Being Thankful to the Creator Via Creation

Dark green forests abutting a flowing river traveling into the distance.

We are all in need. Think not? We’re in need of our next breath, our next heartbeat, and countless other necessities. Realizing that we’re in constant need, and that the Creator satisfies our needs constantly, should be very humbling. But, how would we act when the Creator puts people needing compassion in our paths?

Self-reference is one of the keys to honesty and spiritual growth. Let’s apply some self-reference to this question. The difference between our status and the Creator is monolithic, yet he treats us so generously. Why would a far greater being care for something as insignificant as us? It’s because of his kindness and compassion.

We all want to be treated with compassion by this immense, supreme being. So how should we behave when someone “needy” crosses our path? The honest answer is to treat everyone with an expression of gratitude to the Creator by being kind and compassionate to our fellow creation.

Only someone being dishonest, someone detached from reality and arrogant, thinks that they’re better than another person. In reality, there is no difference between the arrogant (i.e. one who thinks he isn’t needy) and another person who knows that he is needy (there is an enormous difference spiritually, of course):

The Quran confirms this beautiful verse from the Bible:

“Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” (New International Version, Matthew 19:24).

This doesn’t literally mean that the financially wealthy will not enter Heaven, as we know Prophet Solomon was also very wealthy. By “rich man” it means an arrogant person, since those with “wealth” in anything usually think they are beyond need and better than other people.

The Quranic verse confirming the above follows:

“Those who reject our signs and turn away from them in arrogance,  the gates of Heaven will not open for them and they will not enter the Garden until the camel passes through the eye of the needle. Thus do we reward the criminals” (The Quran, 7:40).1

Creator, may we be grateful for your kindness by being kind to our fellow creation. Whether it is providing food to the hungry, respect to the disrespected, kindness to those treated wrongly, or knowledge to those in need, and even of the arrogant, help us offer healing for this sickness (never forget self-reference: we must treat ourselves this way as well). Thank you for making our existence a manifestation of your kindness.

See you next post, God willing 🙂


1. This is the verse from the Quran stating how it relates to the Bible and other scriptures: “We have revealed to you the Book in Truth as a confirmation for what came before it from the Book and as a guard for it […]” (The Quran 5:48).

The Quran confirms the beauty and truth in Biblical scripture, but it’s also a guard that protects previous scriptures from the changes that self-serving interests have made to it over time (2:79). For example, saying the prophets, willfully or through other ills, engaged in terrible acts like Prophet David committing adultery then conspiring to have the woman’s husband killed, that Prophet Solomon became an idol-worshiper before passing, or that Prophet Lot’s daughters made him drunk and then did obscene things with him-God forbid (See 2 Samuel 11, Genesis 19:32).

Here are some details. This is what was said about Prophet Solomon in the Bible:

“For when Solomon was old, his wives turned his heart away after other gods; and his heart was not wholly devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians and after Milcom the detestable idol of the Ammonites. Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, and did not follow the LORD fully, as David his father had done” (New American Standard Bible, 1 kings 11 4-6).

And here is the Quran protecting the original message of the scriptures:

“And they follow what the devils recite against the kingdom of Solomon. Solomon did not disbelieve (by worshiping idols) […]” (The Quran, 2:102).

Please feel free to share any thoughts.

Materialism: The Bible & The Quran Part 2 1

Light pointing the way.

Our first post in this series was “Materialism: The Lower Nature and Development.” Today’s post covers what Prophets Jesus and Joseph taught us about materialism in the Bible and the Quran.1 Both the Bible and the Quran have much in common, and this shouldn’t be surprising. Take a look at this verse:

“We have revealed to you the Book in Truth as a confirmation for what came before it from the Book and as a guard for it […]” (The Quran 5:48).

