Balance and
Justice on Earth

The Egyptian Society for Spiritual and Cultural Research

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How To Live In Balance
On The Individual Level:
Basic Principles

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Human beings are asked to guard their life as a gift from Allah, and to live in peace within so that they can spread peace around. If they are balanced from inside, they know their way and create balance in their social atmosphere. In other words, their relationships with the outer world is defined and shaped by their inner status. Man should be able to lead the process of inner transformation to reach inner peace and balance if s/he believes faithfully that s/he is blessed by being human and that s/he should express her/his gratitude by realizing the purpose of her/his existence, and move toward being a Servant of God.glossary

Verily never will Allah change the condition of a people until they change it themselves (HQ: 13:11).

Grievously odious is it in the sight of Allah that ye say that which ye do not (HQ: 61:3).

By being on earth, veiled from her/his Divine Origin, man tends to deviate from the righteous path, the path that leads to make her/his earthly life fruitful. The conflict between the outwardly attractions and the inner guidance of the pure primordial nature al fitra, is unavoidable. Yet the harmony between the two levels of existence is attainable if s/he corrects her/his approach to life, and perceives the mundane activities from a spiritual perspective. The Revelation to The Prophet (PBUH) explains that conflicts take place when a human is not linking her/his deeds to his ultimate goal of living; being a Servant of God; also when s/he loses the Focus and direction al-Quibla, and when s/he is not in harmony with the Law of life, or when s/he is trapped in worshipping a transient objective. Man needs to remind her/himself that s/he is a vicegerent of God, and s/he is given a chance to attain being His Servant. Out of this outlook, s/he may take the responsibility towards her/himself, her/his fellow human being(s) and nature. The way that should be taken and the method, which should be adapted, are revealed to man gradually through her/his life journey.

The following points represent the processes of how this inner interaction can affect man's self image and her/his approach to life. The end goal is to be in harmony with the purpose of her/his own creation and then s/he can be balanced and may live in peace within and spread peace around.



Faith Turns To Be
A Workable Blueprint

 


Without faith, man is like a feather that moves according to the direction of winds to nowhere and to no place:

….their works are as ashes, on which the wind blows furiously on a tempestuous day: no power have they over aught that they have earned: that is the straying far, far (from the goal) (HQ: 14: 18)

..their deeds are like a mirage in sandy deserts, which the man parched with thirst mistakes for water; until when he comes up to it, he finds it to be nothing: (HQ: 24: 39)

Hence, the chain basic concepts that the Islamic teachings introduce are not mere philosophical outlook, but their validity lies in the fact that they can be existentially experienced. Once they become part of life, they enlighten man's way and turn her/his faith to be a workable blueprint. The starting point is to believe in a Just Divine Law. This kind of faith makes man sure that her/his good deeds will never be in vain, and her/his bad deeds will turn back to affect her/him as well. All through the way, s/he is never sure that what s/he is doing is completely pure and truly devoted to Allah. Therefore, s/he asks Allah’s forgiveness. That kind of feeling protects man from being proud of her/his deeds, and reminds her/him always that s/he is not perfect. To be awaken to this reality reduces man's vanity and increase her/his readiness to move forward along the ladder of spiritual development. Within that struggle, s/he would accept her/his limitations. By so doing, new realms of harmony with the Divine Law open.



Heaven And Earth
Meet Within Man's Existence


 


Man is always swinging between her/his mundane desires and the inner spiritual call. S/he may create unnecessary conflicts between the mundane and the spiritual, which results in an imbalanced life. The spiritual training system supports man to lead meaningful spiritual life where harmony between the mundane and the spiritual took place. When man purifies her/himself through the spiritual training, s/he prepares her/himself to bear her/his responsibilities on earth from a spiritual perspective. That is, her/his motives would be related to her/his spiritual gains, not solely to her/his earthly gains. Consequently, s/he learns in her/his way to peel off layers of illusion that attract those who are astray, and who do not know their way. S/he will focus on the ultimate goal of life, not the limited aspirations of living. Her/his sight will transcend the limited earthly existence to what is beyond, and her/his deeds shall be devoted to improve the conditions of living for her/himself and other human beings. Her/his deeds, then, will become another way of worship that links her/him to the Supreme. S/he may realize that her/his mundane activities may turn to be channels that will support her/him in her/ his spiritual journey on earth. In other words, obstacles can turn to be facilitators and the conflicts will gradually disappear, to be replaced with harmony and peace.

