the hell fire) and forbid others from evil so that you may be assisted (by Allah).”

It is written in the dalil above that some of the wisdom behind the sincere act of giving charity is one's wealth will not be decreased, in fact, Allah will even provide him with more sustenance, not only in this world, but also in the hereafter. From a logical perspective, wealth or money will eventually be decreased if we give them away. But with Allah's power and supremacy  He has determined it that wealth will not be decreased when we give them away for charity, in fact they will be increased. This, is one of the "magical and mystical" Sunnatullah and this is where the Law of Attraction concept discussed above, is extracted from.

Now going back to my reflection earlier. It's true, sometimes we Muslims tend to forget that "magical" and "mystical" Sunnatullah could also happen to our fellow non-Muslims. How do these Sunnatullah happen to them? Simply because they believe in or do the actions that will make them experience the Sunnatullah, though they are not Muslims or they do not believe in Allah, yet. In the case of giving charity mentioned above, if they give charity out of their sincere heart, they too will get what Allah has promised; "increase for deeds of charity", "wealth will not be decrease" and "be bestowed with more sustenance". The Sunnatullah is not exclusive for Muslims, it is for all human beings. Subhanallah Allah is indeed Ar-Raheem.

Why do I choose to highlight on this? It is because sometimes we Muslims tend to forget that Allah's love is also showed towards the non-believers because they are also His servants. Allah is their Creator too. Some Muslims are trapped into thinking that Allah is only for Muslims, as though the life of non-Muslims is totally cut off from Allah's guardianship. In truth, Allah is the Lord of the universe, He is the Lord for all, He is the one who provides sustenance for all, He is Al-'Adil, The Most Just and therefore His rules and ways of  ruling (Sunnatullah) are subjected to all His creations, be it Muslims or non-Muslims.

Once, a friend gave her opinion "Look at all these non-Muslims, they can easily become rich and wealthy.. For them it is easy..because they can do rasuah (corruption).. That's why they can become rich easily.."

Hmm...this is the idea that we should try to avoid. In one perspective, we can't agree to that cause if we agree, it's as if we are being conservative, as if we are telling the world "Hey if we don't practise rasuah (i.e if we follow what Islam says), we cannot be rich, ever". That's wrong. Totally wrong. We can still be rich by avoiding rasuah and following the Islamic rules.

Secondly, we should not agree to it cause we can't be judgmental. Some of those wealthy men and women who are non-Muslims have fought their hardest to reach the level that they are now. They have gone through several courses, seminars and education levels to be where they are now. They have learned a lot and they have done a lot of readings too. They don't simply become rich out of a blink. Some of them went through the "clean" paths to succeed. And here we are, judging they got everything for "free" and Allah does not assist them at all. Who knows, maybe they are exposed to the Law of Attraction; to always give sincere charity, to always be grateful and etc. These are also Sunnatullah. Or maybe they have striven very hard and Allah has promised it that whoever works hard to change one's situation (from bad to good, good to better), Allah will assist him/her to change it. And due to their hard work, they succeed. That is also Sunnatullah.

Basically, from today onward, dear Muslim brothers and sisters, let's not be too narrow minded. Let's not be judgmental. Let's open our mind and widen our perspective. We have to believe that Allah is the Provider for ALL, and his Sunnatullah happens to ALL and He is the the guardian for ALL.

Wallahu'alam.


Disclaimer: The writing above has nothing to do with the use of "Allah" by religions or races other than Islam and Muslims. This is a totally different topic with different dalil and syarah.



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