Interesting! So the Quran confirms the truths in previous scriptures, and it’s also a guard that protects them from the changes material-minded men have added over time (2:79). For example, saying the prophets, our teachers, willfully or through other ills engaged in obscene crimes like Prophet David committing adultery then conspiring to have the woman’s husband killed, that Prophet Solomon became an idol-worshiper before passing, or that Prophet Lot’s daughters got him drunk then had incest with him multiple times-God forbid!2

Like all prophets, Prophet Jesus taught people not to worship the material—any created thing—but to serve God instead. He taught this beautiful, basic truth in the Bible by reinforcing the dependent and independent (material and Creator-of-material) relationship between himself and God:

“Then a certain ruler asked Him, ‘Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ ‘Why do you call Me good?’ Jesus replied. ‘No one is good except God alone’ ” (Berean Study Bible, Luke 18:18-19).

Prophet Jesus beautifully declares that he is not Good. No one is Good. Good is Independent, just like Truth or Light. These are all attributes of God alone. Prophet Jesus reflects the Goodness of God like the moon reflects the sun’s light. Prophet Jesus is just dependent and all of his magnificence comes from God, the Independent. Prophet Jesus is reminding people to mature from the material mind state—our lower nature that wants to focus on something in the material world so we could label ourselves by it, objectify it, and worship it. He’s asking us to grow into higher consciousness: instead of serving the material, serve the creator of all material.

What does the Quran say about this beautiful point? Well, if you’ve guessed that it confirms it, then you’re right. Prophet Joseph says,

“I do not consider myself innocent. Indeed, the (lower) self commands towards evil—except whom my Lord has given mercy” (The Quran, 12:53).3

Prophet Joseph is saying that he, by himself, is not innocent. The Prophet’s innocence is solely dependent on God. It’s only God’s Goodness that Prophet Joseph reflects, something that God bestows by his mercy on whomever he pleases.

When we live by our higher nature, then we are “at one with God.” This is the state that all the Prophets lived in. They were in absolute harmony with the will of their Creator. They were never independent of God, but they did wholly and consciously accept their dependence on him. This is why in the Quran you read statements like “obey God and obey the messenger.” Because the Prophet Muhammad was at one with the will of God, obeying him is obeying God. This is also why Prophet Jesus said, “I and the Father are one” (Berean Study Bible, John 10:30 ) and also in this verse:

“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you had known Me, you would know My Father as well. From now on you do know Him and have seen Him'” (Berean Study Bible, John 14:6-7 ).

First, remember that this verse is metaphorical and we must consider all the sayings of Prophet Jesus in the Bible. We “see” God after we’ve seen Prophet Jesus, because Prophet Jesus is “at one with God.” He is reflecting God’s goodness as one of the prophets God sent here to show us the way. Let’s get some more clarity from other verses of the Bible:

Jesus replied, “Is it not written in your Law: ‘I have said you are gods’ ? If he [God] called them gods to whom the word of God came —and the Scripture cannot be broken— then what about the One whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world? How then can you accuse Me of blasphemy for stating that I am the Son of God? (Berean Study Bible, John 10:34-36 )

Prophet Jesus did not mean that he was the literal son of God, like the Jews who wanted to stone him thought. In fact, he clarified what he meant by quoting Psalm 82:6 from the Old Testament. Here is the full verse he quoted:

“I said, ‘You are gods, And all of you are sons of the Most High’” (New American Standard Bible, Psalm 82:6).

In the Old Testament, being at one with God was referred to as being “God’s son” or being “gods,” but it doesn’t mean these literally. To avoid the confusion from people thinking that Prophet Jesus or others are literally god or God’s sons, the Quran says:

“Say God is one. He does not have children nor was he the child of another, and there is nothing comparable to him” (The Quran, Chapter 112).

Those looking at the Biblical phrases with their material nature will interpret them materially / literally.

Notice the pattern of similarities and remember what God said the Quran’s purpose was. This book is a confirmation of the scriptures that came before and a guard over them. The Quran clarifies what could have been misconstrued and points us away from our lower, material nature, back to our higher, spiritual nature.

The source of everything hazy and unclear is our desire for the material world. This world is alien to our true essence. Follow your God-given higher nature, as all the Prophets did, submit to the Creator alone, and be at one with God.

See you next post God willing 🙂


1. Prophets Jesus and Joseph are referred to as Prophets Esa and Yusuf, respectively, in the Quran.

2. See 2 Samuel 11 and Genesis 19:32. This is what was said about Prophet Solomon:

For when Solomon was old, his wives turned his heart away after other gods; and his heart was not wholly devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians and after Milcom the detestable idol of the Ammonites. Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, and did not follow the LORD fully, as David his father had done (New American Standard Bible, 1 kings 11 4-6).

