School of Deen

Balance in Life

by Shaykh Yahya Adel Ibrahim

How much is enough? Really, how much of anything is enough? The sacrifices we make for the attainable, perishable indulgences of the dunya are astounding to say the least.\\u00a0 The capacity to inconvenience or mistreat others for a small gain is not unimaginable. All of us have experienced a push in the wrong direction by someone vying with us for a promotion or acknowledgment.\\n\n

Equally, abstinence from the joys of life and the pursuit of happiness contradicts the spirit of Islam and the letter of the Qur\\u02be\\u0101n\\u00a0and modality of the honored Messenger Muhammad \\u1e63allall\\u0101hu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of All\\u0101h be upon him). To push away grace and blessings under the guise of piety is fraudulent and sinful. The refinements of the worldly life and all its splendors are a Gift from the Almighty for all humanity to enjoy, to recognize All\\u0101h\\u00a0as its source and pass it on to the subsequent generations.\\n\n

Sometimes, unintentionally, orators and authors provide us with tales of wondrous spiritual achievements in isolated narratives that lead the audience into the presumption that the masters of the past were beyond reproach and felt no hardship in attaining and maintaining righteousness. When you read the biographies of the noble companions of the prophet Muhammad \\u1e63allall\\u0101hu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of All\\u0101h be upon him) you find human beings struggling to attain Qurba\\u00a0(Nearness) to All\\u0101h\\u00a0in very real terms. They struggled against desire, battled alcoholism, fought against tribalism and racism, endured the bitterness of divorce and repented from sins \\u2013 major and minor.\\n\n

Achieving balance and moderation has always been one of the objectives of the spiritual masters of the past and will remain so in the future.\\n\n

But how can we achieve balance when the dunya beckons with its entire attainable splendor, while the Akhira is beyond our realm and seems so distant? What is to be done when what we are told will ensure our salvation seems to be spiritually un-spiritual? What if our salah does not comfort; the Qur\\u02be\\u0101n does not touch the heart? Where is one to turn when du’a, with all its need and anguished complaint, seems hollow? If the seemingly virtuous deeds leave one in unfulfilled apathy, is there a recourse other than pursuing the tangible, albeit fleeting, luxury of life at the expense of the virtuously difficult path that leads to eternal comfort?\\n\n

Balance, as we intend to attain\\u00a0in life, can be segmented into three complimentary objectives:\\n\n

    \\n\n

  1. In remaining reasonably steady in an overwhelming situation while traversing an unstable circumstance \\u2013Steadiness.\\n\n
  2. In applying equal strength, deference and importance to two opposing forces so as to effectively cancel them out and produce an outcome of maintained stability \\u2013\\u00a0Stability.\\n\n
  3. In knowing that\\u00a0what we take out is reset by what we put back in \\u2013 Equality.\\n\\n\n

    Islam as exemplified through the Sunnah, the way of life of the Prophet Muhammad \\u1e63allall\\u0101hu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of All\\u0101h be upon him), seeks balance in its purest form.\\n\n

    Steadiness:\\n\n

    \\u201cIndeed We have sent Our Messengers with clear proofs, and revealed with them the Scripture and the Balance (justice) that mankind may keep up justice\\u2026\\u201d [Surah Al-Hadid, 25]\\n\n

    Balance is justice, especially when it is difficult to accomplish. When the world is in shambles and our day seems like night, balance is found in justice!\\n\n

    All\\u0101h\\u00a0equates His Divinely revealed scripture and the clear evidence of its manifest Truth with balance that maintains justice.\\n\n

    The governor of Khorasan, Al-Jarrah ibn `Abd Allah, wrote to the caliph `Umar ibn `Abd al-`Aziz, saying:\\n\n

    \\u201cPeace be upon you. The people of Khorasan have become rebellious. They are fit for nothing but the lash and the sword. If the Commander of the Faithful sees fit to allow me to enact such a policy, I will do so.\\u201d\\n\n

