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105 Ambitions, Goals & Distractions Part 2

105 Ambitions, Goals & Distractions Part 2

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Imtiaz Muhsin on Feb 09, 2013
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105 Ambitions, Goals & Distractions - Part 2
Imtiaz Muhsin 23-Nov-12

The main objective of these talks (and therefore the scripts of these talks), is to stimulate thinking. Sensible, rational and logical thinking. So, my message, think, think & think! Be sensible, be rational and be logical.


105 Ambitions, Goals & Distractions – Part 2

Please Note
1. I have had the great privilege, (since Aug 2010), of presenting talks on the weekly Radio Program ‘Culture of Islam’ [Every Friday 8 to 8.30 pm, Radio Sri Lanka - FM 97.4] 2. Since these are Radio Talks, I refer to, or address the audience as ‘listeners’ 3. I am well aware that the audience to these talks would consist of people belonging to a variety of faiths. So as to make people of all faiths feel included, I very often use words and names that are common to all religions. 4. For these reasons, I use the name GOD, as well as Abraham, Moses, Jesus etc as well as the names Allah, Ibrahim (Alaihis Salaam), Moosa (Alaihis Salaam), Easa (Alaihis Salaam) etc 5. Muslims by habit usually say ‘Sallallahu Alaihiwasallam’, when the name of Prophet Muhammad is mentioned, and ‘Alaihis Salaam' when the name of a Prophet is mentioned. However, in these series of talks I have reduced the use of these prayers & sayings to the bare minimum. 6. Muslims, also by habit, use a number of Arabic prayers or sayings, such as Alhamdulillah, Insha Allah and so on. Again, I have reduced the use of these prayers or sayings to the bare minimum. 7. Sometimes I have to write Arabic words in the English script. I have devised my own way of writing Arabic in English, as follows;

‫ت‬ ‫ط‬

th TH

‫س‬ ‫ث‬ ‫ص‬

s Ss SW

‫ض‬ ‫ظ‬


‫ه‬ ‫ح‬

H h

‫ع‬ ‫غ‬


    

Information on these talks along with all download links can be found on my on my Blog (http://imtiazm.wordpress.com/) The dates or the schedules of these talks can be viewed on the Facebook Page (http://www.facebook.com/ImtiazMuhsin786) The Scripts of these talks can be downloaded from www.ScribD.com (www.ScribD.com Author – Imtiaz Muhsin) The audio files of these talks can be downloaded from YouTube (YouTube Channel – Imtiaz Muhsin) The YouTube Link to this talk is at http://youtu.be/e6m4DTCBpWk

All Praise and Thanks is due to Allah and Allah alone Alhamdulillah!


105 Ambitions, Goals & Distractions – Part 2

105 Ambitions, Goals & Distractions Part 2
Dear Friends, Assalamu Alaikum, Last week I my talk was on the topic “Ambitions, Goals & Distractions” My idea at that time was to read the last 3 Aayaths from the Surah Faathiha and then, to point out some other Aayaths of the Quran that elaborates or gives greater meaning to these Aayaths. Why I chose the Aayaths of Surah Faathiha was because, it was the opening Chapter of the Quran and especially because every practicing Muslim or we could say every Muslim who practices the minimum 5 daily prayers or the Salaath, would be reciting this Surah at least 17 times every day – even going up to approximately 50 times a day – so it follows that the contents of this Surah have to be very important. The Surah Faathiha consists of just 7 Aayaths and I chose to draw attention to the last 3 Aayaths; Let me read these Aayaths to you; (1:5) You alone do we worship, and from You alone do we seek help. (1:6) Guide us on the straight path. (1:7) the path of those on whom You have bestowed Your favors, not of those who have incurred Your wrath and not (of) those who go astray.

﴾﴿ ‫إِيَّاك نَعْبُد وإِيَّاك نَستَعِني‬ ٥ ُ ْ َ َُ َ ‫صراط الَّذين أَنْعَمت عَلَيْهم غَْي اْلَغْضوب عَلَيْهم وَل‬ َ َ ْ ِ ِ ُ ْ ِْ ْ ِ َ ْ َ ِ َ َ ِ ﴾﴿ ‫الضالِّني‬ ٧ َ َّ ﴾﴿ ‫إِيَّاك نَعْبُد وإِيَّاك نَستَعِني‬ ٥ ُ ْ َ َُ َ ﴾﴿ ‫اهدنَا الصراط اْلُستَقِيم‬ ٦ َ ْ ْ َ َ ِّ ِ ْ ﴾﴿ ‫اهدنَا الصراط اْلُستَقِيم‬ ٦ َ ْ ْ َ َ ِّ ِ ْ

Let me now briefly describe our approach to these 3 Aayaths. We first describe our relationship with God, with the words; (1:5) You alone do we worship, and from You alone do we seek help. We then describe our biggest need; (1:6) Guide us on the straight path.