And here is the Quran guarding the scriptures and protecting them:

“And they follow what the devils recite against the kingdom of Solomon. Solomon did not disbelieve (by worshiping idols) […]” (The Quran 2:102).

3. This statement was made after Prophet Joseph was freed from prison and exonerated of the allegations against him, but it also applies to any time and place.


Please feel free to share any thoughts.

Materialism: The Lower Nature & Development Part 1 1


We don’t make the sun shine. We don’t make food grow from the dirt. We didn’t create ourselves, and neither do we keep our hearts beating. And one fateful day we will certainly pass away. What am I getting at? This is a reminder of how dependent we are. But the lower nature, that stagnates on the material plane, tries life and limb to convince us that we, or whatever material thing we worship, are really independent.

Why does the lower nature insist upon materialism? Well, it’s the path of least resistance. It’s like a rock rolling downhill. That’s just how it works. Whether it’s object materialism (worshiping property: seeking its possession as life’s purpose and forsaking the higher nature in its pursuit)1, communal materialism (worshiping a community or system: seeking to be part of a community so we blindly obey its dictates even when it’s against our God-given, higher nature—this communal system can be religious, tribal, political, or whatever organizing institution you think of; this type of materialism is striking because it helps religious materialists realize their sickness),2 power materialism (worshiping our lower nature: seeking to serve our lower desires for power, influence, and lust), or pain materialism (fixating upon some worldly loss that detaches us from higher awareness and keeps us from developing and maturing).3

A person can lean more towards one type of materialism or be infected by all of them.

The purpose of God’s message is to help us develop from the lower, materialistic plane so that we could mature into aware beings. Don’t get me wrong. The material world is important; it’s our foundation for thought and inference that lead directly to the Creator:

“He makes the corn, the olive, the date-palms, the grapes, and every kind of fruit grow forth for you. In that is a sign for people who reflect” (16:11)

There you have it. We become aware by using our God-given faculties of thought and understanding to reflect upon the signs in the material world. This place is our womb for development. Serving the material world, a created thing, as if it were the Creator is the sickness that we’re being called to mature from. This is how we grow, how we live in awareness and tranquil positivity.

Remember the contrast of dependent and independent. The independent is always superior to the dependent, just as light is superior to night, heat is superior to cold, and so on. Everything material is dependent, and so it can never be worthy of worship (worship also means service.) Only the Independent, the Creator, is worthy of our worship.

This is part 1 of this article on materialism. Please click here to read part 2.

See you next post, God willing 🙂


1. “Worship” here means anything that we serve, applying ourselves to obtain satisfaction or fulfill a purpose.

2. One sign of a religious materialist is a person who gives their system the attributes of God. They often judge others and condemn them to hell or bless them to Heaven, although these are God’s prerogatives. They declare that no one can have knowledge unless they go through their system, although God gives knowledge to whomever he pleases. It’s not an institution that gives knowledge to whomever it pleases. Religious materialists put limits on God’s power and confer those abilities to their system.

3. These categories of materialism aren’t mutually exclusive and their boundaries can be more blurred than strictly delineated.


Please feel free to share any thoughts.

How We Reach The Summit

Trees, Mountains, and a Blue Sky

We can achieve our highest stage of development by letting go of our lower nature—offering it to the Creator—and living through our higher nature instead. How do we reach the summit:

“But he did not rush towards the steep mountain path. And what would explain to you what the steep mountain path is? Freeing a slave, or feeding (others) on the day of famine; an orphan of kin, or a person in abject poverty” (90:11-12).

The higher nature is boundless hope, confidence, humility, honesty, goodness and tranquility. And it really does take the losses & challenges of this world to point us in that direction. “We will certainly try you by fear and hunger; and loss of property, lives, and fruits. But let the patient rejoice.”  (2:155).

