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Author Topic: Swimming against a shameless current  (Read 888 times)
BrKhalid
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« on: Apr 26, 2010 06:34 AM »


Asalaamu Alaikum bro

Some wise advice, especially for those embroiled in Dilbertesque ‘office politics’



Swimming against a shameless current

The 21st-century rat race has no place for modesty. Neither do 21st-century consumption-based economic models for that matter. Modesty will probably not give you the edge that will shoo you in to that corner office. Especially if it’s going up against an over-confident ego that makes up for a dearth of skills and no authentic ideas.

All today’s ambitious “would-be” executive needs is some swagger and a velvet tongue. There, the bar has been set. Some call it working the game; others call it serving up what comes out the other end of a male cattle. But does the world really revolve on bovine deliverables?

Some say that if we don’t play the game we’ll never get ahead. Perhaps that’s true. But perhaps integrity still carries some weight in our world. Perhaps we are running with the wrong herd or barking up the wrong opportunity.



Modesty, in the Islamic literature, literally means to retract, or recoil, from anything that would bring censure or blame. But in a world where nothing more is sacred and iniquity has become virtue, and virtue becomes blameworthy, what remains to be shy from?

There’s more to it than this however, modesty in Arabic is “haya” and it comes from the word “life”. It implies also gentleness, kindness, and not only rising above what is petty and lewd, but avoiding cruelty, unfairness, and anything not in keeping with goodness and humanity. It was the character of the Prophet Mohammed.

He was renowned for combining courage with modesty. His humility and sensitivity endeared him to others while his bravery inspired confidence.

His shyness made him never to want to embarrass another person; while his courage always bolstered him to stand up for right when others shrank away from it.


Far from being a mark of weakness, people of integrity should recognise the resolve in one another’s eyes and shut down the weasels and other rodents that scurry about in the shadows of the blindside of responsible leadership.

Courage is recognising when it is time to say “enough”. Someone has got to “man up” and let people know that they are going to get called out if they insist on being shameless when there’s good work to get on with.


Allah has His own style of shyness, too, if shyness means to shy away from doing anything other than the best. It is said that if a slave sincerely turns to Him and pours his heart out, with hands raised in supplication, that He is too shy to allow those hands to return with zero (sifr).

Balances of power take on a whole new meaning for those who look to the ultimate scheme of things. Whereas the power politics of those who can’t see beyond the short term can only be called petty, the only label fitting for someone who puts his faith in it.


This is because the value of a person is measured only by the value of his attachments.


Jihad Hashim Brown is the director of research at the Tabah Foundation. He delivers the Friday sermon at the Maryam bint Sultan Mosque in Abu Dhabi

Say: "O ye my servants who believe! Fear your Lord, good is (the reward) for those who do good in this world. Spacious is God's earth! those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure!" [39:10]
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« Reply #1 on: Apr 26, 2010 06:42 AM »

Asalaamu Alaikum bro

A follow on article…



A life designed for purpose


If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.

– Lewis Carroll




Last week I pointed to the fact that a person’s worth is in direct measure to the value of the things to which he or she is attached. Not according to a gold standard, though, but instead a criterion of meaning. If one’s heart is attached to meaningful things, then one’s value is meaningful; and if to petty things then one’s value is, well, petty. If one’s heart, on the other hand, is attached to what is eternal, beginningless and endless, then his or her worth is endless and without limit.



When we scan the social landscape to look at what people have attached themselves to, we can get an idea of where they are headed in their lives. A prima facie analysis of society tells us that a great many people are attached to things that have no sustainable meaning. The word status on my credit card, is that sustainable? The word “platinum” or “premium”, is a premium “what” at the end of the day? What does it mean to be titillated by celebrities today, who tomorrow will be in rehab or embroiled in a sex scandal? They are also searching for meaning. The resulting equation is a life that is meaningless, without purpose. If the goal in life is to get oneself into the business-flyer bracket, what then? Where are you flying to?



But a life without purpose is not the design that Allah prescribed for people. He has created the world for a purpose and made humankind an entity of meaning. Four seasons, one Sun, exact distances, the list is unceasing.

Two constellations of universal purposes have been prescribed for humankind, one ultimate, another penultimate. The second are the aims of human action; the preservation of spiritual experience, the preservation of life, the preservation of intellect, the preservation of human dignity and the preservation of private property.


The first, and ultimate, constellation of aims is accessed through a window opened by the first aim in the penultimate set. These have been illuminated by al-Raghib al-Isphahani (an early influence on Abu Hamid al-Ghazali) as: devotion to Allah (the eternal absolute), positive development of the earth, and self-purification.

Spiritual experience can be grounded in reality or not. If it is, then it will open on to the vista of devotion, development, and purification illustrated above.


Humankind has been commissioned with the stewardship (khilafa) of these two constellations in such a way that it leads to equilibrium in the natural and social environment. Otherwise, “corruption has appeared in the earth and in the sea because of what the hands of men have wrought,” (Quran 30:41).

An example of these constellations at play as the factors of stewardship is as follows:

From the standpoint of spiritual experience the Earth is a sign (alam) reflecting the existence of its Creator. It is a horizon for the devotional contemplation of the interplay of His divine attributes. It is also the context of human experience and its preservation is the preservation of the well-being of life. This is achieved through positive and harmonious development, the condition of which is the promotion of a sound and balanced intellect.


A life without purpose is meaningless. The measure of this is to look at the meaning of one’s endeavours, or lack thereof. I don’t think anyone of sound constitution is content with a life without meaning. So perhaps things need a little re-calibration; but that’s all part of the adventure isn’t it?



http://www.thenational.ae/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100424/WEEKENDER/704239863&SearchID=73388834619962

Say: "O ye my servants who believe! Fear your Lord, good is (the reward) for those who do good in this world. Spacious is God's earth! those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure!" [39:10]
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« Reply #2 on: Apr 26, 2010 07:05 AM »

Wow, great articles ma'shaAllah. I didn't know br Jihad moved to Abu Dhabi! He used to live in Syria for awhile. That's great ppl are benefiting from him. Have u been to his mosque at all??

And btw why is he over there!! We've always been waiting for him to come home to the US Sad
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« Reply #3 on: Apr 27, 2010 06:12 AM »

Asalaamu Alaikum  bro


Quote
That's great ppl are benefiting from him. Have u been to his mosque at all??

And btw why is he over there!! We've always been waiting for him to come home to the US


Unfortunately I have not been able to get down to his masjid in Abu Dhabi but I know many that have.


He usually writes an article every Saturday in The National which can be accessed online.

Say: "O ye my servants who believe! Fear your Lord, good is (the reward) for those who do good in this world. Spacious is God's earth! those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure!" [39:10]
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