    `Umar ibn `Abd al-`Aziz responded as follows:\\n\n

    \\u201cI have read your letter wherein you mention that the people of Khorasan have become rebellious and are fit for nothing but the lash and the sword, and wherein you seek my permission to enact such a policy. You have lied. What they are fit for is to receive justice and their rights. Enact that among them. And peace to you too.\\u201d\\n\n

    All\\u0101h\\u00a0says:\\n\n

    \\u201cIndeed, Allah orders justice and\\u00a0good\\u00a0conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded.\\u201d\\n\n

    [Surah An-Nahl, 90]\\n\n

    In contradiction, many who nod their heads at the above as it pertains to social justice, politics and macro scale issues, fail dismally in establishing it in their home, workplace, neighborhoods or mosques. But that is just it. Without individual attempts at justice, the overall balance is eschewed. It starts with you, with me, with our families and community.\\n\n

    Consider the imbalance of closed communities who refuse to acknowledge domestic violence exists in Muslim homes.\\n\n

    Consider the imbalance of after-school Qur\\u02be\\u0101n schools where a whack is customary for childish behavior exhibited by children during their lessons.\\n\n

    Consider the imbalance of the growing divorce rates amongst Muslim households.\\n\n

    Consider the imbalance of an outwardly religious man \\u201clegally\\u201d divorcing his spouse so that they can fraudulently claim social security payments as two separate individuals, all the while claiming to be a \\u201creligious\\u201d marriage.\\n\n

    Consider the imbalance of young adults finding comfort in intoxication and love on the streets.\\n\n

    Consider the imbalance of young adults making sense of nonsense calls to riotous anarchy in the name of the Prophet \\u1e63allall\\u0101hu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of All\\u0101h be upon him).\\n\n

    When the ground shifts with trial and Fitnah, the pursuit of justice in our personal dealings brings balance to our broad spectrum of life.\\n\n

    The Prophet \\u1e63allall\\u0101hu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of All\\u0101h be upon him) declares unequivocally, \\u201cNone of you truly believes until he wants for his brother what he wants for himself.\\u201d (Agreed upon) The masters of the past understood this to mean, as imam An-Nawawi states, \\u201cIt is preferred to understand this in the sense of universal brotherhood, so that it includes the non-Muslim and Muslim.\\u201d The Love you have, the faith you hold, the wealth you possess, the success you earn, the happiness you feel \\u2013 all and more, you wish for others to receive as you have enjoyed.\\n\n

    \\u201cYou who believe, be steadfast in your devotion to Allah and bear witness impartially: Do not let hatred of others lead you away from justice, but adhere to justice, for that is closer to awareness of Allah. Be mindful of Allah: Allah is well aware of all that you do.\\u201d [Surah Al-Maaidah, 8]\\n\n

    Stability:\\n\n

    Within all of us is the capacity to go too far, too quick, too deep, and too literal. Within all of us is the capacity to do too little, too late, too shallow and too liberal.\\n\n

    \\u201cO mankind, what has deceived you concerning your Lord, the Generous, Who created you, proportioned you, and balanced you?\\u201d [Surah Al-Infitar, 6-7]\\n\n

    \\u00a0Our natural inclination, fitrah, is balance. Excess or negligence pulls us from that straightened, upright fitrah.\\u00a0 Every day of our life, in our prayer we ask All\\u0101h\\u00a0to bless us with balance.\\n\n

    \\u201c(O Allah) Set us on the Straight Path \\u2013 Sirat al-Mustaqeem.\\u201d [Surah Al-Fatihaa, 6]\\n\n

    The straight path is one wherein Istiqaamah (Stability) is maintained.\\u00a0 The road to Jannah is declaration of faith and Istiqaamah.\\u00a0 All\\u0101h\\u00a0reminds us of the consequences of the decisions we make in this worldly life and the impact they have on our eternal hereafter by inviting us to balance:\\n\n

    \\u201cIt is Allah who has sent down the Book in truth and [also] the\\u00a0balance. And what will make you perceive? Perhaps the Hour is near.\\u201d [Surah Ash-Shura, 17]\\n\n