The lower self is possessive. It never wants to let go. Whether it’s holding on to some worldly benefit or holding on to some worldly pain, it just keeps holding on. The higher nature doesn’t depend on the material, so it’s always letting go. It depends on God directly. And through this, God gives us material benefit. This is what brings us balance in this life. It’s how we seek “the good in this world and the good in the next […]” (2:201). We can only fully experience the good in this world through our higher nature. Living by the lower nature means we interact with the world through a diseased heart and ultimately turn our surroundings to waste.

The losses we face, no matter how great, bring us closer to consciousness and purifying our hearts from diseases of our lower nature. Here in this “lowest life”— the hayatu dunya, we can ascend the path to the highest heights: we can keep surrendering to the Creator. Losses remind us to lose the lower nature 🙂

Climb that steep mountain to the summit, and let’s live consciously!1

See you next post, God willing 🙂



1. In this life, we never actually reach the summit of the mountain because we will never stop climbing until God recalls our souls. We never really lose our lower nature in this world. We keep trying though, fall down, get back up, and get ever closer day to day. Remember: our Lord is Ever-Forgiving 🙂


Please feel free to share any thoughts.

Is God Unknowable?

Beautiful Mountainous Landscape

Is God unknowable?1 The answer is a little bit No and a whole lot Yes.

We can know God. Well, we can know general things about him like his beautiful attributes: he is forgiving and just, he establishes the truth, he is majestic, he is The Judge, and many more.

Besides the general, though, we don’t really know God at all. We can never know God entirely or anywhere near it. To know something completely means that it has to have a beginning and an end. It has to be contained, and limited. Look at the alphabet for example. We know our ABCs completely because they have a beginning and an end. It starts on A and ends at Z. But God has neither beginning nor end!

Take water as another example. We know a bit about water. We know under certain conditions water will always freeze, and in other conditions water will always evaporate. At this point we can predict water’s behavior down to the tiniest conditions and control it. With God it’s the exact opposite. God is not controlled; he’s the one in control.

What does the Quran have to say about knowing God?

When Prophet Jesus speaks to God on the Day of Judgement, he says, “[…]You know what is in me, but I do not know what is in you. You are the Knower of all things hidden.” (5:116)

Even Prophet Jesus has nowhere near a complete knowledge of God in any sense whatsoever. A quick side note: although the Creator knows what is in our hearts, it’s through life’s journey that we discover the truth about our hearts for ourselves.

We surrender to the things we know about God and to all the endless, infinite things that we don’t. What do we know about God: the all-important basics of course. Our daily interactions with the Creator prove that he is there for us—he created this planet that provides food out of dirt—with him is all hope in any circumstance, he is the only one upon whom we can always trust, and so on. Please feel free to add many more beautiful basics of God that you’ve experienced 🙂

All truth helps us grow by leaps and bounds, but how does this truth help?

There’s a certain arrogance that festers when we think we truly know God. There’s also an electric liberation that comes by admitting we don’t.

People who say they know God end up putting limits on him. This happens without exception. They end up judging people as only God can. They think they can condemn someone to Hell or consider themselves or others a saint.

“Do not consider yourselves pure, he knows best who is righteous” (53:32).

They will literally tell someone that their prayer is not accepted for this or that superficial reason. Only God knows if a person’s prayer is accepted. Someone can make a prayer in Navajo and God will accept it. Another example is calling people kaafir (a thorough ingrate to God). These decisions are strictly in God’s domain. He is The Judge (Al-Qadi, Al-Haakim). He may judge the person being called kaafir as a true servant, while judging the accuser as the true kaafir.

“Oh you who believe, let not one people mock another people. It may be that the (ridiculed) are better than the (ridiculing)” (49:13).2

When we accept that we don’t truly know God, we can no longer play God, or pretend that God is our henchman. God is not going to do this or that if someone does this or that crime. In our worldly legal systems, we can try our best to be just and punish or forgive according to our higher nature (although our judicial systems often punish or forgive based on things like social control, nepotism, etc.), but God will never act according to our whims. He judges each person individually according to what they’re going through. That is the Creator’s prerogative.

“To God belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth. He forgives whomever he pleases and punishes whomever he pleases. God is Forgiving, Merciful” (48:14).

