Posts Tagged ‘friends’

A Story…

Posted: May 25, 2008 in Life
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

NEED OF FRIENDS…

There is no one in the world who does not need friends. The more friends we have the more successful our lives will be. A learned man has said, “One who thinks that he does not need friends is like the simpleton who tells the sun that he does not care whether it rises or sets”.

It should also be remembered that it is necessary to be careful in the selection of friends. Making more friends does not mean that we should have firm relations with anyone and everyone. If we befriend unmannerly and lazy people, their bad habits will gradually affect us and we shall become lazy and worthless like them. This will make us lose our esteem in the eyes of others.

There is a well-known proverb: “A man is known by the company he keeps”. We should, therefore, befriend those people who are good mannered, pious and hard-working. Islam says that two companions should act as preachers for each other and each one of them should point out the shortcomings of the other. So by associating with such people we shall overcome our weaknesses and advance on the path of progress.

It should also not be forgotten that making friends is not sufficient; but it is also necessary to retain their friendship. This would be possible only when we behave with them properly and sincerely. Imam Ali (a) has said:

“A man who has no friends is very poor. And poorer than he, is he who cannot retain the friendship and loses his friends”.

A man is known by the company he keeps.

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A Story

Co-operation is to work together far a common good. It is to undertake a job in which everyone plays his part sincerely to finish it. People in co-operation pool their resources for their common benefit. We come to hear or see co-operative societies established in many countries. Their benefit has been dignity of labour and self-dependence. The co-operative movement has been the cause of rapid economic progress in many countries.

There is a story of an old man who was on his death-bed. He called his sons and asked them to break a bundle of sticks which was bound together. Although the sons were strong and tried hard to break it, they failed. The old man then advised them to untie the bundle and to break the sticks separately. Everyone of them could do so very easily. The bundle of sticks is like co-operation and working together in unity which cannot be destroyed. Thus co-operation is strength.

The Prophet of Islam, Prophet Muhammad (s). was once travelling with his companions. They stopped at a place to have something to eat and then rest. They decided to slaughter a sheep and roast it.

One of them said, “I shall do the slaughtering.”

The other said, “I shall remove the skin.”

The third one said, “I shall do the roasting.”

Each one of them volunteered to do one piece of work.

The Prophet of Islam said, “I shall collect and bring the firewood from the forest.”

The companions said, “Oh Prophet! You need not take the trouble. We shall attend to everything.”

The Prophet said, “I know you can do everything. But I do not like to enjoy a preferential treatment from you. God Almighty does not like to see a person distinguishing himself from his companions.” Thus the Prophet went and brought firewood from the forest;

This is one of the examples set by the Prophet of Islam on co-operation and working together for a common good.
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A story

A teacher had many good students in his class but had particular regard and high respect for one of them. Some of the students one day asked the teacher the reason for this. In reply he said, I shall tell you tomorrow.”

The next day, he handed to each of those students one live chicken. He asked them to take the chickens to a place where they would not be seen by anyone and then slaughter them. After a while, they returned with their chicken duly slaughtered. But his favourite student came back with his chicken alive.

The teacher asked him why he had not slaughtered it. He replied. “You had asked me to go to a place where nobody would see me. I tried hard to find a place where God Almighty could not see me. But I failed. Everywhere went I was sure that God could see me and I could not hide from Him. So I could not carry out your instructions.

On hearing this, the teacher turned to the other students and remarked, “The reason why I respect this student more is because of his constant awareness of the existence of God who can always see him, no matter where he is. Consequently, he does not commit any sin”.

The sixth Imam, Ja’far al-Sadiq (a), said to one of his friends, lshaq Bin Ammar, “Fear God as if you are able to see Him because He sees you. And if you think that He is not able to see you, then you become a non-believer. And if you believe that He sees you and you commit a sin in His presence, then you consider Him as the lowest of those seeing you”.

