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Ambition

Jan 20, 2015

 

By Sh Usaamah Khayyaat
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Fellow Muslims! Man’s aspiration to attain high ranks and degrees of virtue and his efforts towards achieving perfection in matters of religion and life is clear evidence of his sound mind and fine intellectual and psychological structure. It is also a sign of his entitlement to all the good of this world and the next. Such a man rises above the standard of the low-minded people, those who have no will to aim high, who are indifferent and lazy and are pleased to live on the sidelines of life.

In contrast to the people of high-mindedness is another group of people who seek abhorrent objectives that no sensible person would ever desire or even cast a look at. These include aspiring to commit sins that Allah and His Prophet Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam have forbidden and warned against and aspiring to snatch away blessings from Allah that others have acquired. These people wish to seize these blessings for themselves without earning them. They would resort to jealousy, injustice and aggression to achieve their aims.

It is from Allah’s Mercy and Kindness to His slaves that He ordained for them, through Islam, laws and regulations with which He shows them the correct way, thereby directing all attention to His straight path. He explained for them the finest personal qualities that may keep them away from ill intention and repugnant behaviour. He promotes social harmony among Muslims by providing opportunities for each individual that are commensurate to their talent, ability and nature. He also makes every sensible person realise with certainty that making efforts to achieve unlawful aspirations is ultimately harmful to their soul and leads to a miserable life, this would entail treating Allah’s favours with disdain and ungratefulness. This is in addition to the destructive war that such a situation wages on our acceptance of established Islamic norms as well as the evils and calamities that emanate from this. All this and the fact that this is the cause of wasting ones precious life away with base desires that are neither useful nor sensible.

During the time of the Messenger of Allah Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, the Muslim women sought that which Allah had made exclusively for men. They wanted a share of jihad in the way of Allah to defend the truth and spread guidance. They also wanted to have an equal share of inheritance. The men for their part wanted to be given preference over women in the reward for their good deeds due to them being given a larger share of inheritance. Allah diverted both groups away from these inappropriate wishes to that which would be of benefit to them. That was to ordain for each of them obligations that were suited to their nature while decreeing for each their equal share of good reward. He encouraged them to ask Him for His bountiful favours for He is the Most Generous, the Endower. Allah says that which translates to : “And do not wish for that by which Allah has made some of you exceed others. For men is a share of what they have earned and for women is a share of what they have earned. And ask Allah of His bounty. Indeed Allah is ever, over all things, a Witness.” (An- Nisaa: 32).

Brothers in Islam! Some people may think that the prohibition that is in the verse quoted above is contrary to the saying of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam as reported by Al-Bukhari: “There should be no jealousy except in two things: A man that Allah endowed with the knowledge of the Qur’an who recites it day and night while a neighbour of his hears this and says, ‘I wish I was endowed with the same as that which so and so is endowed with so that I could do as he does’; and a man whom Allah blessed with wealth who spends it in His cause while another man observes this and says, ‘How I wish I was blessed with what so and so is blessed with so that I could do as he does.” The fact of the matter is that, there is no contradiction between the verse and the Hadith. This is because the ‘jealousy’ mentioned in the Hadith is of a positive nature. It is actually just a yearning for the like of what the blessed one has. This is lawful and not forbidden. What is forbidden in the verse is wishing to have the same blessing as others whilst at the same time wanting it to be withdrawn from the one who already has it. Indeed this is what is forbidden by the verse.

We should all therefore fear Allah, and hold fast to the guidance of the Qur’an and Sunnah in order that we may be among the prosperous ones.

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