Accepting that, “[God] does whatever he pleases” (2:253) is a major step in purifying our self-serving, lower nature—the one that tries to set itself up as a god.3

When someone thinks they truly know God, they also try to limit his interaction with his creation. They believe that God only gives knowledge to people whom they deem worthy. If a seeker of Truth doesn’t go through specific avenues and institutions, they think God won’t bless that person with knowledge, or if knowledge is acquired, it’s inferior. This is false. It’s equivalent to saying, “God’s hands are tied.” Do you remember who made this statement before? The ungrateful did in 5:64. The Creator’s response:

“[…] Nay his hands are openly stretched out […]”(5:64).4

To realize that God’s hands are outstretched is to realize that we don‘t control God nor any of his blessings. Our knowledge cannot contain him. God encompasses all, but he is not encompassed. God gives whatever he pleases to whomever he pleases however he pleases.

“We have revealed signs making (all things) clear. God guides whomever he wills to a straight path” (24:46).

That feeling of liberation we get by admitting we don’t know God comes from surrendering our lowest self and giving up arrogance.

That’s right. We don’t know God entirely, but we do know of him though our interactions with him and his creation. God doesn’t do what we want or think. Yet, he always does what’s best. In this we have hope. Thus do we surrender to the limitless Creator of the universe.

See you next post, God willing 🙂


1.Russell Brand mentioned that God was unknowable in one of his videos rebutting atheist claims about God not existing. His comment was the inspiration for this blog post analyzing how “knowable” God is using the Quran as the guide.

2.Note this verse addresses the believers and tells them not to let one qawm (which means nation, group, or people) mock another qawm. This verse is not saying that believers can mock people of other faiths but not their own. It’s telling believers that no group should mock another and that they should discourage anyone groups that do this since we are not God and cannot know God’s judgement of ourselves or any other people.

3.Remember Pharoah literally let his lower nature run amuck and made that exact statement proclaiming his “godhood.” Pharoah told his nation, “I am your Lord the Highest” (79:24).

4. Although this verse was said in the context of Jews denying that God blessed Prophet Muhammad, it still applies outside of this context because when we believe “God’s hands are tied” in any way whatsoever, we’re following the path “of those who earned anger and those who go astray” (1:7). God’s hands are ever outstretched to all of his creation.


Please feel free to share any thoughts.

Hope is with Our Guardian

Hope is with Our Guardian

Hope in God is your ultimate expression of iman, belief and trust in Him.

Positivity is hope dressed in different flair.

Have hope in the midst of the whole world crumbling around you,

and by God, you will be a source of hope for others,

All of God’s creation.

Hope was never vested in the world of material anyway.

How much you have or don’t,

How much you’ve lost or gained,

But the importance of this lowest life is that it’s a stage,

a stage in our development.


Do you know what’s confidence?

It is hope in God in the most improbable of impossible

(and in the most usual of regular).

Be hopeful and God’s Light will shine on you with radiance.

Only when you view the world as the end-all,

As your primary existence,

Would you lose hope

and let the primitive,

the material,

seep in:

“My kin, My religion, My skin, My nation”


We must look at options relatively

and choose the BEST option.

Hope is always the best option

Everything else is ingratitude, disease, deception.


All Truth produces “correct” results

And all falsehood produces the opposite.

There is nothing more correct than promoting life and wellness

And what reduces these is stress

Materialism does not offer hope.

It only produces

paranoia, pessimism and possessiveness.

It increases distress.

Just like an equation,

Plugging in the wrong variable gives you the wrong answer.

Search your experiences,

and uncover that worshipping material

is the wrong answer.

Hope in the Creator

Confidence in an existence beyond this

Produces hope no matter the meanest

of circumstances in this lowest world.

Hope in the Creator of the material

is the right answer.


Respect the material and honor it.

Know it is a test and a stage for your development.

Besides this, it is little more than whim.

Because it will not last.

How could the temporary be the end-all?

When our hearts are tied to the eternal?

Choose the BEST option:

Hope where there seems none.

All Hope is with Our Guardian.