We then qualify this need by describing ‘that’ path of guidance, this time by drawing reference to or by describing those who received guidance, as compared to those who go astray – which would mean – those who go away or go astray from true guidance. Now the topic of the talk was “Ambitions, Goals & Distractions” – so to us Muslims who truly believe that God guides us towards success, I wanted to point out that this Surah Faathiha which


105 Ambitions, Goals & Distractions – Part 2

we read many times every day, is in fact a prayer that outlines in just a few words, but in a beautiful meaningful setting; What our true life time ambition should be, What our true life time goals should be and What our true life time disappointments would be. All our ambitions and goals should be directed at continuously obtaining or continuously receiving true guidance from God, and our biggest and real disappointment should be the great tragedy of going astray or for the purposes of this talk I would like to describe this as being distracted from the path of true guidance. There are two terms used by God in this Surah to describe those who are rightly guided and those who are go astray. These are;
  The Anghamtha ghalaiHim - those on whom You have bestowed Your favors (or nighmet), and the, MaghDHloobi ghalaihim and the Dhlaaleen - those who have incurred Your wrath and (of) those who go astray.

So in pursing the task of trying to find out what our real “Ambitions, Goals & Distractions” should be, I then asked the question, “Who are these people described as the ‘The Anghamtha ghalaiHim’ the ‘MaghDHloobi ghalaihim’ and the ‘Dhlaaleen’?” I then read some Aayaths of the Quran that described the lives of the Prophets – obviously they were the role modes of the ‘The Anghamtha ghalaiHim’ and as a contrast I also read some Aayaths of the Quran that described the lives of Firauwn or the Pharoah and Qaaroon, both of whom were examples of those whom Allah describes as the ‘MaghDHloobi ghalaihim’ and the ‘Dhlaaleen’ I am sure those who listened to this talk would have had much material to think about. This week too I want to continue my talk on the same topic “Ambitions, Goals & Distractions” But then I hope to (Insha Allah), present it from a different facet. Actually there is so much of material on this topic that I may continue this topic for another few weeks – describing, as I would like to refer to it as, through the ‘different facets’ So this week I would like to talk about ourselves and our commonly held ideas on “Ambitions, Goals & Distractions” So, let me ask this question – “‘what are our ‘Ambitions, Goals & Distractions’?” Let me describe the answer. Our ambitions and goals are to be successful. Isn’t it? Now to be successful we have to face stiff competition. Success is to be at the top. Positions, space or places at the top are limited – so we have to prepare ourselves to face stiff, maybe even described as aggressive competition. Success is being rich, having access to wealth – the more we have, the more successful we are. Success is being influential and being powerful. To be successful is to be well educated and proof of this education is the Degrees and other qualifications we pursue.


105 Ambitions, Goals & Distractions – Part 2

        

Success is to have the correct connections. Success is to be beautiful and to stand out. Success is to be cultured, to have good tastes, to be surrounded by beauty Success is to possess – to possess lands, buildings, industries, vehicles etc. Success is having a beautiful spouse and children who are achievers. Success is being healthy. Success is being well informed and knowledgeable. Success is to be within the social circle of the elite. Success is to be involved as a well known contributor to social causes – especially those that identify us as philanthropists.

The list could go on and on. To prepare ourselves for this track of ‘success’ we have to plan and scheme right throughout our lives. To prepare our children to this track of ‘success’ we plan out their lives – the schooling, the education, the teachers, the extra curricular activities, the exams, we try to monitor the company they keep – it should be with the children of the elite, we carefully choose the clothes they wear – it’s a fashion statement, we even try to monitor the exposure they get especially to broaden their scopes and their attitudes. Again this list could go on and on. We are all ‘drilled’ so much about this brand of success that we cannot even think otherwise. If we were to show anyone, even a child two houses, one the house of a rich man and the other the house of a poor man – everyone, even that small child would say that the person who lives in the ‘richer house’ is more successful. Similarly if we were to show the materials owned by the rich man and the materials owned by a poor man to anyone, even a child – everyone, even that small child would tell us that the person who possesses the richer items or the more expensive items is only successful, or is more successful. In fact we just cannot even think of arguments that would in any way tell us differently. Can you think of an argument that would in some way tell us that the person possessing the poorer items is in fact more successful? I would advise you to try it – it is an intellectually stimulating exercise. Try it! Now this success is correct, that is if we were to judge or measure success purely by material standards. The more the desirable materials a person possesses the more successful he is. Simple, isn’t it? Now there is a big big problem. It is a problem all of us face. We do not know how to address this problem, or even to face it, so we turn our backs to it and try not to trouble our thinking with it. But these problems arise from the thoughts or views presented to us by the original leader of our own religion as well as the original leaders of every globally accepted religion.


