Posts Tagged ‘help’

ON THE PATH OF RELIGION

In a class at the Jaffery Primary School of Mombasa, it was time for religious instruction. The subject was: The meaning and benefits of following a religion. This is how the lesson went.

Pupil: Please, Sir, tell us the meaning of religion.

Teacher: Religion is a collection of beliefs. It lays down the rules of character, how to deal with your family members as well as with other people, It also teaches us rules concerning money matters. They have been taught to us by the Prophets who were messengers of God, sent for the guidance of Mankind.

Pupil: May I know what benefit do we get from following a religion?

Teacher: By following the teachings of true religion, a person becomes happy in this world as well as in the next one.

Pupil: Please, Sir, tell us what religion teaches us.

Teacher: The teachings of religion mainly consist of:

1) Beliefs: To believe in One God, who created this world, the Sun, the Moon, the Stars, and other planets and everything in them. Because of his kindness, he did not leave human beings without guidance. He sent Prophets to guide them to the right path so that they may fulfill the duties he has laid down. Those who follow the teachings of the Prophets would be successful and happy in this as well as the next world.

2) Character: Religion teaches us to be good and kind to everyone, to love everyone, to respect parents and teachers, to seek useful knowledge, to protect our rights and those of others and to live moderately.

3) Social and Economic Guidance: A perfect religion lays down rules about how to behave and deal with people when they do wrong. It also teaches us rules about money matters, how one should earn one’s living, how one should take care of the poor and needy relatives, what type of business is allowed.

4) Worship: Religion teaches us that we pray to God and fast, so that by such actions we remember God and purify our Body and Mind.

We should obey God only and not follow people. God has created all of us. Therefore he knows better what is good for us. He has laid down a code of life for our benefit. Therefore, it is in our interest to follow it.

Pupil: May I know, Sir, how belief in a religion affects our lives?

Teacher: Belief in religion not only affects a person’s spirit or soul but also his body and action.

A person who believes in one God, acts differently from a person who does not believe in God. He who believes in God cannot at any time become proud, because he knows that whatever he has acquired has been given to him by God and God can take it back whenever he wishes.

He does not look down upon other people as he knows that all of them have been created by God in the same way as he was created.

He does not bow down before anyone but God. He knows that everything has been created by God and he provides for all our needs. He alone is worthy of being worshipped.

He also believes in life in the next world and always tries to do good and refrains from doing bad. The better his deeds, the better will be his life in the next world.

A person who believes in God does all the good work even if he is not paid for it or appreciated by others. He continues to do good to others. He sacrifices his time, money and energy in serving people for the sake of God, as this pleases God. He does not become selfish.

Thus belief is connected with character and character with actions. They are all connected to each other.

Pupil: Now Sir can you tell us what would happen if a person did not believe in religion?

Teacher: A person who does not believe in God and life in the next world does not know who created him, why he was created and what is the purpose of his life. He is like a traveller who is lost and moves around aimlessly.

When such a person falls into trouble, he has no where to look for help. If he wants anything, he has no one from whom he can ask to fulfill his wishes.A person who believes in religion asks for help from God when he is in difficulties. He asks God to fulfill his wishes. He is sure that God will help him and will grant him his desires if they are good for him. But a person who does not believe in God has no one.

A non-believer acts according to his whims. He is most of the time selfish. He is not prepared to help others for he does not expect to get God’s reward for his sacrifices for the trouble he takes for others.

His only aim in life is to find happiness for himself at all cost. He does not know what is the purpose of his life. He does not hesitate to tell lies, steal, hurt others and do all sorts of bad things; if these actions will gain something for him. He does not know that God will punish him for his bad deeds in the next world.

A person who believes in religion is afraid of God and will not do bad things. He knows that any difficulty that comes to him in this world is meant to test his faith in God. He, therefore, faces it patiently and prays for God’s help. He knows that this will please God and he will be rewarded for it by God in the next world.

The bell rang. It was time for another lesson. When the children went home, they fully realised the need for a religion. Since then, they respected their religious teachings more and more and made every effort to follow them. In so doing they became happier and successful in life.

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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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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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Tired and exhausted with the water-skin on her back, she was gasping and going towards her house where innocent children, their eyes fixed at the door, were eagerly waiting for the arrival of their mother. On her way, an unknown man ap- proached her. He took the water-skin from her and placed it on his back. The door opened and the children saw their mother entering the house with a stranger. He placed the water-skin on the ground and said:
“Well,it seems you don’t have anyone to fetch water for you; how come you are so forlorn?”

“My husband was a soldier; Ali sent him to the frontier where he was killed. Now I am alone with these small children”
The stranger said no more. Bowing down his head he went away. But the thought of the help- less window and orphans remained in his mind. He could hardly sleep in the night. Early in the morn- ing he picked up a basket; put some meat, flour and dates in it; went straight to her house and knocked at the door.
“Who are you?”

