By: Osamah Salhia
One of the key elements of growth, in all its dimensions, is being around good people who have wisdom and experience. Just being in their presence does wonders with the individual’s character and view of life. “O you who believe, fear Allah and be with the Truthful”.
Life has taught me so far, that there are some things that can only be learned by “hands-on” experience and directly dealing with people. Since I entered the harsh reality of the “real” world and dealt with people of different flavors :), I found it very hard to retain that sense of mercy that I had once learned theoretically. When I encountered the major character deficiencies in society, I felt that the environment I currently live in began to take a toll on my character and my level of patience. I missed my calm, peaceful home which was the Masjid I grew up in :(. That was until a brother who I feel is a good person began advising me and helped point out my flawed perception. The beautiful direction this brother gave me began to stir in my mind, and I have been debating it with myself as the frequent, frustrating situations occur. He was right!! “And He guides whom He wills to a Straight Path.”
So far, in the early stages of my life, I feel that dealing with people is one of the most challenging things to get accustomed to. With that being said, I do feel that if we can get in the right mindset and learn how to influence rather than be influenced, it is one of the most effective ways of spreading the moderate ideology we believe in and changing people’s lives. “Only those who are patient shall receive their rewards in full, without reckoning”. Dealing with people is Tarbiyah at work!! And disciplining our egos and controlling ourselves is definitely not easy. “Paradise has been surrounded by the disliked (endeavors) and hellfire has been surrounded with pleasures”.
After speaking with this dear brother, I am beginning to realize that most people are not pure evil. Most people, no matter what kind of personality flaws they harbor, have so much good to offer. I feel people nowadays really need someone to be merciful with them. They need someone to go beyond the face value assessments that the majority of people judge others by. With the dynamics of living in a capitalist society, people are yearning for someone to show them care and compassion and help them lead a happy life. “And We have only sent you as a mercy to mankind”. So, the word “mankind” encompasses Muslims and non-Muslims. “We have to rid the slaves, from the worship of slaves, and from the oppression of religions to the justice of Islam, and from the pressure of this life, to the comfort of this life and the hereafter.”
Most people don’t care what we have written on paper!! They don’t care what we say is our ideology!! Ultimately, people are naturally inclined to care for what directly influences their day-to-day lives. When they see someone caring for their personal issues and their well-being, they will be shocked! They won’t ask; what’s your ideology or to whom or your loyalties? When they feel your natural sincerity and devotion, they will unknowingly be influenced by you and what you believe in! “And that you love for your brother what you love for yourself”. I love for every Muslim to experience the beauty of brotherhood that my elders and mentors in MAS so kindly shared with me!!
I feel that one of the gravest problems in society today is selfishness. I feel that selflessness is a pillar of any desired revival and reform. I feel that one of the problems in society today is heartlessness. I feel that being merciful and possessing a heart that can encompass all individuals in your scope of influence is one of the pillars of any desired revival and reform. The Qur’an and Sunnah is the best place for us to start on this lifelong venture!! “Verily, this Qur’ân guides to that which is most just and right and gives glad tidings to the believers who work deeds of righteousness, that they shall have a great reward”.
“And whosoever obeys Allâh and His Messenger (SAW) he has indeed achieved a great achievement”.