15 Ramadan 2012: Gold

Renounce the world and Allah (god) will love you, and renounce what people possess and people will love you. – Prophet Mohammed (Peace and Blessings Upon Him)*

Fifteen days since the start of Ramadan 2012 and our search for sustainable inner peace continues.

Let’s admit it, we cannot and do not want to, live in isolation. We live with families, neighbors, colleagues and society in general and it is of natural human disposition to want to be loved by others. However, people dynamics can sway one so far away from inner peace that only isolation could help dissect confusion. Yes, we have discussed people’s kindness, their stories, their positive influence, but there is also a dark side, so we were wondering, how could we win both life and life hereafter while at the same time be loved by others? In other words, and in the spirit of the Olympics and London 2012, to win gold?

The quote above was the key to our reflection. The official translation uses the word renounce and we wanted to know more. We found that renounce here would signify a state where one voluntarily gives up or turns away from loving or wanting control of that which is with people either in material possessions or personal traits. In other words, letting go of jealousy and envy. Granted, we are not talking about how to (nor should we want to) be popular and ‘friends’ with everyone for that also leads to confusion and shallow relationships. However, if we didn’t care about what people had, we guess that we wouldn’t care to enter into competition with them, and competition is what creates disharmony and discomfort with both oneself and others.

We ask god on this blessed night to bless us with the satisfaction to compete with our own selves and if we compete with others, compete on the basis of doing good and getting closer to god and accept, after hard work, that which is preordained to us.

* Hadith #31 of Imam An-Nawawi’s Forty Hadiths. Quote is PBUH’s answer to: “A man came to the prophet and said: “O Messenger of Allah (god), direct me to an act which, if I do it, [will cause] Allah to love me and people to love me.”
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