“I am the man who brought your water yes- terday. Now I have brought some food for the children”

“May God bless you and judge between us and Ali”
She opened the door. Entering the house she said:
“I wish to do some good acts. Either let me knead the flour and bake the bread or allow me to look after the children”

“Very well, but I can do the job of kneading and cooking better than you. You take care of the children till I finish cooking”
She went to knead the flour Immediately he grilled some meat which he had brought and fed the children saying to each child while putting morsel in his mouth:
“My son, forgive Ali if he has failed in his duty towards you”
The flour got ready; she called: “Gentlemen! put fire in the oven” He went and put fire in the oven. When flames rose up, he brought his face near the fire and said,
“Taste the heat of fire. It is the punishment for those who fail in their duty towards orphans and widows.”
By chance, a woman from the neighbouring house came in. Recognizing the stranger, she cried: “Woe, don’t you recognize the man who is helping you? He is Amirul-Muumineen (comman- der of the faithful) Ali bin Abi-Talib”

The widow came forward and shame facedly cried:
“Curse and shame to me. I beg your pardon.”

“No,I beg your pardon for I failed in my duty towards you.”

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A long time ago, a girl named Li-Li got married and went to live with her husband and mother-in-law.

In a very short time, Li-Li found that she couldn’t get along with her mother-in-law at all.

Their personalities were very different, and Li-Li was angered by many of her mother-in-law’s

habits. In addition, she criticized Li-Li constantly.

Days passed days, and weeks passed weeks. Li-Li and her mother-in-law never stopped arguing

and fighting. But what made the situation even worse was that, according to ancient Chinese

tradition, Li-Li had to bow to her mother-in-law and obey her every wish. All the anger and

unhappiness in the house was causing the poor husband great distress. Finally, Li-Li could not

stand her mother-in-law’s bad temper and dictatorship any longer, and she decided to do

something about it. Li-Li went to see her father’s good friend, Mr. Huang, who sold herbs. She told

him the situation and asked if he would give her some poison so that she could solve the problem

once and for all.

Mr. Huang thought for awhile, and finally said, Li-Li, I will help you solve your problem, but you

must listen to me and obey what I tell you.

Li-Li said, “Yes, Mr. Huang, I will do whatever you tell me to do.”

Mr. Huang went into the back room, and returned in a few minutes with a package of herbs. He told

Li-Li, “You can’t use a quick-acting poison to get rid of your mother-in-law, because that would

cause people to become suspicious. Therefore, I have given you a number of herbs that will slowly

build up poison in her body. Every other day prepare some pork or chicken and put a little of these

herbs in her serving. Now, in order to make sure that nobody suspects you when she dies, you

must be very careful to act very friendly towards her.

Don’t argue with her, obey her every wish, and treat her like a queen.”

Li-Li was so happy. She thanked Mr. Huang and hurried home to start her plot of murdering her

mother-in-law.

Weeks went by, and months went by, and every other day, Li-Li served the specially treated food to

her mother-in-law. She remembered what Mr. Huang had said about avoiding suspicion, so she

controlled her temper, obeyed her mother-in-law, and treated her like her own mother. After six

months had passed, the whole household had changed. Li-Li had practiced controlling her temper

so much that she found that she almost never got mad or upset.

She hadn’t had an argument in six months with her mother-in-law, who now seemed much kinder

and easier to get along with.

The mother-in-law’s attitude toward Li-Li changed, and she began to love Li-Li like her own

daughter. She kept telling friends and relatives that Li-Li was the best daughter-in-law one could

ever find. Li-Li and her mother-in-law were now treating each other like a real mother and

daughter. Li-Li’s husband was very happy to see what was happening.

One day, Li-Li came to see Mr. Huang and asked for his help again. She said, “Dear Mr. Huang,

please help me to keep the poison from killing my mother-in-law! She’s changed into such a nice

woman, and I love her like my own mother. I do not want her to die because of the poison I gave

her.”

Mr. Huang smiled and nodded his head. “Li-Li, there’s nothing to worry about. I never gave you any

poison. The herbs I gave you were vitamins to improve her health. The only poison was in your

mind and your attitude toward her, but that has been all washed away by the love which you gave

to her.”

MORAL: Friends, have you ever realized that how you treat others is exactly how they will treat you?THE GOLDEN RULE: The person who loves others will also be loved

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Giving Blood many years ago, when I worked as a transfusion volunteer at Stanford Hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liza who was suffering from a disease and needed blood from her five-year-old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness. The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister. I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, “Yes, I’ll do it if it will save Liza.”

As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheeks. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, “Will I start to die right away?”

Being young, the boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give her all his blood.
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