Amidst all the challenges of everyday life, the trivial brunt of work, family, personal, social life, it’s always refreshing to shift perspective towards a greater picture.
Some of the many things I appreciate about studying faith is the emphasis placed on life, purpose, self-improvement, beauty, compassion, and appreciation of a greater Entity. As of late, I’ve made it a point to study some of the Quran and read up on sermons from Najul Balagha, a book of sermons from Imam Ali. He was known not just as the cousin and son-in law of Prophet Muhammed, but also as a character of strong spirituality, conduct in society, education, and understanding of the universe. After reading a chapter and sermon, I literally felt my mind broaden…
As I was experiencing the subtle ecstasy in reading through sermons, something peculiar stood out, I noticed that the English word, “fear” is often used in translations with regards to our relationship to God. Do we ever question what this kind of fear means? In my opinion, I feel as though “fear” has been the wrong choice of word to use in our relationship with God. For how compassionate and merciful God is, our relationship shouldn’t have a negative connotation. We should live in constant awareness of a greater Entity, Allah, God, the Creator, the Ultimate Energy. There is a life after this life, and in order to peacefully follow through, we need to follow guidelines built to save our soul from internal destruction. Positive habits, gestures, and routine prayers provide people with a sense of purpose, generosity, love, and a sound state of mind. Instead of fear, we should live in constant “respect” and “awareness” of our Creator.
Here are some additional inspirational and wise excerpts I have come across:
He who busies himself with things other than improvement of his own self becomes
perplexed in darkness and entangled in ruination. His evil spirits immerse him deep in vices
and make his bad actions appear handsome. – Najul Balagha, Imam Ali
During civil disturbance adopt such an attitude that people do not attach any importance to you – they neither burden you with complicated affairs, nor try to derive any advantage out of you. -Najul Balagha, Imam Ali
… patience is a kind of bravery; to sever attachments with the wicked world is the greatest wealth; piety is the best weapon of defense.- Najul Balagha, Imam Ali
Submission to Allah’s will is the best companion; wisdom is the noblest heritage; theoretical and practical knowledge are the best signs of distinction; deep thinking will present the clearest picture of every problem. -Najul Balagha, Imam Ali
The mind of a wise man is the safest custody of secrets; cheerfulness is the key to friendship; patience and forbearance will conceal many defects. -Najul Balagha, Imam Ali
Man is a wonderful creature; he sees through the layers of fat (eyes), hears through a bone (ears) and speaks through a lump of flesh (tongue). -Najul Balagha, Imam Ali
Live amongst people in such a manner that if you die they weep over you and if you are alive they crave for your company. – Najul Balagha,
If you overpower your enemy, then pardon him by way of thankfulness to Allah, for being able to subdue him. – Najul Balagha