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).
Through earth’s valleys,
This lowest life,
Through cacti and prickly pears
Adorned with spikes—
While pointing wanderers to what’s inside:
For the thirst-blistered wanderer,
The lover of God,
How sweet is its nectar!
When you wander
Through the world’s parchment
Only when you realize
You were never, ever alone.
With the Creator
Through his beautiful expanse.
Anger is just a boiling,
of us latching
onto the thing we’re losing—
wealth, dignity, health—
that we think makes us “whole.”
Anger is like anchors,
chains pulling us to the earth.
Instead of loss pointing us
to the One we will never lose:
our anchors strain,
try might and main,
to keep us stuck to this earth,
plowing scars through it’s crust.
And all the while,
Life pushes us
ahead and up.
keep us back and pull us down.
Help me let loose the anchors of anger,
that chain me to my lower nature.
Help me be a healer.
To heal myself and everyone around.
You strive to accept Truth
even when its against you
to accept Truth
even when it favors you.
How could you stand
against the insurmountable—
obstacle upon obstacle—
without accepting the Truth
that favors you?
That favors your excellence,
that proclaims Success
is yours to experience—
to faithfully recreate
day to day
Because the Truth is
Your Creator is excellent,
He created you,
So your nature
when it’s against
or when it favors you—
Be complete and manifest!
“Only in the remembrance of God do the hearts find peace” (13:28).
Let’s add to that a little bit. One of the easiest ways to remember God is to be thankful to him.
Imagine living in a state of thankfulness. Not the superficial kind but the genuine kind. Your mind focuses on all the positive and the Good. No matter the conditions externally, within yourself, in your heart, you are thankful. This would definitely make all of us much happier.
Can we be thankful even during difficult times? Of course we can 🙂
“If you were to count God’s blessings, you would never be able to. God is indeed the Forgiving, Merciful” (16:18)
Even during the worst of times trust in God and know that he encompasses all. Remember all the blessings God put in your life and be confident that he is here with you. He will pull you through, just like he has countless times before.
Patience is like a badge. It’s earned by going through difficulty. You’ll never know how patient you are until you go through something significant. Well, thankfulness is just like that. You’ll never know the sincerity of your gratitude to God until you go through both the best and worst times in your life. It’s a necessary truth. In this world, all truth is made open and laid bare (you can ignore it, but it’s there). The greatest truth for each of us is the state that we cultivate our souls to reach. There is no greater cultivation than being at harmony with God. Since everything except God is a dependent, our true wholeness comes from submitting to the One, Independent.
Thankfulness is the path to God.
“If you are thankful, I will increase you, and if you are ungrateful, then my punishment is indeed strong” (14:7). (Note that ingratitude is not God punishing us but us punishing ourselves.1)
By being thankful we draw nearer to God. It’s like a plant slurping up rays of sunlight. As its thirst is quenched, it grows. It stretches out its branches and leaves growing ever nearer to the sun, and it grows, and it grows, and it grows. But if we were to be ungrateful, we end up punishing ourselves, like a plant shriveling up its leaves and refusing any light.
Thanklessness and hopelessness go hand and hand. If a plant chose to shrivel up its leaves, it’s choosing the path of hopelessness. Sometimes we human beings do this too. We feel depressed and see nothing good. We curl up and don’t want much to do with the sadness of life. But be strong and be patient. Everything you seek has always been with you. Your empowerment comes from God. The Light of God is in your heart and all about it. True happiness is in the Independent Creator.
Remember that the choice to be thankful is the choice to stretch out your branches and open up your leaves, while the choice to be thankless is the choice to curl them up and sulk. Remember God with your heart. Be thankful. Be happy 🙂
See you next post, God willing 🙂
1. The punishment we receive is not God punishing us. It’s really how we are punishing ourselves. Here’s a verse communicating this point:
“Are they waiting for angels to come to them or for the command of your Lord to descend? This is how those who were before them acted. And God did not wrong them but they wronged themselves” (16:33).