105 Ambitions, Goals & Distractions – Part 2

These are thoughts or instructions or advice or wise sayings of every leader of every religion, of Prophet Abraham or Ibrahim (AS) of Lord Buddha, of Prophet Moses or Moosa (AS) of Jesus Christ or Easa (AS) and of Prophet Muhammad (Sal) What are these words or what has been their advice about success? In brief, they tell us that there are two types of efforts we can devote our life to. One would be in the pursuit of the material things of this world or we could word it as in pursuit of our desires. The second would be in the pursuit of developing good qualities within us. They all tell us that success lies in the pursuit of developing good qualities, within us. Success does not lie in the pursuit of possessing and developing materials outside us, however good or desirable those materials may appear – this is the gist of their message to all of us All of them advise us that pursuing the material world would rouse and then establish evil qualities within us. It is not necessary for us to purposefully pursue evil qualities – the chase for the material world or materialism would automatically instill evil qualities in us. We are pursuing our desires, our intentions are good, we are dreaming of what a wonderful place we are going to make this world into – at least for ourselves and for our loved ones – not realizing that gradually, we have to make a number of compromises. Initially they would be minute compromises, not noticeable, not worth taking in to account. But then slowly but surely our compromises and what results from these compromises grow to be heinous evils –and the most tragic part – we would not comprehend! Outside or to the external world we would appear healthy, beautiful, surrounded by beauty and luxury – but then inside we would be grappling with greed, miserliness, vanity, pride, jealousy, revenge, ego-ism, wanting attention, wanting praise and so on. And none of this – both the materials that we accumulate nor the evil qualities we nurture, hidden in our hearts, is going to be of any benefit to us in the lives we have to face after our death. The reality is that it harms us in this world and destroys the peace of our hereafter completely and irreversibly. This is a central theme to the messages of every leader of every religion. In describing this to you, I am actually describing the central themes of the messages or the teachings of Prophet Abraham or Ibrahim (AS), of Lord Buddha, of Prophet Moses or Moosa (AS) of Jesus Christ or Easa (AS) and of Prophet Muhammad (Sal) Their message to all of us was that we should devote our lives to pursuing good qualities or constructive virtues. These virtues are described in all their teachings and have been delivered in many languages and most of us profess to be followers of at least one of these great religious leaders. As Muslims we look at the Quran for advice for guidance and for clarification and this is how the wordings the Quran describes these virtuous qualities as well as describes those who possess these virtuous qualities.


105 Ambitions, Goals & Distractions – Part 2

Some of them are described as;
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. The Muslimeen – those who submit to God The Mu’mineen – those who truly believe The MuHthadheen – those who are rightly guided The Swaaliheen – the righteous The MuththaQeen – those who fear to displease God The Mukhliseen – the sincere ones The Swaabireen – those who are patient The Khaashigheen – those who are humble

and so on. I have just mentioned 8 such good qualities. I have counted 80 such descriptions of virtuous qualities in the Quran Similarly, in the Quran, Allah Ta’aalah uses many words to describe destructive qualities, as well as those who possess these destructive qualities. Some of them are; The Kaafireen – those who reject The FaasiQeen – the rebels The Mufsidheen – the mischief makers The MunafiQeen – the Hypocrites The Mujrimeen – the sinners The Mushrikeen – those who assign partners to God and so on Now let me just read to you one Aayath – at least – of each of these virtuous qualities, so that all of us may get at least an inkling of an idea of what these qualities may actually mean; Remember there are many such Aayaths in fact the Quran is a book that describes these good as well as these bad qualities. 1. Regarding the Muslimeen – those who submit to God; (39:11) Say, “I have been ordered to worship Allah, making my submission exclusive to Him. (39:12) And I have been ordered to be the first of those who submit.”

