[75:5] But the human being tends to believe only what he sees in front of him.
Our shortsightedness often misleads us into wrong judgments and conclusions. Satan uses this inherited human flaw to make us develop some twisted understandings and rehearse many baseless, man-made definitions. Gradually, he even manages to substitute some of the divine wisdom offered by the Most Gracious for us with his own lowly, fake one relying on us lacking to see beyond our eyes and through the full depth of the Quranic picture .
The divine purpose of sending both humans and jinns to earth was to merely worship God alone to be redeemed (51:56, 90:4). The entire picture of our presence on earth and how it is a final chance to make up for our gross sin in first life must be constantly saved and activated in our memories. Quran endlessly reminds us with the tiniest details of this picture in full definition since our eternal destiny relies on that. We have no excuse to give up to Satan's fake world and blame it on our shortsightedness. Yet, many of us are still so vulnerable to his invitation that we insist on confusing our very own personal standards and preferences with God's to come up with man-made values and understandings. While we could do so in a seemingly efficient way, the divine standards set by God are perfect, far superior, and are divinely designed to grant us salvation. For that, they are the worthy ones to be adopted if we are intelligent enough to not jeopardize our destiny.
This reminder is to bring to our attention some divine perspectives of certain values using Quran for the purpose of visualizing some our shortsightedness.
Who is at constant peace and contentment? Inner peace and contentment according to Quran originate from the total devotion to God alone, and our unwavering trust in His plans for us. Once this foundation is shattered, Satan steps in with all the insecurities that would deprive us from both peace and contentment no matter how healthy or wealthy we are, and irrespective of the apparent success of our social life! This is God's system and His systems are unchangeable (7:27, 19:83, 26:221-223).
It is important to understand that when God tells the believers they shall not sense fear or grief, He is only reassuring their hearts and strengthening them while going through their trials which are part of God's unchangeable systems; we are all going to be tested throughout our journey of submission. True believers are always at peace and feel content while going through their struggle against their weaknesses and impurities. They are always at peace and feel content while going through their grief. They are always at peace and feel content while going through their trials and losses. The shortsighted ones, however, would envision them as sad, restless or feeling miserable only because those shortsighted ones are weak in faith and their faith is conditioned by their own standards and definitions! Peace, joy and contentment continue to be exclusive for God's devoted believers at the moment of leaving earth, on the Day of Judgment and eternally in Paradise.
[29:2] Do the people think that they will be left to say, "We believe," without being put to the test?
[29:3] We have tested those before them, for GOD must distinguish those who are truthful, and He must expose the liars.
[47:2] Those who believe and work righteousness, and believe in what was sent down to Muhammad - which is the truth from their Lord - He remits their sins, and blesses them with contentment.
[10:62] Absolutely, GOD's allies have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.
[10:63] They are those who believe and lead a righteous life.
[10:64] For them, joy and happiness in this world, as well as in the Hereafter. This is GOD's unchangeable law. Such is the greatest triumph.
[16:31] The gardens of Eden are reserved for them, wherein rivers flow. They have anything they wish therein. GOD thus rewards the righteous.
[16:32] The angels terminate their lives in a state of righteousness, saying, "Peace be upon you. Enter Paradise (now) as a reward for your works."
[27:89] Those who bring good works (in their records) will receive far better rewards, and they will be perfectly secure from the horrors of that day.
[13:23] They enter the gardens of Eden, together with the righteous among their parents, their spouses, and their children. The angels will enter in to them from every door.
[13:24] "Peace be upon you, because you steadfastly persevered. What a joyous destiny."
Who is rich and who is poor? The perspective of of being rich or poor according to Quran is very relevant to testing (18:7, 2:155). The strong will and the the grace of giving to charity at good times and bad times belong to God's devoted worshipers (3:134). The decision and motive to give from our favorite things belong to God's devoted worshipers (76:8, 3:92, 2:267). Feeling rich, blessed and satisfied even when we are deprived of many luxuries belongs to God's devoted worshipers (2:273). More important, valuing the rite of charity as valued by the Most Gracious in Quran is evident to be a sign of reverence and true belief in God. Being passionate about it, and observing it as it should be observed, no matter how poor or rich we are would make us the real wealthy ones for eternity. True believers feel strongly about that because they owe whatever they have to God, the ultimate Provider, and Inheritor. That makes them much less attached to whatever they have and eager to share it with others. According to Quran the rich could be stingy and could forbid charity only to leave their wealth behind and end up poor to afford being with God in the Hereafter. This is because they owe their wealth to themselves and don't trust God as the only Provider and Supporter. Therefore, they become much more attached to it!
