A soliloquy, mostly. May, be unplugged.
(*unplugged* When used in an email, letter or writing of sorts, it means that it has not been edited. Any grammatical or spelling errors or words or sentences that doesn't make sense should be deciphered or ignored, whichever is easier to do.)
I work for a Japanese company whose founder's philosophy in life and business matches very well with my deen. They include the gratitude and humility.
There are a few interesting points I hear in the course that I'd like to note.
1. Do people respect you for your position or for who you really are?
2. When you have an objective, have you questioned WHY the objective is so important to you?
3. When speaking, use words that heal, not words that kill.
4. If you want to be a student, the world is your teacher.
5. Humility is an important trait. The speaker says, it may be difficult or tricky to balance humility with self confidence - that is the confidence you have in your work.
In Islam, there is a way to manage that - it is when we all know that whatever skills or power or wealth we have, we only got it because God permits us to have it. They are by God's will. And God can take it away anytime. If we remember that, insyaaAllaah, we can continue to be confident in our work, but at the same time, be humble, knowing that all is from God.
And we know that we are put on this earth, to do good. As such, if God has granted us the skills or the power or wealth, they are only to be used, to do more good.
I am reading 'If the Oceans were Ink" by Carla Power.
Carla Power is 'Jewish', Not a Jew, just 'Jewish'. She said so in her book, in the words of a director, Jonathan Miller.
She is a close friend with a Sheikh whom she wants to learn the Quran from. More for research purpose, then for spiritual quest. She wanted to find our similarities that can, hopefully, dispel extremist ideas about Islam.
In the first chapter of this book, she tells of the session where she was introduced to Al Fatihah. All was good, until she came to the last 3 verses.
She was disturbed that 'people who have incurred God's anger' may refer to the Jews, and 'people who have gone astray' might refer to the Christians. After the lesson, she went to the library to go through tafsirs about the Quran's relationship with the Jews and Christians. She was appeased by a verse she found in the 2nd surah (Al Baqarah 2:62) , whose loose translation reads "Indeed those who believed and those who were Jews or Christians or Sabeans - those who believed in Allaah and the Last Day and did righteousness - will have their reward with their Lord, and no fear will be upon them, nor shall they grieve." That was the end of the chapter.
This got me thinking. Isn't that what we do? We look for what we want to see, we listen to what we want to hear.
I think it is wrong to think that anyone could come to some conclusions or opinion about Islam based on the few verses in the Quran. Even in these two sets of verses - we cannot settle for just it's words, but in what context the Words were revealed.
To try to understand the relationship between Quran and the Jews and the Christians - one has the read the WHOLE Quran, because there are SO MANY areas in the Quran, where God addresses the Jews and the Christians directly.
However most people wouldn't believe, if I say, the Quran is not just for the Muslims, it is for the Jews and the Christians too - if they'd like to know what God has to say to them, in the latest and last revelation from God to mankind.
Even if an ayat (a verse) would seem to a Muslim, unconfortable, we cannot change it or hide it - because this is God's Words. God's right to address to all mankind, and no man should change of hide God's message.
Which brings me to another point. I don't think we, as Muslims, should feel guilty or uncomfortable or ashamed by what is mentioned in the Quran. it's not OUR words, we didn't author the Book. It's God's Words, and if they are angry about it - they can take it up with God.
As for us, or at least me, as a Muslim - I believe in the latest revelation, that is the Quran, to be the Word of God. As such, I will learn the book as a whole, and apply what is relevant to me - and if one reads the whole Quran, one will see that God is full of Mercy, and that all that is expected of us, is to believe in Him, put our trust in Him, submit to Him and do good.
If you want to know what are the messages God is giving us after the messages to the previous prophet before Muhammad S.A.W. - read the Quran.
I am currently reading "If the Oceans were Ink" by Carla Power. The title is taken from the translation of a part of the Quran, which was describing God's knowledge and God's Words. If all the trees on earth were pens and all of the oceans were ink (and even if it is doubled or multiplied by 7) never will they exhausts the Words or God and/or God's knowledge.
Anyway, a line I read, triggered this post. when the author asked a Sheikh, which surah or ayats in the Quran, or which Hadith from the Prophet have guided him in his life.
It got me also thinking about that, of myself. Is there any that has impacted me, that has influenced me in the way I act or think or feel?
I'd like to think there were several. I hope and pray that I am shaped by the teachings in the Quran.
I believe the Quran is that powerful. If you want to be shaped by it, be guided by it, it's important to understand it's importance and significance in our lives.
The book also said, (and this coming from a nonbeliever), "The Quran is invoked more than it is read, and it is read more than it is understood."
All these also got me thinking if there is something that I can do, to understand the Quran more and to promote the understanding of the Quran. May Allaah guide us all.