Keeping alive the Islamic tradition of scholarship, insight, and purification...one day at a time.
Thursday, January 26, 2006
LESSON OF THE DAY 451
So the angels bowed all of them together, except Iblis, the one who despaired, who refused to be with those who bowed. He said: "O Iblis, what is the matter with you, that you are not with those who bow?" He said: "I am not about to bow to a human being, which you made of clay, of mud that's been formed!"[15:30 to 33]
Hadith of the Day:
The dua that will be answered most quickly is the dua of one in private for another who is not present. [Bukhari]
Wise Quote of the Day:
Freedom belongs to the one without greed. [Muhammad Ali Hakeem]
Guidance of the Day:
There is something magical that happens to the human spirit, a sense of calm that comes over you, when you cease needing all the attention directed toward yourself and instead allow others to have the glory. Our need for excessive attention is that ego-centered part of us that says, "Look at me. I am special. My story is more interesting than yours." It's that voice inside of us that may not come right out and say it, but that wants to believe that "my accomplishments are slightly more important than yours." The ego is that part of us that wants to be seen, heard, respected, considered special, often at the expense of someone else. It's the part of us that interrupts someone else's story, or impatiently waits his turn to speak so that he can bring the conversation and attention back to himself.
To varying degrees, most of us engage in this habit, much to our own detriment. When you immediately dive and bring the conversation back toward you, you can subtly minimize the joy that person has in sharing, and in doing so, create distance between yourself and others. Everyone loses. Next time someone tells you a story or shares an accomplishment with you, notice your tendency to say something about yourself in response.
Although it is a difficult habit to break, it's not only enjoyable but actually peaceful to have the quiet confidence to be able to surrender your need for attention and instead share in the joy of someone else's glory. Rather than jumping right in saying, "once I did the same thing" or "Guess what I did today," bite your tongue and notice what happens. Just say, "That's wonderful," or "Please tell me more," and leave it at that. The person you are speaking to will have so much more fun and, because you are so much more "present," because you are listening carefully, he or she won't feel in competition with you. The result will be that the person will feel more relaxed around you, making him or her more confident as well as interesting. You too will feel more relaxed because you won't be on the edge of your seat, waiting your turn.
Obviously, there are times when it's absolutely appropriate to exchange experience back and forth, and to share in the glory and attention rather than giving it all away. I'm referring here to the compulsive need to grab it from others. Ironically, when you surrender your need to hog the glory, the attention you used to need from other people is replaced by a quiet inner confidence that is derived from letting others have it. [Don't Sweat The Small Stuff]
Du'a of the Week:
Allahumma inni a'udhubika mina'l -hammi wa'l-hazan, wa a'udhubika mina'l ajzi wa'l kasal. (O Allah! I seek your protection from sorrow and grief, and I seek your protection from incapacity and sloth).
Food for Thought:
Repentance of an old man is a wonderful thing, but that of the youth is even moreso.
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