People who know a lot, but don’t understand each other

social-networkingWe are living in an age of instantaneous communication, where the whole world is connected to each other. It is very easy to find out what’s going on in a country thousands of miles away. From a natural disaster to a festival, from politicians’ speeches to countries about to bankrupt; the information is within our reach in a matter of seconds. And, this constant flow of information takes most of our time with us being none the wiser. Everyone complains that the time is passing by so fast, and that, 24-twenty four hours are not enough for them; but the interesting thing is that most people spend this amount of time with unnecessary occupations and procrastination.

Television and internet may prove to be traps that push people to waste their time on useless things. Today, the situation has gotten so much out of control that many people choose to focus more on their telephones, computers or tablets rather than paying attention to their families, friends or loved ones. Actually, this thought-provoking situation is the source of an important problem- it prevents people from communicating with each other, although they are constantly connected to the whole world. Some call this ‘unhealthy relationship with time’, while others call it ‘twitter-ized or facebook-aholic private lives’.

These people might learn about millions of unimportant things, but they don’t take out time to take care of themselves or the people around them. The passage of time keeps some people away from thinking, improving themselves, and working to build better personalities for themselves. The situation has became so serious that many of these people now consider taking out time for their families, complimenting each other, having a pleasant conversation and sharing blessings  with others as ‘unnecessary occupations’. Their followers on social media, who might be on the other side of the world, know about all their troubles, tastes and favourite foods, while their families are ignored.

What is even more thought provoking is the fact that these people don’t take out time for themselves; they quit thinking, and as a result, they begin to experience the effects of this in their morality, and then in their social lives as a whole.

For people, who don’t know about themselves, and the weakness of their lower selves- selfishness, hurting others, sudden bursts of anger, fits of jealousy and other evil acts- become ordinary parts of life. They begin to see these acts not as vices that should be refrained from with great care, but things that should be gotten off one’s chest. However, this is against the very reason behind the presence of people in this world.

Humans are sent into this world to attain moral maturity, in other words, to train the ‘me’ inside them. Just like we weren’t consulted about our birth, we aren’t consulted about our death either. We stay in this world for the duration that God has set for us, and with death, we will part with this world and begin our eternal life. We came to this world to learn about love, sharing, brotherhood and sublime morality. Every moment in this world is created independently for each person, and we make our choices between what is wrong and what is right. The things we choose, either make our personality better, and strengthen us spiritually, or leave us in darkness if we make bad choices.

To better understand the importance of this point, let’s ponder over some questions to see what lack of love, altruism and spirituality causes:

–                    Will your children be able to look around and learn what having ‘lofty morals and virtue’ means?

–                    Will they believe that they can be successful if they are honest and hardworking and avoid lies?

–                    Will they know that abundance can increase with goodness?

–                    Will they be aware that they can gain more by protecting the rights of innocent, poor, needy, refugees, orphans and not by cheating, lying or sacrificing the needs of others?

–                    While there are people who lose their lives as a result of obesity, there is widespread hunger in some other countries. Will they be able to see that?

–                    Will they pass by a poor person on the street without looking, or will they want to share with them what they have?

We have to tell our kids about these facts and that they are in this world ‘to be trained and to achieve good morality’.

Love, forgiveness, generosity and altruism are the essential characteristics of religion and help people gain peace and happiness. For this reason, it is imperative that we teach our children that they will find happiness only when religion is a part of every aspect of their lives. We have to show them the ease and plain nature of religion by living it ourselves.

We have to explain to our kids that everything they have is created by God for them, and how to love God every minute with passion; and that, only when people love God with sincerity can they find happiness in their hearts and blessings in their lives.

Living without love, compassion, friendship and kindness is not living. Accepting such a life is horrible. That’s why we need to help our children know themselves, and make them understand that they can defeat the evil in their lower selves with faith and closeness to God; and that everything they have should be used for goodness.

We have, but a single life in this world, and we don’t know how long it will last. That’s why we need to benefit from every single moment we have.

Knowing God, loving God and being aware of the purpose of our lives is crucial. Otherwise, depression, nervous breakdowns and troubles will end up as your grim companions. If you want a good life for yourself, your family and your children, and if, you want wars to come to an end and the world to find peace- the only thing you have to do is to have superior morals and encourage the same for everyone.

Five Ways to Cleanse Your Thoughts

11775The Quran contains details of the previous nations so that we may take heed and not repeat their mistakes. Allah (swt) mentions the tales of both the obedient and the disobedient, giving us a choice as to which group we want to be from.

When the obedient people received a command from Allah (swt), they surrendered before Him and accepted it right away. For example, when Prophet Ibrahim (as) was asked to submit: “He said: I have submitted myself (as a Muslim) to the Lord of the Alamin (mankind, Jinns and all that exists).” (Al-Baqarah 2:131) No further questions.

When the other group was commanded to do something- they transgressed, rejected and ridiculed the message. For example: “And (remember) when Musa (Moses) said to his people: Verily, Allah commands you that you slaughter a cow. They said: Do you make fun of us? He said: I take Allah’s Refuge from being among Al-Jahilun (the ignorant or the foolish).” (Al-Baqarah 2:67) A prophet does not make fun of others. He is sincere to his cause and wishes the best for everyone.

Why did they deduce a different meaning than the one intended?

The problem was in their thinking. They did not give due respect to their messenger; they always undermined his sincerity and harmed themselves.

Often in life, we make the same mistakes. Without understanding the intentions of others, we engage in arguments, risk relationships, and see only one side of the coin. This is called mental slavery. Generally, people fashion their thoughts based on their experiences and not the truth. This promotes racism, hatred, and other evils. But, we do not need to live in this slavery – we can change it.

And here is how:

1. Study Your Thoughts
Before you react to a conversation or any event, pause and think. What makes me think what I am thinking right now? Is that really the truth or am I being biased? Recognize your biasness. And throw it out.

2. Restrict the Ego from Taking Over
Social media threads and political talk shows often end up in arguments and severed ties because each participant allows his or her ego to take over. Allow other people to have their opinions. The way your thoughts were shaped by your environment and experiences, the other person went through a similar process. He is entitled to think differently. Give respect. Do not abuse.

3. Broaden Your Information Sources
Diversify your information bank. Do not always read or follow opinions that match yours. Pick up a book or listen to someone who thinks differently. Similarly, improve your company. Seek learned, truthful, respectful, and positive thinkers. Seek the truth, not attention.

4. Stay Busy
Knowing that every word spilling off our tongues is being recorded should encourage us to speak only when spoken to. Speak a good word, and do not always be opinionated.

5. Study the Seerah of the Prophets
Learn from the best. Allah (swt) chose and shaped the prophets to overcome life’s challenges and carry forward His message. The Companions adopted their teachings and moulded themselves. Study their lives. How did they live in this world while focusing on the hereafter?