Man, thus can live in the two worlds at the same time and become a point where earth and heaven meet within her/his own existence. As such man keeps in balance and that is what is called in the Holy Qur’an, al-Siratul-Mustaqim (the Righteous Path), and it coincides with The Prophet's saying that the best of all is to keep in balance al-amr al-wast.

Once the Prayers are performed, ye may spread through the land and seek the Bounty of Allah, and remember Allah so often that ye might prosper (HQ: 62 10) (Our translation).

Every act is a way to remember Allah:

When ye pass (congregational) prayers, celebrate Allah's praises, standing, sitting down, or lying down on your sides (HQ: 4:103).

To lose the balance means that man is quitting a spiritual chance. Those who are in balance are continuously working to serve, but they do their work out of devotion to their Lord, and are fully aware that they are not in complete control; the Unseen Power is present in their consciousness. They do not fear authorities or power; they only observe their action against spiritual criteria. It is the spiritual training that cuts across the stream of the mundane life, which supports them clean their soul continuously from egoistic motivations.

To keep in balance is a continuous spiritual training that is sought through man's journey on earth. Once s/he loses that balance, s/he is endangered and s/he has to bring to her/his awareness where s/he is going and why s/he is here on earth for. Such an individual human being will not stop searching for a better spiritual outlook to keep the balance going. This dynamism of man's movement to keep in balance cannot be measured by stagnant frame of reference, because it is built on inner experiences and motivated by spiritual aspects. There will be no end for man's struggle to keep in balance; a struggle that turns her/his earthly deeds to be a way of attachment to Allah, and turns her/his spiritual training to energy for good deeds. No wonder that in the Holy Qur’an we read so frequently about those who “believe and work righteousness”.

Man's life can be a chain of good deeds and spiritual elevation, if s/he does not stop searching for what is better for her/himself and for others. Man moves forward according to her/his own judgment and the way that s/he interacts with the events around. Therefore, there is no one prescription that fits all. Each individual human being should lead her/his own experience and correct her/himself her/his own way.



óIntention Is A Measure
Of Good Deeds

 

Almost any activity that man might take can be used to build one's spiritual life. What matters, is what lies behind the action:

Whoever expects to meet his Lord, let him work righteousness, and, in the worship of his Lord, admit no one as partner (HQ: 18: 110).

Because faith is an energy that can be expressed through one's deeds, the righteous work is not judged outwardly, it is related to the intention, which is a subjective matter that is proportionate with one's outlook and her/his approach to life. Therefore, regardless of how little or much one does, the value of the work is measured by the intention.

The Prophet (PBUH) says that,

“the value of one's work lies in the intention of the doer who would be rewarded according to her/his intention"(PH)

Narrated by Al Bukhari, Abu Dawoud, and Ibn Magah

To offer water for a thirsty dog, or remove a harmful object out of the pedestrians' way, or just to say nice words to a depressed person, may lead to Heaven and Paradise according to The Prophet's sayings. On the other hand, if one does what seems to be a great job while her/his motivation comes from the ego alone, it is not spiritually rewarding. The prophet (PBUH) narrates a parable of what would happen on the Day of Judgment where some people think that they deserve being in paradise, and then the angels tell them that they do not. The reason is that they had done everything seeking superiority; a scholar who wanted to receive fame; a wealthy man who wanted to make of charity work a means for gaining distinction; a soldier whose mere objective was to get known for his courage. Such people are termed by angels as “liers” and hypocrites who are destined to Hell.glossary

The Prophet (PBUH) asserts that

“Allah does not consider the outwardly appearances of people but the intentions that lie deep in their hearts, and the deeds that follow”(PH)

Narrated by Moslem and Ibn Magah

The emphasis on the spiritual implications of the intention embedded in man’s heart awakens the conscience, which takes the lead when s/he initiates or accomplishes any action. So, s/he observes her/his behavior continuously and uses the spiritual frame of reference rather than social evaluations. Self-observance is a process that takes place among those who search for the balance and truth.

So, righteousness is not a "form" of action, or a quantity of any sort, it is a "quality" of work that is defined by man's intention. Next >>>


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