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Brief Reminders

The Pillar of Power

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 November 2017 15:33

We live in an age of jet setting, an age in which many people awake in one country, eat lunch in a second, and go to sleep in a third. From Kingston to Kazakhstan, and Taiwan to Toronto, with the ease of travel and communication, the globe has seemingly ‘shrunk’ with even the remotest area now connected to the rest of the world. From any region of the planet, we can use the internet to book a room in the Intercontinental, or transfer funds across thousands of kilometers in the mere flash of an eye. We can communicate across opposing hemispheres in just seconds, and enjoy the produce and products of diverse countries in our very own locality.

However, all this has been made possible through electricity. Without electricity, we would have no flights, no LED lighting, and you get the point – almost every single invention and comfort that we enjoy, from a microwave to a geyser to even our automated garage doors and driveway gates would cease to function and be of very little benefit to us. It is thus clear that electricity plays a pivotal role in the grand scheme of things, giving power to technology and allowing it to function.

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The Orchard of Imaan and Actions

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Last Updated on Thursday, 09 November 2017 15:06

When it comes to gardening, some people have ‘green fingers’. They successfully plant and cultivate a host of different plants, some for beauty and others for food. They tend to their plants, watering, pruning and spraying insecticide when necessary. Through their careful, continuous effort, a lush orchard is produced, bright with beauty and laden with fruit.

Other people sometimes complain that they have ‘toxic thumbs’ and ‘poisonous pinkies’. If they merely go within a meter of any plant, it will almost definitely wither and perish soon thereafter. Such people either possess plots that are rocky and totally barren of vegetation, or plots that are overrun with weeds, snakes and other wild animals and plants.

Our lives are like plots of land and our actions form the vegetation that grows within it. The difference, however, is that every person with imaan has ‘green fingers’ (the ability to carry out righteous actions that will be accepted by Allah Ta‘ala). All that is required is that he carefully tends to his plot, transforming it into an orchard of beauty and productivity.

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Blessing in Disguise

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 September 2017 16:28

As young children, many of us were dragged to the dentist. Once at the surgery, despite our protests, we were seated on the chair and made to open our mouths, after which the dentist carried out ‘unspeakable atrocities’ against us. Scaling, polishing, filling and worst of all – injecting and extracting – are some of the horrors that we were made to undergo. To our disappointment and dismay, our emphatic appeals to our parents to bring an end to the torture simply fell on deaf ears, and they even went as far as to side with the dentist, scolding us and telling us to sit still! To add insult to injury, while we nursed our wounds, they thanked the ‘torturer’ and paid him handsomely for what he had done!

Now, as adults, we look back, in retrospect, and realize that the dentist was actually a blessing in disguise. Had he not treated us, we would have probably lost some of our teeth – a loss that would have plagued us for the rest of our lives. Thus, although we did not understand it at the time, the difficulty that we suffered was actually for the best.

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‘Weaning’ the Nafs

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Last Updated on Monday, 28 August 2017 10:13

‘Allaamah Booseeri (rahimahullah) mentions in his famous Qaseedah Burdah:

وَالنَّفْسُ كَالطِّفْلِ إِنْ تُهْمِلْهُ شَبَّ عَلٰى

حُبِّ الرَّضَاعِ وَإِنْ تَفْطِمْهُ يَنْفَطِمِ

The nafs is like a child; if you neglect (to wean) it, it will still have the love for the mother’s milk when it reaches adolescence. However, if you wean it, it will become weaned.

This couplet explains that a person’s nafs (carnal self) is like a young child. A suckling child, by nature, loves its mother’s milk. However, being a child, it does not understand that this milk is only beneficial for a short period, after which its consumption will prove harmful and detrimental to the child.

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Tolerate Until…?

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Last Updated on Thursday, 27 July 2017 13:43

Remember the last time your child scribbled on the walls with a permanent marker? Did you reprimand and perhaps punish the child for this misdemeanor? If not at the first instance, then you probably did punish the child when he did it for the second or third time.

Remember the last time one of your friends spoke ill of you in your absence? When her crass comments and hurtful remarks reached your ears, did you choose to overlook and forgive? If you did, then what happened when she continued to behave in this manner? In all probability, you ‘wrote her off as a friend’ and decided to move on. Even if this friend thereafter came to you and begged your forgiveness, you may have forgiven her, but it’s unlikely that you will forget the manner in which she stabbed you in the back.

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