The Greater Jihad
Do it now while you are strong and robust.
While the spring of youth is ripening the fruit.
While the fountain of desire is overflowing with fertility.
Before the soil turns crumbly and barren.
Before your eyes grow dim and sunken
and your face looks like an old lizard.
For those that wait the day is late.
The donkey’s lame and the way is long.
The shop is pilfered and the business is bankrupt.
The roots of bad habits are firmly embedded
and no power remains to wrench them out.
Focus for contemplation:
Bayazid al-Bistami teaches,
“When does a man become a man? When he knows his own mistakes and hurries to correct them.”
Take some time to examine your faults and foibles. Without such honest introspection, self-transformation is impossible.
Mastering yourself doesn’t require you to be tyrannically self critical, only to watch what you do and be willing to learn from your mistakes. No one is perfect. We are all here making mistakes and learning from them every day. As Sayyidina Ali RA makes clear,
“The sin that makes you sad and repentant is liked better by Allah than the good deed that turns you vain and conceited.”
Most people avoid facing their faults by constructing elaborate justifications to explain them away. But as Ziaudin asserts,
“Self-justification is worse than the original offense.”
There is always a good reason why people have their particular failings, but when it comes to ourselves we need to make sure this doesn’t become an excuse for not changing – because if we don’t change we will continue to suffer.
Taken from the book “The Heart of Islam” – a gift by Hidayah. Thanks again darling. I really love it.