ِ ﴾﴿ ‫قل إِِن أُمرت أَن أَعبُد اّللَُمْلِصا ل ّ َُه الدين‬ ١ َ ِّ ً ُ َّ َ ْ ْ ُ ْ ِّ ْ ُ ﴾﴿ ‫وأُمرت ِلَن أَكون أَول اْلُسلِمني‬ ١ َ ِ ْ ْ َ َّ َ ُ ْ ِ ُ ْ ِ َ

2. Regarding the Mu’mineen These are those who believe. We Muslims like to claim that we believe. But then did you know that there are 88 Aayaths that begin with the phrase Yaa aiyyuhallazeena Aamanoo – ‘O! You who believe’ followed by some useful instruction. Should not all of us who claim to be true believers, at least, try to find out what those 88 Aayaths are pointing out to us, and then seriously try to inculcate those instructions – at least we would be trying to fulfill the requirements of what God describes as a Mu’min or a believer.


105 Ambitions, Goals & Distractions – Part 2

3. Regarding the Muhthadheen – those who are rightly guided;
(39:17) So, give the good news to My servants (39:18) who listen to what is said, then, follow the best of it. Those are the ones whom Allah has guided, and those are the ones who possess understanding.

ِ ‫الَّذين يَستَمعون الْقَول فَيَتَّبِعون أَحسنَه ۚ أُولـ َئِك الَّذين‬ َ ِ َ ٰ ُ َ ْ َ ُ َ ْ َ ُ ْ َ ِ ﴾﴿ ‫هداهم اّلل ۖ وأُولـ َئِك هم أُولُو اِلَلْبَاب‬ ١ ِ ْ ْ ُ َ ٰ َ ُ َّ ُ ُ َ َ ِ ِ َّ ِ ِ َ َ ِ َّ َ ‫وعَد اّلل الَّذين آمنُوا منكم وعَملُوا الصاِلَات‬ َ ْ ُ َ ُ ِ ْ ْ ُ َ ْ ‫لَيَستَخلِفنَّهم ِِف اِلَرض‬ ْ ْ

﴾﴿ ‫فَبَشر عبَاد‬ ١٧ ِ ِ ْ ِّ

4. The Swaaliheen – the righteous ones
(24:55 - a) Allah has promised those of you who believe and do good deeds that He will certainly make them (His) vicegerents in the land,

5. The MuththaQeen – those who hold Allah so much in awe that we could describe them as those who fear Allah. At the very beginning of the Quran – Surah Baqarah begins with the most meaningful instruction; (2:2) This Book has no doubt in it - a guidance for the God-fearing,

﴾﴿ ‫ذََلِك الْكتَاب َل ريَْ فِيه هد لِّلْمتَّقِني‬ ١ َ ُ ً ُ ِ َ َ َ ُ ِ َ ٰ

So the Quran, which we claim to revere so much, does not guide everyone – it guides the MuththaQeen. 6. Regarding the Mukhliseen – the sincere ones; (15:39) He said, “My Rabb, since You made me go astray, I swear that I shall beautify (La Uzaiyyinanna LaHum fil Ardhli) for them (evils) on the earth, and shall lead all of them astray, (15:40) except those of Your servants from among them who are chosen (by You).”

ِ ‫قَال رب ِِبَا أَغويْت َِِن ِلَُزََ ِيّنَن َلُم ِِف اِلَرض وِلُغويَنَّهم‬ ِّ َ َ ْ ُ ِ ْ َ َ ْ ْ ْ َ َّ َ َ ْ ﴾﴿ ‫أَْجعِني‬ ٩٣ َ َ ْ

ِ َّ ِ ِ ﴾٠٤﴿ ‫إَِل عبَادَك منْهم اْلُخلَصني‬ َ ْ ْ ُ ُ َ

So in the Quran God is informing us or instructing us about the task Shaithan has taken upon himself – very meaningful – he will beautify for them the evils on earth and lead all of them astray – except the Mukhlaseen - the ‘sincere ones’! Why? Shaithan went astray, so he wants all of us to go astray! 7. The Swaabireen or the patient ones (2:153) O you who believe, seek help through patience and prayer. Surely, Allah is with those who are patient.

‫يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذين آمنُوا استَعِينُوا بِالصْب والصَلة ۚ إِن اّللَمع‬ َ َ َّ َّ ِ َ َّ َ ِ ْ َّ ْ َ َ ِ ﴾﴿ ‫الصابِرِين‬ ١٥٩ َ َّ


105 Ambitions, Goals & Distractions – Part 2

8. The Khaashigheen or those who are humble minded This time I am reading to you an Aayath similar to the earlier one, but now we are given some extra information. To seek the help of Allah we need the virtues of patience and Salaath, and this can only be, in turn acquired, through inculcating the quality of humility or humbleness or Khaashigheen. (2:45) Seek help through patience and prayer. It is indeed exacting, but not for those who are humble in their hearts,