    Opposing that balance produces disturbances in our life and results in loss in the akhirah(Hereafter). All\\u0101h\\u00a0says:\\n\n

    \\u201cBut those whose scales are light \\u2013 those are the ones who have lost their souls, [being] in Hell, abiding eternally.\\u201d [Surah Al-Mu’minoon, 103]\\n\n

    Important spiritual concepts of repentance (Tawbah) and seeking protection from our mindless sins (Istighfaar) become imperative to attaining balance and remaining spiritually stable. As Muslims we find hope in All\\u0101h’s boundless mercy that outweighs and overwhelms our discretion. Nevertheless, All\\u0101h\\u00a0invites us to His mercy. The door is open, but you need to step towards it.\\n\n

    \\u201cExcept those who repent, believe, and do good deeds: God will change the evil deeds of such people into good ones. He is most forgiving, most merciful.\\u201d [Surah Al-Furqaan, 70]\\n\n

    Most scholars understand this to mean that if your repentance is sincere, it will be evident in your faithfulness thereafter, which will result in righteous deeds that are of a sufficient magnitude to wipe away your sinful indiscretions.\\n\n

    Imam al-Ghazali said, \\u201cIf the person you were unjust to passes away or becomes otherwise unreachable to seek his pardon, you must increase in good deeds until you have performed an amount that you believe would be sufficient for the oppressed individual to take away from you on the Day of Judgment and that you would still have enough left over to ensure your OWN salvation.\\u201d\\n\n

    Balance is achieved by knowing your weaknesses and working on them and buffering against future lapses through consistent, albeit minute, acts of piety.\\u00a0 Reformation is within grasp of the one who reaches out. \\u00a0We set ourselves firm on the Straight Path by returning to it as soon as we lose our way.\\u00a0 The Prophet \\u1e63allall\\u0101hu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of All\\u0101h be upon him) reports to us that All\\u0101h\\u00a0declares:
    \\n
    \\n\\u201cO son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me and ask of Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind.\\u00a0O son of\\u00a0Adam,\\u00a0were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me, I would forgive you. O son of Adam, were you to come to Me with sins nearly as great as the earth and were you then to face Me, ascribing no partner to Me, I would bring you forgiveness nearly as great at it.\\u201d [Sahih Tirmidhi]\\n\n

    Equality:\\n\n

    Good and evil can never be made equal, light and dark are not the same and truth is distinguishable from falsehood.\\n\n

    It may seem strange but the solution to combating hate is love, tolerance and forgiveness. Muslims are taught to resist aggression with a degree lesser than what was received, not out of weakness or inability, rather due to humility and the pursuit of peace.\\n\n

    All\\u0101h\\u00a0commands:\\n\n

    \\u201cGood and evil cannot be equal. [Prophet], repel evil with what is better and your enemy will become as close as an old and valued friend.\\u201d [ Surah Fussilat, 34]\\n\n

    \\u00a0Inversely, when provided comfort or favour, Muslims are ordered to respond with a degree more than they have received.\\n\n

    All\\u0101h\\u00a0commands:\\n\n

    \\u201cAnd when you are greeted with a greeting, greet [in return] with\\u00a0one better than it or [at least] return it [in a like manner].\\u201d [Surah An-Nisa, 86]\\n\n

    The Prophet \\u1e63allall\\u0101hu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of All\\u0101h be upon him) was wondrous in his implementation of receiving insult and harm and returning it with mercy and forgiveness.\\n\n

    History records that Fudalah ibn ‘Umair, one of the chieftains of Quraish, pledged himself to assassinating the Prophet \\u1e63allall\\u0101hu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of All\\u0101h be upon him), even if it meant his own death.\\n\n

    During the conquest of Mecca, the Prophet began his Tawaf (circling) of the Ka’bah. Fudalah thought that\\u00a0in all the clamor he could conceal a poisoned dagger and approach the Prophet \\u1e63allall\\u0101hu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of All\\u0101h be upon him) and none would be the wiser. As Fudalah began his approach , the Prophet \\u1e63allall\\u0101hu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of All\\u0101h be upon him) stopped and turned and faced Fudalah and addressed him from a distance, \\u201cO Fudalah, what are you plotting within yourself?\\u201d Fudalah said \\u201cI am here in pursuit of righteousness.\\u201d\\n\n