Personal Breakthroughs & Fractals

Personal breakthroughs and Fractals

Today’s blog post is about a huge personal breakthrough. Maybe it could help in your journey on God’s path too, so sit back and enjoy 🙂

Life is like a fractal pattern. A fractal pattern is so cool. I know this sounds nerdy, but give me a second because it’s really worth it. A fractal is any pattern that constantly repeats itself, whether you zoom way out, or zoom way in, you see the same pattern again and again. It’s very easy to spot in geometry. For example, if you draw a small circle and keep repeating it over and over, you will end up with a very big circle made up of a bunch of repeated circles within.

The concept of a fractal pattern is harder to see when it comes to our own lives though. Did you know that how you live life in a single day can represent the pattern of how you live your entire life?1 Say that a person blames someone else when they can’t find their socks. Guess what happens when a more major life event occurs, their first reaction is to blame someone else. The pattern always repeats—unless we are honest, acknowledge our mistake, and amend our behavior of course.

Where are fractals in the Quran? They’re in many verses, but we’ll save all the details for another blog post. For now, here’s one verse highlighting the fractal. It’s verse 5:32 and says whoever kills an innocent person it is as if he killed all of mankind, and if he saves an innocent person it is as if he saved all of mankind.

Did you see it? Whether you zoom way out—all of mankind, or zoom way in—just a single person, the pattern is the same!

Well, fractals are all well and good—in fact they’re beyond good since fractals applied to your personal life are some pretty life-changing, breakthrough stuff on their own. You can turn around all the bad habits in your life by stopping the tiny ones you‘re engaged in right now! Told you this was amazing!

What left me in more amazement was to see how fractals apply to iman—the confidence and belief we have in God.

Let’s simplify life down a whole lot. Let’s winnow life down to just two choices: we have the option to doubt or the option to have confidence.

Let’s be scientists here and think about this using all of our experiences as evidence. One option increases difficulty, while the other option increases success. Think about it. When has doubting yourself ever led to success? Now I don’t mean doubting that you can fly off a cliff is a bad thing. I’m saying that doubting yourself, your ability to succeed; having self-doubt because of low self-esteem, this is bad. This choice always leads to difficulty.

Which option will you choose?

We have the choice to think about all of the possible doubts and accomplish nothing, or we have the choice to think about all of the possible positives, as much as we can, and accomplish anything. The choice is ours. Given the two options and the two results, which do you prefer?

To doubt is to increase difficulty in all its forms, always.
To have confidence in is to increase success in all its forms, always.

There are many reasons to doubt but all those reasons are unreasonable in comparison to all the reasons to have confidence.

You can get lost in all the reasons to doubt, admittedly. But if you never compare them to all the reasons to have confidence, you will never realize how unreasonable doubts really are.

This ties in like a fractal pattern to yourself. If you’re a doubtful person, you will also doubt in God. If you are a confident person, you will also be confident in God.2

No matter what happens, no matter how difficult the scenario, you always have trust and confidence in God, just as you always believe in yourself to succeed in any test that God puts you through, or any good undertaking that you apply yourself to. The fractal pattern exists and is hugely beneficial to your personal development! Negativity and all its forms are so closely connected to doubt. Please be positive my brothers my sisters in humanity.

Here is where we see the sickness in the hearts of many materialists. Notice their arguments against God always focus on the world of negatives. They try to increase doubt in themselves and others, but all the while there’s an entire Universe of positives in comparison! We can think about all the positives and be confident in God (and ourselves, his creation), or dwell on the few negatives and doubt God (and ourselves, his creation).

Which option will you choose? To doubt or to be confident?

See you next post, God willing 🙂



1. We will repeat the bad patterns of behavior in our lives, our bad habits, unless we change them. How we change starts with acknowledging our wrongs:

“Except for those who repent, reform, and make (that reform ) manifest, those are whom I turn toward (in mercy) for I am the Acceptor of Repentance, the Merciful.” (2:160)

By repenting, we acknowledge what we’ve done as wrong and by completing the rest of instructions in the verse, we reform and make that reform manifest. This is how to change the fractal patterns of bad behavior in our lives. You can do it! God will help!

