Sunday, 2 September 2012


I have had people telling me there is no point in being nice; people you are nice to hardly ever return the kindness to you. This is usually my response: if you are sincere when you are being nice to them, it would not matter if they are nice to you or not, because God is on your side; someone else will be nice to you. God certainly will be nice to you.

Seriously. We frequently forget to be sincere. Do good for the sake of God, not for a name or for kindness in return. Hope in God, not in people. If we expect people to be nice to us just because we are nice to them, that is insincerity, and will hurt us if it happens (kindly read my previous entry wherein I talked about removing our ‘onion layers’). Remember Allah SWT says "Did you think that We had created you in play (without any purpose), and that you would not be brought back to Us?" (23:115).

Ultimately each of us is alone in this world. This journey is a solitary one; just you and the Almighty. When we read 28:60 “The things which ye are given are but the conveniences of this life and its adornment; but that which is with Allah is better and more enduring...” we often think that ‘things’ mean material things only - wealth and possessions - but the truth is people also make up this fleeting world. People, like material things, also provide ‘conveniences of this life and its adornment’, as stated in the ayat. Detachment from this world to attain a good life in the Hereafter must therefore also include detachment from people – spouses, children, family and friends, and not let them be the yardstick by which you measure your happiness, security or self-worth.

I do not mean that we should only think of ourselves and ignore the well being of others. After all in 4:36 Allah instructs “Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and to parents do good, and to relatives, orphans, the needy, the near neighbor, the neighbor farther away, the companion at your side, the traveler, and those whom your right hands possess. Indeed, Allah does not like those who are self-deluding and boastful.” What I mean is emotional detachment from them. They, like everything else material or otherwise that has been bestowed upon us by Almighty Allah, belong to Allah. From Him everything comes and to Him they return. He decides who crosses our paths and goes, who stays, who else stays longer. But they all eventually return to Him, as we do also.

Surely, when you find comfort in your spouse, or joy in your companions and children, be thankful and praise Allah. “And among His Signs is this: that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed signs for people who reflect” (30:21). However if anyone hurts you by doing (or not doing) something to you, say inna lillaahi wa inna ilayhi raji’oon (“Indeed we belong to Allah , and indeed to Him we will return”) and Allah will replace that hurt with a reward. If we remember this, the hurt will easily heal, because it will not matter. What matters is Allah alone. The source of our happiness, security and self-worth is Allah, and the only way to attain them is through taqwa.

God says, “And give good tidings to those who believe and do righteous deeds that they will have gardens [in Paradise] beneath which rivers flow... And there for them are pure companions; there forever they abide” (2:25).

So rejoice, and keep being nice to people (as an element of taqwa). Allah sees all, and He is all that matters.

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