Between Dunya and Akhirah

In the quest of reflecting on life from a gamut of perspectives, my mind keeps searching for its true meaning. The temporal world that we live in is characterized by imperfection where the solution of one problem would eventually trigger another. Absoluteness is not its feature.

The condition of the realm that we live in is ever mutable and annihilable (Fana) as opposed to its perfect Maker which is of Continued Existence (Baqa’). We and our environment are in constant state of change. Just like the changing condition of the earth from its deepest mantle to the terrains and its accoutrements of trees and rivers, so are all moving things that survive on its existence.

The matters of between dunya and akhirah has always been one of the main concerns playing in my mind. Ever since when I was in madrasah I pondered on how and what are the best ways of juggling our affairs in this world and the Hereafter. Once I thought the life of the tabligh would be best where one leads a very modest way of life filled with ibadah and dakwah. But some queried if it is fair for a person to abandon his responsibility to feed his family. Maintaining good relations with other people is also important besides maintaining good relations with God (hablum minallah wa hablum minannaas).

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Revise Resolutions

Kowloon, Hong Kong – Time flies really fast. Within the next few coming days, the second half of 2011 will be commencing. As for the Muslims, Sha’ban is already approaching with Ramadhan trailing behind along with abundant of blessings.

Usually new years are the best times of drafting one’s annual resolutions where targets are set to be achieved. To wait for another 12 months and devise more yearly objectives would be just a little too long. Hence, I find that every quarter of the year are equally important in tracking these targets that we have already set earlier.

What are the significance of March, June, August and December? These four months could be checkpoints for us to sit down and go through our action plans in achieving our yearly objectives. We should make it a habit where by the end of those months, lists are to be assessed to identify whether we have or have not expedited our plans with flying colours.

If we have not achieved certain targets, we should question why and how could we could modify our steps in achieving them? Perhaps, there are resolutions that could be put on hold or be replaced with new resolutions. Altering personal targets is solely the designers prerogative so improvise according to the situation would not do any harm.

Resolutions are like fuel that keeps us going in life with high spirits. Allah has created objectives for man to fulfill as a vicegerent in this temporal world where deeds are sown for the Hereafter. Remember, there is no such thing as a failed resolution. If you fell from the horse, then get up and ride again. Revise your resolutions.

Think Critically

A recap from Farish Noor’s What Your Teacher Didn’t Tell You.

To paraphrase the great Indian scholar-statesman S. Radhakerishnan, the essence of education lies in the freeing and challenging of the human mind, but this is not a labour that necessary has an appropriate avenue for it. One does not think better in a library or on a campus, and one is not smarter simply because one reads as many books as one can get one’s hands on. Critical thinking requires honest and courageous engagement, and a conscious will to break from convention, to think outside the the safe confines of the familiar, to go beyond habit and routine, and dare to question.”

Love Your Job

I love my job. I think everyone should. Even if it is the worst job on earth, it still is the source of our rizq. It is how we get our income to put food on our table everyday, to have clothes to cover our modesty and to have roofs to shelter our heads under the cold starry nights.

If you hate your job, you should make yourself love what you do because life is not meant to be miserable. Especially when you won’t let it be. Start off by first identifying what breeds your abhorrence towards your job. Scrutinize it from different aspects such as difficult tasks, mundane routines, certain people at the workplace or even your workspace.

Then find ways of alleviating the discomforts that exist in those aspects. If there is a task that is a little difficult for you to expedite, then ask around for some tips or even just browse around through the internet. If the task is repetitive in nature and it gets you all fed up with it, then stop for a while for dhikr or maybe try reading something enlightening. It is normal for us to have mood flunctuations at times, so don’t be stressed out with it.

Does this guard love his job?

Keep on motivating yourself. The mind is yours to control. Remember, it is you who must be in control of your surroundings and you should never let the surroundings dictate you nor your feelings towards your job.

I’ve once met a scholar who had just finished translating Rumi’s  six books of “Mathnavi“. Prof. Jamal al-Eidros told me that everyday he would spend not less than 18 hours of writing. On the last day of his endeavour, his hands were already trembling due to his perpetual dilligence.

When I asked him how does he cope when the dark days start to loom and try to overtake his writing mood, he responded that he was really grateful to Allah because his great interest in Rumi gave him strength and also a kind of fixation on the Mathnavi word for word. It was as if his soul was enchanted by it. “This, bi iznillah, was totally from Allah”, said Prof. Ajmal humbly.

Based on his experience, I could conclude that if a person did something for the sake of Allah and the ummah, he would never give up on his responsibility. The most significant keywords are ikhlaas and ehsaan.

Most importantly, to work is to seek halal means of rizq. Before you set your foot outside the house heading to your workplace, pray to Allah that may He Easen your errands. Because you are His servant seeking for a decent living in His path. Insya’allah, things will go your way sooner or later. Allah is not zhaalim. He is The Most Merciful, The Most Compassionate. Always hold on to this thought no matter what happens.

On the authority of Abu Hurairah ra, who said that Rasulullah saw said: Allah swt said: “I am as My servant thinks I am. I am with him when he makes mention of Me. If he makes mention of Me to himself, I make mention of him to Myself. And if he makes mention of Me in an assembly, I make mention of him in an assembly better than it. And if he draws near to Me a hand’s span, I draw near to him an arm’s length. And if he draws near to Me an arm’s length, I draw near to him a fathom’s length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed.” (Hadist Qudsi: Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah)