Travelers on the Path of Knowledge

Knowledge is an ocean and a few drops just aren’t enough. -Unknown

Freedom June 25, 2008

Filed under: Random,Reflections — musaafir @ 7:39 pm

Freedom is the condition of being “free” from restraints.

Many of us are happy to be a part of the “free world” where we enjoy our lives. We can (for the most part) speak freely; we can practice our religion freely; we have a good amount of freedom in our lives.
Yet- we’re not truly free. Being free almost seems to mean being able to do as you please. But being truly free means being able to overcome certain restraints of human emotion and to act in opposition to them. For instance, there might be a part of me that gets angry when say perhaps someone is rude to me. That anger could very well consume a person, but being free entails that we can overcome this feeling. We can let things that anger us go and act in opposition by perhaps still being polite to that person.

We are perfectly capable of giving into our nafs, allowing it to do what it wishes. Yet- doing so proves nothing about ourselves. It purely indicates that we are not strong-willed, that we are prisoners of the nafs. Combating the nafs and not just giving into desires, shows the strength of a person’s will and the true concept of freedom- not being controlled or consumed by things that are actually detrimental to ourselves even when they come from within “our self”.

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My Investment June 9, 2008

Filed under: Islam — musaafir @ 12:45 pm

Part of the “American Dream” as many of us have come to know it is the right of ownership. Many people have sought to earn enough money to one day afford their own house. I’ve heard people exclaim how great it is to finally own their own house after months and months of mortgage payments. I’ve heard people complaining about being tenants and just desiring to save some money to be able to make their claim to a piece of property.

Why, though? Maybe it’s because a house gives you a sense of ease and security. The property is yours and when you pass on, you can give it to your children. The investment in a house is generally a long term one. This is why many people say they’ve lived in the same house since their childhood.

But for the person with the eye on the real long term- one must ask oneself why they’re not investing for their permanent abode. What I mean is…well, I guess it’s often explained how our acts in this world effect our lives in the next.

Recently though, I was given this sort of analogy in terms of being consistent with our ibadah. The most beloved of actions in the sight of Allah are those that are consistent, even if they are little. And it makes sense. Even if we think about our interpersonal relationships- we come to expect a sense of caring and concern from our friends regularly. The best friends are the ones who are always there- not the ones that just show up randomly, right?

Similarly, and on a much larger scale- our actions in coming close to Allah should be regular. This does not diminish the reward of the random acts of good, however, it strengthens the value and worth of little actions done consistently. If without fail, every time you enter a masjid you donate $1, think of the reward of constantly bringing Allah to your mind before the sadaqah. If you donate $250 to the masjid once- that’s great. SubhanAllah. But if you cannot consistently bring forth this idea of giving for the sake of Allah, then perhaps it is better that you give little but more often.

Same thing with reading the Qur’an. We read so many books other than the Qur’an. It is possible for us to make a habit of reading a few ayat a day, a page a day, 1/4 of a juz a day, but we find it so difficult. Why? The incentive is there is it not? Every letter is multipled tenfold, yet many of us would rather read other books and spend our time elsewhere. Why? Is it not important to us? We could consistently save money to buy a new cell phone or a new car or even a new house- but what about our investment in our aakhirah?

Insha’Allah may Allah subhana wa ta’ala grant us the tawfiq to establish regularity in our acts of ibadah and allow us to remain steadfast. May He grant us Jannah and grant us His Mercy. Ameen.