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Lesson 6: What is Right? (Part III)

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Lesson 6

G) Doing right is not doing what we want


We cannot live as we want or please. Our lives must be guided by the notion of doing what pleases Allah (S.W.A) in every situation. The Qur’an and the sunnah of the prophet help to explain to us what the will of God is in many circumstances, but also our conscience must be used. To live as we please is discouraged by Allah (S.W.A). He compares such a life to the life of cows. Here it states in the Qur’an,


“See thou such a one who takes for his own God his passion (or impulse)? Could you be a disposer of affairs for him? (25:43)


Or do you think that most of them listen or understand? They are only like cattle; - nay they are worse astray in path (25:44).”


If we spend our lives selfishly satisfying our passions, we are no better than cattle or even worse. We are as cattle because neglecting the duty we owe to our creator, men and self leaves us one option – eat, sleep and play, and so do cattle. We are worse than cattle because whereas cattle bring many benefits to the farmer such as milk, meat, hide, and medicine, a man who follows his impulse, indulges in sensory pleasures, and neglects his duties to his creator, often brings no benefit to other creations, and sometimes can be dangerous to self and other lives. He is not only useless but also harmful. If we follow our impulses to doing right, it is all right; Allah allows it.


Some of us live our lives irresponsibly reasoning that it belongs to us, and we can do with it as we please. For sure it is not our life.  We are just leasing it for the time being. We can’t do as we please with it. God, the owner of it, is going to claim it from us when our time comes. Many are loved ones and all other people we see and hear dying everyday, and so will we. Life is not ours to keep. It is only a treasure entrusted to us to use for a while to prove our case whether or not we can tame our wills to submit to the will of God. We must not waste this one precious chance. It is only one and only one chance we have to redeem our souls. If we lose our lives in a state of disobedience to Allah (S.W.A), we would have lost our souls completely and probably forever. Allah (S.W.A) says that we will wish we were never born; we will wish we were dust; we will beg to come back and live an obedient life to him but He won’t let us. Keep it always in mind: this temporary worldly life of ours is to help us secure the eternal life in the hereafter. If we use it right, we get eternal life, if we waste it, we will be to Allah as trash is to us.


H) Doing right made easy


Like any other difficult task, success in execution depends on taking it easy and taking one step at a time. Stress and worry inhibit the flow of positive energy (enthusiasm and inner strength – actual exertion of someone to do the right thing). The Prophet (S.A.W) advised us that doing a little at a time, and being constant in so doing is better than doing a lot at one time and discontinuing the good deed in just a few days. For example, if we have been neglecting salah for some time, it is better that we start with the obligatory ones first. Leave the voluntary ones for the time being. When your system is accustomed to praying, and you no longer consider salah a great burden, then you can start establishing the voluntary prayers one at a time. These voluntary prayers are very good. The Prophet said that the voluntary two rakahs before salat ul Fajr are better than all the wealth in the world. All in all it is very important to stay constant for a good habit established to take root. For the voluntary actions of obedience, try to follow your judgment. Do what you think you can afford. It is easier to keep a promise made by you than one made for you.


For example, many of us hate house chores. The problem is we neglect to give a hand in keeping life going at home. As a result our parents assign us whatever they see fit. By the way, basically parents assign us chores, not only because they are in dire need of our help, but also, more importantly, to build our character so that we become responsible and useful members of society. They hate to see us idle, not because they want to kill us with work, but because they fear that we can develop a habit of being idle, which is very dangerous as an adult. So they always want to see us involved or engaged in something useful. How do we deal with house chores and our interminable hate for them? Simple! Everyday when you wake up, tell your mother/father how you would want to help out in the house that day. Choose three chores of your choice and do them. It can be doing laundry, cleaning your own room, or the common room or just dusting furniture, or preparing breakfast – anything. If you do your self assigned chores well, your mother will be more than happy to relieve you of washing the dishes if that is what you hate the most, and there will be less screaming in the house. It will work Inshahallah; try it. So there it is, self assigned duties whether in our homes or the voluntary ones we do for Allah are easier to cope with.