Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|An antidote for frustration|
|08/13/01 at 03:17:35|
|Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh|
An antidote for frustration
When a person finds difficult impediments preventing him from achieving personal goals, or satisfying natural desires, he is liable to experience frustration as a result. Many psychologists consider frustration an important cause for psychological disorder, worry, and lack of stability and reassurance. People in the Western civilization may suffer from frustration when they feel unable to fulfil their ambitions. This is due to the fact that Western civilization places too strong an emphasis on success and rising up the social order.
Islam, on the other hand, relieves its followers from feelings of frustration, because a Muslim gives much greater importance to the reward he receives from God. Hence, a Muslim seeks God's reward for every action he does, big or small. He is not after people's praise or social prominence. He has a different sort of motivation. He seeks a better position with God, the Almighty. When the objective is God's reward and the higher position He may assign to one, frustration does not come into play. The means for achieving such an objective do not depend on the level of health or income one may enjoy or receive. Indeed, it does not depend on any similar consideration.
A believer who offers his prayers will continue to offer them when he falls ill. If his illness makes him unable to stand up for prayer, he will pray in the seated position, and if he cannot sit, he may pray while lying down in his bed. A wealthy believer expresses his gratitude to God by being charitable, helping poor and needy people. A poor believer on the other hand attains the same position through patience in adversity and being contented with what God has given him.
Indeed God considers every thing we do in life akin to worship, provided that we do not seek through it personal exaltation or the spread of corruption on Earth. God says in the Qur'an: "As for the happy life in the hereafter, We grant it only to those who do not seek to exalt themselves on Earth, nor to spread corruption. Indeed the future belongs to the God-fearing." (28: 83)
That is because a person who does not seek personal glory, has no intention of spreading corruption and truly believes in God and the Day of Judgment, will have pure intentions. He is honest and sincere. His deeds count as worship, his pursuit of his livelihood will be confined to what is lawful and, as such, counts as worship. When he spends his money to support his wife and children, his spending is rewarded like a pure act of charity.
In an authentic Hadith, Abu Hurairah quotes the Prophet as saying: "An amount of money you spend for God's cause, and a similar amount you spend to free a slave, and one you give away to a needy person, and an amount you spend on your household. The amount which will give you greater reward is the one you spend on your family." (Related by Muslim). This Hadith shows that a good believer who works hard to support his wife and children receives a greater reward than one who spends his money on charity or, to free slaves or to support God's cause. The only proviso is that such support of his family remains within what God has made lawful, free of show off and extravagance.
Many Hadiths and statements by the Prophet support this. Umm Salamah, the Prophet's wife, asked him whether she earns any reward for supporting her children after their father had died. She told him she would not abandon them anyway. He told her: "Yes, indeed. You earn a reward for what you spend on them. (Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim). The Prophet says to one of his companions: "You will earn a reward for every thing you spend seeking God's pleasure, [color=Red]even for a bite you put in your wife's mouth."[/color] (Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim). He also says: "When a man spends something on his family seeking God's pleasure will earn him a reward like that for charity."(Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim).
When done sincerely and with good intention, a woman's housework and the care she takes of her children are considered acts of worship at the same level as striving for God's cause. A woman complained to the Prophet that men receive plentiful reward for striving in Godís cause and fighting for it, while women stay at home to look after children. He said: "Being a good wife and mother is equal to that."
Indeed when a believer satisfies his sexual desire in a legitimate way, steering away from all that is forbidden, he receives a reward for conscious avoidance of what God has prohibited. Some people complained to the Prophet, saying: "Messenger of God, rich people have gone away with much greater reward. They pray like we pray, and fast like we fast, but they also give what remains of their money for charity." The Prophet said to them: "But God has given you the means to be charitable. Every time you glorify God, or exalt or praise Him, or declare His oneness counts as an act of charity. When you enjoin someone to do what is right or counsel someone against doing what is wrong you do a charitable act. [color=Blue]And when you satisfy your desire, you earn a reward for charity." They exclaimed: "Would any of us be rewarded for having satisfied his sexual desire?" He said: "Do you not know that when a person does that in a forbidden way, he carries its sinful burden? By the same token, when he does that in a legitimate way, he earns a reward,"[/color] (Related by Muslim).
Indeed a believer is rewarded for eating and drinking, to enhance his position with God. The Prophet says: "God is pleased with His servant when he eats or drinks something and expresses his gratitude to Him for that." (Related by Muslim).
When a person spares other people his ill-will he earns a reward. Abu Tharr asked the Prophet: "Messenger of God, which deeds are best? He replied: 'To believe in God and strive for His cause.' Abu Tharr asked: Which slaves are best to free? The Prophet answered: 'The most valuable for their owner and the most expensive to buy.' Abu Tharr rejoined: And if I do not do that? The Prophet said: 'To help someone in his work or do something for one who is unable to do it for himself.' Abu Tharr continued: Messenger of God, what if I slacken and cannot do such work? The Prophet said: 'You refrain from doing others any harm. That counts as an act of charity you do for yourself'." (Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim).
A good believer is spared frustration even when he is afflicted with serious disability, such as blindness or paralysis. They do not prevent him from achieving an excellent position with God. The Prophet mentions the case of one who is tested with the loss of his two beloved ones, i.e. his eyes, so as to become blind, and says: "God says: when I test My servant with the loss of his two beloved ones, I compensate him with admission into heaven." (Related by Al-Bukhari). Needless to say, this is true only in the case of one who reacts with resigned acceptance. On the other hand, a person who grumbles and shows his anger at his loss will earn nothing other than God's displeasure.
We see from all this that a person's position with God is independent from his physical strength, wealth, position of influence, etc. Any deprivation or lack of wealth and influence will not prevent a believer from attaining a high position with God. The Prophet says: "Among God's servants there are those whom God is certain to grant their most solemn appeals (to Him)." (Related by Al-Bukhari). He also says: "Shall I tell you about the people who will find their abode in heaven? They include every humble person whom God is certain to grant their appeals. Shall I tell you about the people of hell? They include every fat, rude and arrogant glutton." (Related by Al-Bukhari and At-Tirmithi). In another Hadith, the Prophet says: "A person may be covered with dust, and having disheveled hair, yet God is certain to grant his most solemn appeal."
[i]By Dr Muhammad Kamal Al-Shareef - Arab News - 03 July 2000[/i]
Wassalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh
Haniff (with 2 f's)
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