Reflections on Aspects of Life
A person who does not enjoy good health cannot do anything properly. That is why one should engage much in dua or supplicating God so that one becomes capable of fulfilling all his responsibilities the right way.
By Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
According to a hadith, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is said to have remarked: “For whomsoever of you the door of supplication is opened, for him the doors of mercy have been opened. And in God’s eyes, praying for good health is dearer to praying for anything else.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi, hadith no. 3548). In this world, people have been given freedom, but the truth is that man’s share in controlling the affairs of life is extremely limited—less than even 1%—while God’s share is more than 99%. It is because of this, that it is very important and necessary for human beings to engage in dua or to supplicate God. One who discovers this fact and faithfully acts accordingly will certainly come in the fold of God’s mercy.
In this world, for human beings, faith in God is most crucial. The next most important thing to have is afiyat. By afiyat is meant what is ordinarily called ‘good health’ or ‘well-being’.
By birth, man is a weak creature. He cannot tolerate even a minor disturbance of his health. A person who does not enjoy good health cannot do anything properly. That is why one should engage much in dua or supplicating God so that one becomes capable of fulfilling all one’s responsibilities in the right way. But dua is not simply repeating some Arabic words that one has memorized. The true dua is one that is based in and emerges from marifat or God-realization. It is the dua that emerges from the depths of one’s heart, and not simply something that is repeated mechanically on the tongue.
The Importance of Interaction
There is a hadith that appears in various books of Hadith. In the words of one narration, the Prophet is said to have remarked: “A believer who engages with people and is patient when he faces annoyance from them shall have greater reward than him who neither interacts with others nor remains patient over the troubles caused by them.”(Musnad Ahmad, hadith no. 23098).
This hadith stresses the importance of social interaction. A Hadith commentator comments on this report in these words: “A life of social interaction is better than a life of solitude.” (Tuhfat al-Ahwazi, 7/177). The superiority of a life of interaction is not just in an ethical sense. More than this is the importance of such a life in terms of personality development. One can avail of the benefits of a life of interaction only if one has the necessary seriousness about life. One should be willing to think deeply about things and to learn from others. If that is there, then every interaction you have can become a means for your intellectual development. When one interacts with others, one faces different sorts of experiences. One learns new things from them. Interaction with others provides a person the opportunity to reform his own thinking. These benefits of social interaction can be had only by someone who has the spirit of learning, someone who is able to see things in an unprejudiced and objective way. Such a person willingly acknowledges others. He gauges views and opinions on the basis of truth, not on the basis of whose views and opinions they are. He is what can be called a ‘complex-free soul’.
What is Purification (Tazkiya)?
According to the Quran, those people will gain entrance into Paradise who, while in this world, had purified themselves. For instance, the Quran says: “He who purifies it will indeed be successful.” (91:9). Elsewhere, the Quran says: “That is the recompense for those who purify themselves.” (20:76). What is tazkiya or purification? One can understand this with the help of a hadith. According to this hadith, every person is born on an upright nature, but due to the influence of his environment, he adopts an unnatural life. (Sahih al-Bukhari, hadith no. 1385). This means that by birth, every person has a purified personality or an upright nature, but because of the conditioning of his environment he becomes an artificial personality. In this regard, then, tazkiya or purification is for one to properly understand this problem and to de-condition himself and make himself, once again, a person on true nature. It is this personality who would be a purified personality.