By Dr Muzammil H. Siddiqi

.

Responsible Living

 

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُوا رَبَّكُمْ وَاخْشَوْا يَوْمًا لَا يَجْزِي وَالِدٌ عَنْ وَلَدِهِ وَلَا مَوْلُودٌ هُوَ جَازٍ عَنْ وَالِدِهِ شَيْئًا ۚ إِنَّ وَعْدَ اللَّهِ حَقٌّ ۖ فَلَا تَغُرَّنَّكُمُ الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا وَلَا يَغُرَّنَّكُمْ بِاللَّهِ الْغَرُورُ {33} إِنَّ اللَّهَ عِنْدَهُ عِلْمُ السَّاعَةِ وَيُنَزِّلُ الْغَيْثَ وَيَعْلَمُ مَا فِي الْأَرْحَامِ ۖ وَمَا تَدْرِي نَفْسٌ مَاذَا تَكْسِبُ غَدًا ۖ وَمَا تَدْرِي نَفْسٌ بِأَيِّ أَرْضٍ تَمُوتُ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ

{لقمان 33-34}

People, be mindful of your Lord and fear a day when no parent will take the place of their child, nor a child take the place of their parent, in any way. Allah's promise is true, so do not let the present life delude you, nor let the Deceiver delude you about Allah. Knowledge of the Hour [of Resurrection] belongs to Allah; it is He who sends down the relieving rain and He who knows what is hidden in the womb. No soul knows what it will reap tomorrow, and no soul knows in what land it will die; it is Allah who is all knowing and all aware.

These are the last two verses from Surah Luqman. In this Surah Tawhid and Akhirah are the two main themes. The Surah speaks to all human beings, but it is especially addressed to youth and the parents. Through the wise man Luqman’s advices, the parents are told how to raise their children and how to educate them. Youth are also told to think for themselves and follow the right path. Then we have the last two concluding ayat telling all people to be mindful of their Lord and fear the day when neither the parents can help their children, nor the children can help their parents. Every person will be responsible for his/her own self. The Day of Judgment will indeed come. This is the promise of Allah. Do not be deceived by the life of this world and do not be deceived by the devil. Then five things are mentioned that are only known to Allah: the exact knowledge of the Last Hour, the time and amount of rain, the nature of the babies in the wombs, what will happen tomorrow and where and in what condition one is going to die. Allah is all knowing and all aware.

Islam emphasizes that this world is transitory and our life time here is limited. Allah reminds that we should not be deluded by the life and glitter of this world. This is not the permanent world and we are not going to be here forever. This world will go away and we are all going to leave sooner or later. This world, however, is very important. Every moment here is very important. We can succeed or fail both temporarily and eternally by our own actions in this world. So every person should live in a responsible manner. Follow your Creator who created you and who has placed you here. He knows what is best for you. He has sent His Prophets and Messengers to guide you and show you the right path. Finally, he sent before the end of this world His last and final Prophet Muhammad –peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and upon all His Prophets and Messengers.

What is responsible living? Responsible living means that we should understand:

  • Who brought us to this world?
  • Why are we here?
  • Where are we going?
  • What will happen after death?

There are people who live their lives without thinking and learning the answers to these questions and there are some who invent their own answers without paying attention to the words of their Creator. There was a famous Lebanese poet Elia Abu Madi. His family was Christian, but he was, probably, an agnostic. He migrated to United States and died in 1957. He had his famous poem known “ لست أدرى ” (I do not know).

 

جئت لا اعلم من اين ولكني اتيت ولقد ابصرت قدامي طريقا .فمشيت
وسابقى سائرا ان شئت هذا ام ابيت كيف جئت .كيف ابصرت طريقي.. لست ادري

 

أجديد ام قديم انا في هذا الوجود هل انا حر طليق .ام اسير في قيود
هل انا قائد نفسي في حياتي .ام مقود اتمنى انني ادري ولكن .. لست ادري

وطريقي ما طريقي ؟اطويل ام قصير هل انا اصعد .ام اهبط فيه واغور
أ انا سائر في الدرب ام الدرب يسير ام كلانا واقفا.والدهر يجري .... لست ادري

أ وراء القبر بعدالموت . بعث ونشور فحياة فخلود.ام فناء فدثور
أ كلام الناس صدق.ام كلام الناس زور اصحيح ان بعض الناس يدري.... لست ادري

 

I came not knowing wherefrom, but I came.
And I saw a pathway in front of me, so I walked.
And I will remain walking, whether I want this or not. How did I come? How did I see my pathway? I do not know!

Am I new or am I old in this existence?
Am I free and unrestrained, or do I walk in chains?
Do I lead myself in my life, or am I being led?
I wish I know, but… I do not know!

 

And my path, oh what is my path? Is it long or is it short?
Am I ascending in it, or am I going down and sinking?
Am I the one who is walking on the road,
or is it the road that is moving?
Or are we both standing, but it is the time that is running?
I do not know!

Is there beyond grave and death resurrection, then life and eternity?

Or there is nothing but the annihilation and extinction?

Are the words of the people true or lies?

Is it true that some people know? I do not know !

 

 

The poet very eloquently has described the philosophy of agnosticism. But agnosticism creates anxiety and does not give any moral guidance. It cannot help us live in a responsible manner. The only way to live in a responsible manner is to listen to the words of Allah, pay attention to them and live by them. Responsible living means to use to your eyes, ears, mind and your physical body in the right manner. We must always keep in our mind that we shall be questioned about our words, deeds and even thoughts. Allah reminds us in the Qur’an:

يَا أَيُّهَا الْإِنْسَانُ مَا غَرَّكَ بِرَبِّكَ الْكَرِيمِ {6}الَّذِي خَلَقَكَ فَسَوَّاكَ فَعَدَلَكَ {7}فِي أَيِّ صُورَةٍ مَا شَاءَ رَكَّبَكَ {8}

كَلَّا بَلْ تُكَذِّبُونَ بِالدِّينِ {9}وَإِنَّ عَلَيْكُمْ لَحَافِظِينَ {10}كِرَامًا كَاتِبِينَ {11}يَعْلَمُونَ مَا تَفْعَلُونَ {12}إِنَّ الْأَبْرَارَ لَفِي نَعِيمٍ {13}وَإِنَّ الْفُجَّارَ لَفِي جَحِيمٍ {14}يَصْلَوْنَهَا يَوْمَ الدِّينِ {15}وَمَا هُمْ عَنْهَا بِغَائِبِينَ {16}وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا يَوْمُ الدِّينِ {17}ثُمَّ مَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا يَوْمُ الدِّينِ {18}يَوْمَ لَا تَمْلِكُ نَفْسٌ لِنَفْسٍ شَيْئًا ۖ وَالْأَمْرُ يَوْمَئِذٍ لِلَّهِ

{الإنفطار 6-19}

O Man, what has lured you away from your generous Lord, who created you, shaped you, proportioned you, in whatever form He chose He framed you?

Yet you still take the Judgment to be a lie! Over you stand watchers, noble recorders

who know what you do: the good will live in bliss, and the wicked will burn in the Fire.

They will enter it on the Day of Judgment. And they will find no escape.

What will explain to you what the Day of Judgment is?

Yes! What will explain to you what the Day of Judgment is?

The Day when no soul will be able to do anything for another; on that Day, command will belong to Allah (Al-Infitar 82:6-19)

(Khutbah at ISOC – Rajab 21, 1434)

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