2. If you aren’t aware of how doubting God affects you negatively in a material sense, then consider how it affects your psychological wellness. By doubting God, you have nothing to depend on but the material, dependent world. You become fearful, paranoid, pessimistic, possessive, and so on. You are moved by fear, lust, and all things belonging to your lower, material nature. However, the choice to be confident in God is another reality. It leads to all kinds of success. And in being confident in God, you must be confident in yourself, the creation of God.


Please feel free to share any thoughts.

We All Have Self-Confidence

Heart with light beaming from within

Self-confidence is worth so much, yet you can’t put a price on it. It can’t be bought. It’s the very definition of priceless 🙂

Self-confidence means not only to believe in yourself—that you can succeed in anything—but also to regard yourself. It goes deeper than that though. Self-confidence doesn’t come from just your material accomplishments, your material losses and gains. It doesn’t come from your association with a tribe, society, language, or government (see 49:13 for clarity). These are all hollow forms of self-confidence because they’re material—they’re all worldly. The material world and everything in it is ultimately an illusion. Don’t take my word for it:

[…]the life of this world is nothing but the wares of illusion. (3:185)

Your self-confidence should not be based on an illusion. That’s the definition of being delusional. Some people may give an air of self-confidence, but it’s actually a facade covering their arrogance. We’ll touch on the distinction between these below. Everything material is dependent and will all fade away:

All that is on (the earth) will pass away. Yet the face of your Lord, full of majesty and honor, will remain. (55:26-27)

Real self-confidence springs from something much greater than material. Self-confidence can’t be bought or pretended. It’s something known. It’s innate. And not just to a few of us either, but self-confidence is innate to all of us.

Here’s the proof 🙂

We are all the creations of God, al-Haqq (the Truth).1

That’s the answer. Pure and simple. That is the source of all our self-confidence, or at least it should be.

If we lack self-confidence, yet we believe in God, the Truth, then that’s a sign that something needs improvement.

We can’t have low self-esteem if we know who created our “self” the first place. Malcolm X once said, “You can’t hate your origin and not hate yourself.” He was talking specifically about how people of African origins are taught to hate Africa, but it also applies in a larger context. We can’t hate ourselves and not hate God, our Originator (even though this hate can be subtle). We can’t think of ourselves as deficient and not think of our Creator as deficient. We can’t think of ourselves as inherent failures without implicating God in the process.

Yes, reproaching yourself for a wrong that you’ve done is essential and absolutely healthy. Acknowledging your mistakes and your failures is necessary. But the sum of all your failures still doesn’t mean you should hate yourself, because your essence, your spirit, is from the Divine. Your self-esteem should always be rooted in this. You must know who you are: the creation of the Divine.

You are not perfect, but your Creator is. And his creation of you is perfect!

God did not make a failure, although you do fail at times. Acknowledge when you do and grow from it. That is how we achieve “perfection” as human beings.

And herein is the beautiful balance. Esteem yourself, because your Originator is the most high. But the moment you esteem yourself based on the material, lower desires, you will unavoidably become arrogant and detach yourself from God, the Most High.

Let’s look at how majestically God reminds the material-minded of this fact. The following verse is about as divinely ironic as I can think of! Since they worship the material, then why don’t they consider from what material thing they were created?

So let man consider from what he was created. He was created from a fluid issuing out. (86:5-6)

Arrogance is based on the material, so let them remember that they were created from an ooze of sperm. That should check anyone’s arrogance—if they are honest. (Since things are rarely black and white, there are material-minded people with self-confidence not based on the worldly—see footnote 2).2

Yet for those who worship the Independent, their self-confidence springs from the Truth, the Reality beyond all material: that they are indeed creations of the Most High.

Believe in yourself like you believe in the sun rising. Believe in your abilities like a bird believes in its ability to fly. Neither can the sun nor the birds explain how they do what they do. They are just thankful to their Creator, know that they can, and do! As human beings we have the ability to become the best of creation or the worst (98:6-7). We learn and grow, perfect and improve. Believe in yourself and strive to do all that is best (2:148)!

