Islamic Perspectives

The Delight of Selflessness

By Abu Muhammad Yusuf

 

Sacrifice is part of nature. The excruciating pain a mother endures patiently at childbirth, the years a teacher spends in educating children, the medical personnel who attend to accident scenes in the dead of night, the police who patrol the streets during odd hours and extreme weather, the guards who protect the borders, the patience of innocent civilians under oppressive regimes are just but a few examples of sacrifices for humanity.

 

Great achievements and happiness are borne out of sacrifice and not out of selfishness

Sacrifice may vary in degree and form. Sometimes it may be little and at times it may be immense. It could mean surrendering some of our wealth, time or even health for the benefit of others. Sacrifice is an important part in our contribution to society and humanity.

Sacrifice always brings joy to both the beneficiary and the giver. Sacrifice is a part of life. It’s supposed to be. It’s not something to regret. It’s something to aspire to, to be proud of.

Allah ta’ala promises to reward you for your sacrifices and most certainly He will increase it manifold. He The Almighty says:

“Say, ‘Indeed, my Lord extends provision for whom He wills of His servants and restricts (it) for them. But whatever you spend (give), He will compensate it; and He is the best of Providers” (The Qur’an, 34:39).

The Noble Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (pbuh) is reported to have said: “No one of you is a believer until he loves for his brother that which he loves for himself.” (Bukhari & Muslim)

There is an incident about a little girl named Ameena who was suffering from a rare and serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year old brother Abdullah, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness. The doctor explained the situation to her little brother Abdullah carefully, and asked the little boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister Ameena who needed it urgently to survive.

Abdullah hesitated for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, “Yes, I’ll do it, if it will save her.” As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, seeing that when the blood was given, colour was returning to Ameena’s cheeks.

After some time Abdullah’s face grew pale and his smile faded. Then Abdullah looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, “Will I start to die right away?”

Being young, the little boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his sister Ameena all of his blood in order to save her life.

This is the ultimate in self-sacrifice where a person is willing to give his life. Daily we all face a challenge to what extent will we give. If we cannot give the ultimate, then let us at least do whatever “little” we can to bring about joy or benefit to others.

 

Value and appreciate the people who sacrifice ‘something’ for you as maybe their ‘something’ was their ‘everything’…

Piety, sacrifice and giving are all inter-related. Allah Ta’ala says: “Never will you attain righteousness until you spend (give) from that which you love. And whatever you spend (give), indeed Allah is Knowing of it” (The Qur’an, 3:92).

Sacrifice is usually accompanied by difficulty and our sincerity is put to test. It’s easy to sacrifice and give to those who give back. The real test is to give to those who can give you nothing in return. This reality is often very difficult for people to grasp -- that whatever one gives or sacrifices for in a good cause is not at all lost. When you sacrifice something precious, you’re not really losing it. You’re just passing it on to someone else and hoping for a reward from your Creator.

In fact, there is a huge source of reward for the giver both in this temporary world and much more in the Hereafter. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) is reported to have said:

“He who removes from a believer one of his difficulties of this world, Allah will remove one of his troubles on the Day of Resurrection” (Muslim).

Let us sacrifice our “little” for humanity today. Remember drops form puddles and puddles form rivers and rivers form oceans!

My Friend and His Pen

I had known a friend of mine who used to say that he misplaces and loses his pen very often. He said, now he will use only very cheap pens so that he need not worry about losing them. He was worried about  his carelessness habit.

I suggested to him to buy the costliest pen he could afford and see what happens. He did that and purchased a 22 carat Cross pen. I met him after nearly six months and asked him if he continues to misplace his pen?. He said that he is very careful about his costly pen and he is surprised how he has changed!

I explained to him that the value of the pen made the difference and there was nothing wrong with him as a person!

This is what happens in our life. We are careful with things which we value most.

If we value our health, we will be careful about what and how we eat;

If we value our friends, we will treat them with respect;

If we value money, we will be careful while spending;

If we value our time, we will not waste it;

If we value relationships we will not break them;

If we value our parents’ love, we will not break it.

Carefulness is a basic trait all of us have and we all know when to be careful! Carelessness only shows what we don’t value...  

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 October 2014 on page no. 20

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