    The Prophet \\u1e63allall\\u0101hu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of All\\u0101h be upon him) continued and Fudalah began to draw closer still. Once again the Prophet \\u1e63allall\\u0101hu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of All\\u0101h be upon him) asked \\u201cO Fudalah, what are you plotting within yourself?\\u201d Fudalah again said, \\u201cI am here in pursuit of righteousness.\\u201d The Prophet \\u1e63allall\\u0101hu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of All\\u0101h be upon him) smiled and continued.\\u00a0 Soon, Fudalah was in striking range, but the Prophet of Mercy \\u1e63allall\\u0101hu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of All\\u0101h be upon him) struck first.\\n\n

    The Prophet \\u1e63allall\\u0101hu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of All\\u0101h be upon him) placed his noble hand on Fudalah’s chest.\\u00a0 The heart beneath was full of hatred and evil intent. The Prophet reached out in love, forgiveness and mercy.\\u00a0 Amongst 10,000 warriors at the conquest of Mecca, the Prophet \\u1e63allall\\u0101hu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of All\\u0101h be upon him) did not order Fudalah dispatched. He didn’t ask guards to bar him and keep him at bay. He acted in love and assurance.\\n\n

    Fudalah understood that his life had been spared and that had Muhammad \\u1e63allall\\u0101hu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of All\\u0101h be upon him) wanted him harm, it would have been ordered. He said, \\u201cWhen he placed his hand on my chest, there was no one in the world I hated more than he. Yet, by All\\u0101h, by the time he lifted his hand, there was no one in the world more beloved to me than he.\\u201d\\n\n

    A Muslim seeks to heal rather than excise, to replenish rather than begin anew, to sow rather than wander further and further to gather.\\n\n

    A Muslim gives full measure and weighs all matters with fairness seeking balance. That results in good for all, as All\\u0101h\\u00a0says:\\n\n

    \\u201cAnd give full measure when you measure, and weigh with an even\\u00a0balance. That is the best [way to produce the] best result.\\u201d [Surah Al-Isra,\\u00a035]\\n\n

    Finding Balance\\n\n

    Spiritual development or the pursuit of Ihsan perfection is the catalyst for harmony which is balance in all that surrounds us.\\n\n

    The one who follows the\\u00a0Sunnah\\u00a0is a teacher by vivid example. They work hard at whatever task is at hand, all the while encouraging those around them. They simplify and resolve problems. They listen more than they speak and when they are addressed, they pay attention. Their home life in private is full of worship that is hidden from the eyes of others who would admire them if they knew. They are full of belief and are certain of their Lord.\\n\n

    Belief with unwavering sincerity that is directed towards earning\\u00a0All\\u0101h’s pleasure alone, proven through righteous deeds with purity of Heart is the way to Paradise. You and I will never earn Jannah. We cannot pray enough, fast enough or be charitable enough to EARN eternal comfort. Our deeds are a symbol of our faith in the pursuit of\\u00a0All\\u0101h’s Mercy, which results in Paradise.\\n\n

    \\u201cIt is the Lord of Mercy who taught the Qur’an. He created man and taught him to communicate. The sun and the moon follow their calculated courses; the plants and the trees submit to His designs; He has raised up the sky. He has set the balance so that you may not exceed in the balance: weigh with justice and do not fall short in the balance.\\u201d [Surah Ar-Rahman, 1 \\u2013 10]\\n”Roblox HackBigo Live Beans HackYUGIOH DUEL LINKS HACKPokemon Duel HackRoblox HackPixel Gun 3d HackGrowtopia HackClash Royale Hackmy cafe recipes stories hackMobile Legends HackMobile Strike Hack\n”Streaming Beauty and the Beast (2017)

    March 19, 2017

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