See you next post, God willing 🙂




1. The Truth, the Independent, the Originator, the Most High: these are all some of God’s beautiful names.

2. The Truth manifests itself in our lives in many ways. A material-minded person can have sparks of true self-confidence if it is based on the truth he’s experienced. For example, everyone has the innate knowledge of God in their hearts, even if they don’t consciously express it. They will believe in themselves because of something special within. Something they know for certain within them that’s special. By it’s very nature, the “special” within cannot be material! In fact, it is the light of our Creator. This point is so ironic. Even a zealous materialist who knows there is something special within him or her must admit that it’s not material! Wow! Reminds me of the verse where God says that we submit to him willingly or unwillingly (3:83)   🙂


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Trust & Denial, Iman & Kufr

Iman is rooted to the ground and strecthes far above.

Iman is quite important in Islam. It nourishes our conscious connection to the Creator. It’s usually translated as belief or faith. You’ve probably heard the phrase, “lost in translation.” Well, it definitely applies here because iman means so much more than its common translation. It also means confidence and trust.

Why do faith and belief not do iman justice? Because faith and belief have a popular connotation, an underlying sense, that you can believe in something without experience and proof (actually this meaning has become an entry in the dictionary.)1 We can have faith in something absolutely imaginary, like having faith in the Easter Bunny, Spiderman, our own prideful nature. Confidence and trust have a different connotation. Although one of the meanings of confidence is to be presumptuous, the overall connotation of confidence gives another sense. When you’re confident in something, you trust in it based on previous experiences. This is the aspect of iman that’s lost in translation.

Iman is not about having blind faith in the Creator. Iman is to have faith based on experience and evidence. Notice in the Quran that whenever God calls people to have iman, he says things like, “Remember when we did this for you,” “Do you not see how we do this for you?” and “Think about what we do here.” Here are some examples:

Have they not considered how we drive water to dry earth and produce harvest from which you and your livestock eat? Will you not see?” (32:27)

[…] When (the mother) has become heavy (with child) the parents call out to God, their Lord, “Give us a healthy child and we will indeed be grateful.” But when he blesses them with a healthy child they ascribe partners to the (blessing) which He gave them. God is above all the partners they ascribe. (7:189-190)

And (remember) when we established the (sacred) house (in Mecca) as an abode for mankind and made it secure, and (said), “take the station of Abraham as a place of prayer.” […] (2:125)

Here’s a quick but very insightful side note. My friend Adib made a great point: Every instance God says, “Remember” and follows it by recounting some gracious event, like “Remember when we saved you from the Pharaoh” (14:6), God isn’t just talking to the Children of Israel, but he’s also reminding us of some favor he bestowed upon us like the time he saved us from some type of oppressive influence in our lives, for example. The Quran is, after all, a book made for each and every reader’s own, personal growth. Let’s get back to the point about iman 🙂

Iman isn’t a baseless belief in God, but it is a trust and confidence in God that’s grounded in reality and consistent experiences.

There are certain things that we have confidence in. For example, the sun rising. We don’t know for a fact that the sun will rise tomorrow. But, it’s been shining for so long, so routinely, that we have confidence that it will rise tomorrow. Because it’s so consistent, our confidence in it is very strong. This is the kind of iman that we’re called to in the Quran. It’s a confidence and trust in God, in the unseen, based on all the things that we do see and experience all of the time. God constantly shows us these things. This is why, in chapter 55, he repeatedly asks,

Which of your Lord’s favors will you deny? (55: 18)

The fact that the favors exist are not disputed by the ungrateful. They can’t deny the shining of the sun, nor the purity of water, but they can deny being grateful to God for these things. And this is a terrible state. It’s a state of dishonesty. In the Quran, this state is described by the word kufr which means to deny the truth of something and be ungrateful.

Even if you are an atheist you should still recognize the countless favors you experience. And if you do recognize them, shouldn’t you at least be thankful for them? To whom should you be thankful? To the being that created them. That is the most honest thing to do because we know, each of us, that we did not create these things.

Remembering God’s favors is the basis of our iman. See you next post, God willing 🙂



1. In modern usage, the word faith has taken a bit of a negative connotation. For example, one definition for faith via is “belief that is not based on proof.” For this reason, using faith or belief as translations for iman do not do this Quranic term justice.


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