God before Self
(Bringing Islam to the World One Concept at a Time!
Taking the Qur’an to Every Home and Heart that Needs It --
And which One Does Not?)
Many of those who say they work for Allah, sometimes – or should I say often? – they forget one important detail about life: They forget that they should learn to put God above self.
As a result, many of them are too often too preoccupied with themselves: what they need; what they would like; what is remiss with their lives; and all the wrongs the world is doing to them, including many of their own fellow-workers for Allah.
They forget that putting God before Self is putting God’s Messenger and God’s book, and the teachings of God’s Messenger, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, above oneself and above one’s own needs, desires and preferences.
And all that also means putting the best interests of God’s creation above their own narrow and selfish personal interests and needs and wants.
“Whenever there is a disagreement among you, turn to God and his Messenger, Sallallahu Alahi wa Sallam,” says the Qur’an.
Fa in tanaaza’tum fee shaiy-in fa-ruddoohu ilallahi war rasool.
And the Qur’an also makes it clear that their hearts will remain devoid of Iman till they wholeheartedly accept and embrace the decisions and dispensations of the Messenger of Allah, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, in all matters that may cause a conflict among them.
Hattaa yuhakkimooka feemaa shajara bainahum, thumma laa yajidoo fee anfusihim harajan mimmaa qadwaita wa yusallimoo tasleemaa.
The result of this failure to fully internalize a sense of overpowering God-consciousness on the part of those who may claim to be working for Allah can be profound.
It can have a devastating effect on them, on others – and on the work.
And, consequently, on Allah’s world, because, as those who work for Allah do – as Muslims are – so will the world of Allah be.
This failure on the part of those who say they work for Allah – to put Allah above Self – often manifests itself as an underlying feeling of dissatisfaction and unhappiness with themselves; their work; and the attitude and conduct of others.
These people then find themselves wondering why their colleagues and fellow-workers have all the flaws they seem to have; and why their conduct and speech simply do not seem to measure up; and they are not better than what they appear.
And why many of them often treat them the way they do.
And then these people secretly ask themselves if they should leave the work and run away and hide in some place where they will find a greater personal sense of fulfillment and emotional security.
What these people – the sundry disgruntled elements among those who say they work for Allah – really need to do is ask themselves who is really running their lives?
And who is really at the top of their scale of priorities and preferences?
Is it Allah and his Rasul, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam? Or is it their own Hawaa – meaning their own personal views and whims and likes and dislikes?
This is not to say other people – including their fellow-workers for Allah – may not have the problems with their attitude and behavior they think they have. They very well may.
But in the ultimate analysis, as they say, it may not be other people’s behavior which may really be the problem, but their own warped sense of values and their own narrow and selfish approach to these problems and these people.
So, here is an outline of what those who say they work for Allah must do when they deal with their fellow-workers for Allah:
Firmly and unequivocally put Allah and his Rasul, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, at the top of everything else in their life.
Make sure – for this belief is key to many other things – the group or Jama’at or group they are working with is the right Jama’at and the right group and the people that are working with them in this Jama’at and group are the right people.
Then learn to work with them as best as they can, helping them to do things better; giving them advice and suggestions where needed to improve their performance; praying for them; forgiving their shortcoming and looking past them; and putting their heads down and continuing with their own work.
The help of Allah will come – before they realize it.
Alaa, inna nasrallahi qareeb, is how the Qur’an puts it.
The very Barakat and blessings of their work will help to correct the situation and ease their pain and discomfort.
This is part of what it means for those who say they work for Allah to put God above Self.
Without it there is no Iman
And without it, Islam is merely a ritual.
© 2012 Syed Husain Pasha
Dr. Pasha is an educator and scholar of exceptional
talent, training and experience. He can be reached at DrSyedPasha [at]
AOL [dot] com or www.IslamicSolutions.com.