Dear sister Wafa,

You have been a source of light and a means of guidance to me. I shall be strong enough to destroy pain… I’ll forget all my sufferings. With the weapon of faith, I shall break down many pains that spoiled my life. My awareness is back after a long absence. I am fully awake, making my way towards the Divine light and forgiveness.

“Oh my Lord, how great is Your mercy. How easy difficulties are, for Your sake! How wonderful is struggle, for Your pleasure! How sweet bitterness is to get near You. No aim is worthy of struggle, but Yours. Oh God, despite troubles, I find happiness in my striving towards You. However narrow this room is, I enjoy the horizons of Faith, praying to You. Oh my Lord, how wonderful it is to get free of these earthly chains, setting out towards You…! Oh God! I seek nothing but Your pleasure, I need nothing but Your forgiveness. I tread only towards Your orchard. Oh my Lord, this life is nothing but efforts for your sake. My soul, Oh God, is full of hope in Your forgiveness. It longs for Your bounties and waits for Your pleasure…Oh God, this hardship is only a means of bringing me nearer to You…Oh God, my tears are for Your sake, Oh God, how great my need of Your pleasure is…!”

Finally, dear sister, I confess my gratitude to you for all your help.

Raja

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Dear sister Raja,

How wonderful for one to place one’s hopes in Allah the Almighty. Such hopes make one smile amid tears and laugh despite suffering. Hope of Allah’s pleasure and forgiveness changes darkness within oneself into a bright light reflected on one’s face. Such hopes help the believers to tolerate the hardships without despair or retreat. They make the bitter taste of life, sweet, and heal wounds…Imam Ali (A.S.) refers to this when he describes the believers. He says, “…their bodies are on earth, but their souls are attached to the sublime world…” How difficult life is, for one who does not seek the source of hope! How hard it is for one to tread difficult roads without the help of Divine Guidance! Faith is, dear sister, a paradise full of shady trees for one seeking refuge from poisonous life. Faith is a spring of water that can never dry up. It is man’s provision in this life and the Hereafter. Keep on seeking Allah’s mercy.

May Allah keep you safe.

Wafa

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The caravan had been traveling for few hours now. Signs of fatigue were obvious on their faces. They arrived at a point and stopped. The Prophet (pbuh&hf) who was also in the caravan, stopped and camel, and landed. Prior to anything, they were in search of water to prepare for prayer.

The Prophet (pbuh&hf), also started searching for water. But soon, returned to his camel, without saying anything to anyone. The campanions were surprised that the Prophet had ordered stopping here, and now perhaps he would like to move again? Eyes and ears were awaiting his order. But the surprise of the group increased as they saw him approach his camel, and tied its knees, and returned back in search of water.

Noises were raised from every corner: ” O Prophet of Allah! Why didn’t you order us to do this for you, and instead you put yourself in discomfort? We would have proudly done that service for you.”

The Prophet (pbuh&hf) responded: “Never seek others’ help in your affairs, don’t lean on others, even if it is a small peice of Miswak (the wood used for brushing teeth).

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The Bedouin entered Madina, and went directly to the Masjid, so that he may get some money or gold from the Prophet (pbuh&hf). When he arrived, he saw the Prophet (pbuh&hf) sitting among his companions. He asked his need. The Prophet (pbuh&hf) gave his something. He was not content, and moreover he used harsh and inappropriate language against the Prophet (pbuh&hf). The companions became very angry, and were ready to hurt him. But the Prophet (pbuh&hf) prevented them from haste.

The Prophet (pbuh&hf) took the Bedouin to his home, and gave him some more. The Bedouin saw that the residence of the Prophet (pbuh&hf) wasn’t like those of the heads of governments, and there is no luxury in his home.

The Bedouin became content with the share, and thanked the Prophet. At this time, the Prophet (pbuh&hf) asked him: “You said a harsh word yesterday, which caused anger in my companions. I fear that they will hurt you. Would you be willing to show your appreciation in front of them, so that their anger be resolved, and they don’t hurt you?” The Bedouin said: “Sure.”