ِِ َّ ٌ َ َّ َ ِ َ َّ َ ِ ْ َّ َ‫واستَعِينُوا بِالصْب والصَلة ۚ وإِّنَا لَكبِْيَة إَِل عََلَ اْلَْاشعني‬ ْ َ َ ﴾﴿ ٠٥

But then all of us face a huge huge confusion.Let me explain. The Quran clearly tells us that there are two paths that we can follow. One path is the path of those who are guided by God and the other is the path of those who stray, actually Surah Faathiha describes this straying group as first incurring the wrath of God and then only do they stray. Then through the Aayaths of the Quran – last week we read many Aayaths describing the life of Prophets, whom we look on as the role models of those who are truly guided. We also read some Aayaths that described those who are have incurred the wrath of God and have strayed. Now, what we see is that those who are rightly guided are, if I may use the wording, those who are spiritually rich, whilst those who stray are the materially wealthy people. Today I read to you Aayaths describing those who possess virtuous qualities, those qualities that make them spiritually rich. So it looks like material wealth would distract us whilst spiritual wealth would assist us towards our true ambitions and goals – both in this life and in our life that follows our death. It looks very straight forward. But then let me now describe our confusion. Let me describe it as my confusion. The confusion that we face is so deep, that to even identify it as confusion is very difficult. Insha Allah I will try and I hope (again Insha Allah) that all you listeners would understand what I am trying to say. So let me try to explain. In society there is a general perception of what a good Muslim should be, and every Muslim aspires to be so. You may call it ‘day dreaming’, but we are talking about ambitions and goals and we are now zooming in to the ambition of being a good Muslim – because a good Muslim believes that that is where his success lies. Let me list these points out. 1. He should pray 5 times a day, preferably in the Masjid. Which means he should be free – in the sense he should not be working for someone or some institution where taking time for 5 times prayers especially in the Mosque is difficult or impossible.


105 Ambitions, Goals & Distractions – Part 2

So the person who aspires to be a good Muslim yearns to be the ‘Master of his own business’ 2. He should pay his Zakaath every year – which is 2.5% of wealth that remained with him for at least a year. This would mean that he has to have some sort of savings or accumulated unused or growing wealth. Unused or growing for at least one year. So the person who aspires to be a good Muslim yearns to be so wealthy as to have accumulated wealth which remains unused or growing for at least one year. 3. He should be a loving caring family member. A loving caring son, a loving caring brother, a loving caring husband, a loving caring father and so on. The common perception of a loving caring person is that he would ensure that all material needs are looked after, of course within the culturally accepted norms of the Muslim community. So the person who aspires to be a good Muslim yearns to be a loving son who generously spends for his parents and looks after them. He aspires to be a loving caring brother who generously assists his brothers and sisters. He aspires to be a loving caring husband who would love his wife and give her everything she asked for, especially those things that are culturally correct. He aspires to be a loving caring father who heaps love and materials on his children whilst carefully planning out their future, especially their studies. 4. He should be very charitable. So the person who aspires to be a good Muslim yearns to be in the thick of all religious, cultural and social activity. He yearns to be involved in the plans to improve the Mosque, the Madrassah, the School, the Orphanage, the programs to assist the poor and so on. 5. He should visit Mecca with his family, especially the female members of his family because they have to go with what is called a Mehram – the husband or an immediate blood relative. Again, this list could go on and on. So every Muslim thinks that to be successful ‘I should be a good Muslim and I can be a good Muslim only if I possess wealth – this is a necessity!’ So his entire life is devoted to planning, scheming, earning, accumulating wealth in the hope that he is now striving to be a good Muslim and therefore he is successful. Dear listeners, have I not outlined to you the confusion that all of us face? Let me list it out in just 3 points. 1. There are two efforts we can make. One is the effort for material wealth and the other is for spiritual wealth. 2. To be religious we need material wealth. 3. Those that follow the path of material wealth would destroy their spirituality. Now, that is where our confusion lies! How could we sort that out? The purpose of these talks is to make listeners ‘think’ I hope that I have been successful in this endeavor.


105 Ambitions, Goals & Distractions – Part 2

So, think think think!
I also hope that you listeners enjoyed this talk as much as I did whilst preparing for it. To me it is a great learning experience. May Allah Ta’aalah guide us all and accept us all. Jazza Kalla Khairan Assalamu Alaikum
Imtiaz Muhsin Colombo Sri Lanka crescent786@hotmail.com

You Tube Channel - HaneefanMusliman

The YouTube Link to this talk is at http://youtu.be/e6m4DTCBpWk


105 Ambitions, Goals & Distractions – Part 2

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