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.



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