The next day, the Bedouin came to the Masjid. The Prophet (pbuh&hf) addressed his companions: “This man says, he is content with his share, is it true?” The Bedouin said: “That is true.” Then he repeated the appreciation that he had shared with Prophet (pbuh&hf). The companions smiled.

The Prophet addressed the group: “The parable of me and these types of individuals is like that of the man whose camel was running away from him. With the [thought] they could help the owner, people were running after the camel. The camel was frightened and ran faster. The owner called on the people, please leave my camel alone, I know better how to calm it. When the people stopped chasing the camel, the owner followed it calmly, with a fistful of grass. Then without the need for running, yelling, he showed the grass to it.

Wafa and Raja are two sisters in religion. They exchange letters, which indicates that one of them has been a religious guide to the other.

Dear sister Wafa,

Assalamu Alaikum,

I must confess that you have been a real guiding light to me in my life…I am writing to you, while darkness has engulfed the Universe. Night has gently put out its fingers to wipe away the troubles of the day and give rest to the exhausted. Everything around me is silent; a hidden tune is being played, giving the soul the pleasure that it seeks. One wonders how darkness can be changed into brightness, illuminating the features of a new road. Rough words are changed into gentle ones that heal the wounds of the hearts.

Faith can do miracles. Belief in Allah makes one seek His mercy. Such a call to Faith is as pleasant as a spring breeze, as clear as the blue sky, and as beautiful as a flower. It is a clear voice that dominates the soul. One surrenders to it as a prisoner to his watchman and a child to his mother. The soul heeds it to drop anchor at its shore. I hearken to it and hear the story of a new birth. It is the echo of a Koranic verse that says,

Our Lord, surely we have heard a preacher calling to the Faith saying: Believe in your Lord, so we did believe, Our Lord forgive us therefore our faults and cover our evil deeds and make us die with the righteous. (Aale-Imran: 193)

Hence I come to understand that I am newly born to lead a new life. After utter darkness, firmly knitted by torturing days, keeping the soul chained to bitter weakness, I started feeling my new life. The mind has been the arena where severe conflict randomly took place. Nothing was clear in the vast desert where everything could be lost. Darkness, throughout those years, colored my life black. All things seemed to me utter blackness. I looked at life through dark-glasses. I suffered the rough winds and the dangerous sea waves against which my life’s boat was about to crush. Allah the Merciful watched that tiny boat struggling against the fearful waves of destiny. Then kind hands stretched to save the drowning soul. Those were your kind hands dear Wafa. Allah sent you to save this tired heart and disturbed soul. I was kindly led towards the safe harbour of comfort and rest; radiant awareness defeated the disputes of the inner enemy …I prayed to Allah the Almighty for His bounties. I uttered words which no one but He is worthy of receiving. I promised Him to tread His road to the end.

I am anxious to give you this good news of my new birth…with your help and Allah’s, Mercy I came to understand the meaning of happiness or misery in life.

I pray to Allah to keep you safe, dear sister.

Raja

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Dear sister Raja,

Your letter has been a source of pleasure to me. Its lines and words were in a new bright frame, telling the story of a new birth. I rejoiced, just as a player rejoices over winning the first round of a game. What a game Life is! It shapes the feelings, and colours its own toys through various incidents. Hence you see when I win a round, I make a step forward to save one deviated soul, one victim of a misleading society.

I am sure your wonderful letter was motivated by Faith …yet I wished you would not have used words such as “prisoner” and “watchman”…A different expression would indicate satisfaction…I hope you go ahead, increasing your faith…you should perform righteous deeds for the sake of Allah, love the good and hate the evil. Be angry for His sake and rejoice at what pleases Him. Depend on Him and you won’t face failure.

I pray to Allah to guide you well.

Wafa
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