The Quran's reminder about Qaaroon, the rich servant of Pharaoh, cannot be ignored. He was set as an example for the believers and to dupe the shortsighted ones! Please reflect on the advise he received from the righteous ones, and how the shortsighted ones thought about him:
[28:76] Qaaroon (the slave driver) was one of Moses' people who betrayed them and oppressed them. We gave him so many treasures that the keys thereof were almost too heavy for the strongest band. His people said to him, "Do not be so arrogant; GOD does not love those who are arrogant.
[28:77] "Use the provisions bestowed upon you by GOD to seek the abode of the Hereafter, without neglecting your share in this world. Be charitable, as GOD has been charitable towards you. Do not keep on corrupting the earth. GOD does not love the corruptors."
[28:78] He said, "I attained all this because of my own cleverness." Did he not realize that GOD had annihilated before him generations that were much stronger than he, and greater in number? The (annihilated) transgressors were not asked about their crimes.
[28:79] One day, he came out to his people in full splendor. Those who preferred this worldly life said, "Oh, we wish that we possessed what Qaaroon has attained. Indeed, he is very fortunate."
[28:80] As for those who were blessed with knowledge, they said, "Woe to you, GOD's recompense is far better for those who believe and lead a righteous life." None attains this except the steadfast.
[28:81] We then caused the earth to swallow him and his mansion. No army could have helped him against GOD; he was not destined to be a winner.
Who is honored and dignified? According to Quran, honorable ranks belong to God's worshipers as a result of their constant dedication to serve Him and please Him alone. Through their righteous deeds, and taking the scripture both literally and seriously, they successfully finish their redemption path on earth with dignified records that qualify for the honor of God's kingdom. We do not see in Quran that such honor is linked to our wealth, physical qualities or social status on earth. We do not see in Quran that such honor has anything to do with living an easy life or tough life. We do not see in Quran that such honor is conditioned with the circumstances of our departure (sickness, accident, getting killed, old age, or as comfortable and warm in our beds).
[94:0] In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
[94:1] Did we not cool your temper?
[94:2] And we unloaded your load (of sins).
[94:3] One that burdened your back.
[94:4] We exalted you to an honorable position.
[94:5] With pain there is gain.
[94:6] Indeed, with pain there is gain.
[94:7] Whenever possible you shall strive.
[94:8] Seeking only your Lord.
[35:10] Anyone seeking dignity should know that to GOD belongs all dignity. To Him ascends the good words, and He exalts the righteous works. As for those who scheme evil works, they incur severe retribution; the scheming of such people is destined to fail.
[63:8] They say, "If we go back to the city, the powerful therein will evict the weak (and we will be victimized)." (They should know that) all dignity belongs to GOD and His messenger, and the believers. However, the hypocrites do not know.
The blind, poor man that prophet Muhammad frowned at was probably more honorable than the high social ranks who circled him on that day only because that blind man was eager to redeem his soul which is sign of true reverence (80:1-16).
Both prophets Jesus and Moses were called by God as "honorable/ wageeh in Arabic" in this life and in the Hereafter (3:45, 33:69). By God's leave, Jesus was conceived without a father. We could only imagine how would that tarnish his honor and dignity in the eyes of the disbelieving majority for the rest of his life. Then, when it was time for His soul to be raised to God (4:157-158), he was dragged by the disbelievers to be crucified. According to their shortsightedness, that was very undignified death - according to God, His soul was raised in dignity and peace just like all true believers. According to God, he was honorable in this life and is honorable in the Hereafter.
Moses was a fugitive for part of his life, a killer, with many shortcomings such as temper, and low self esteem. He was described by Pharaoh as "lowly and cannot speak" - 43:52. According to God, he was honorable in this life and is honorable in the Hereafter.
Both Jesus and Moses were devoted worshipers and servants of the Most Gracious. They successfully redeemed their souls and that was the only validation for their honor in this life and in the Hereafter irrespective of their life and death circumstances.
[3:45] The angels said, "O Mary, GOD gives you good news: a Word from Him whose name is `The Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary. He will be prominent (Honorable/wageehan in Arabic text) in this life and in the Hereafter, and one of those closest to Me.'
[33:69] O you who believe, do not be like those who hurt Moses, then GOD absolved him of what they said. He was, in the sight of GOD, honorable.
In conclusion, it is time for all of us to quit using our very own flawed standards and measures to judge situations, ethics or values. It is time to quit using definitions that are not based on Quran. Satan uses our inherited shortsightedness to inspire us with very lowly and fake definitions. It is time to be alert to that and to use Quran alone to refine our knowledge and increase our wisdom. It is time to see beyond our eyes. It is time to know who is truly rich, who is truly honored and who is truly at peace in the sight of God.
Peaceful Friday, salaam, and God bless.