Friday, February 10, 2012

The want of plenty has distracted you

Alhamduilillah praise be to Allah Al-mighty for giving me an opportunity to write again after such a long pause..I guess the world has distracted me too much all this while, and so thats why I really have to remind myself constantly about this DISTRACTION...


A small but powerful reminder I'd like to share with you is from a Friday khutbah by Br.Nouman Ali Khan,this is currently one of the best audio lectures I've been hearing from him, it is the first two ayat from surah attakathur...


The want of plenty distracted you (rough translation)
ilha’ means distraction comes from the word lahu which means entertainment, something that preoccupies you,gets all your attention,keeps you from doing something that was much more important,it got so much of your attention that nothing else could get your attention while you were engaged in it.
Allah says that the culprit that distracted you,that preoccupied you..that took over the mind and the hearts, Allah calls it attakathur..which has 3 essential meanings:

1st meaning: the want..the desire to have more (comes from the word kathrah,meaning plentiness),in other words you and I are constantly worried about not what we have but what we don’t have,we're always worried about getting more,if your living in a one bedroom your always thinking of how do I get to a 2 bedroom,if u get clothes your always thinking about the next item of clothing,if you bought yourself a 2008 car you're always worried of how to get a 2009,its always something more..if you got yourself a job immediately you're thinking about promotion,your bonus, what you don’t have,its always about getting more,its not what you have but its always what you don’t have,"I need more and more and more",its always on your mind, the desire to have more,the human being is never full,its difficult except for the true slave of Allah to be satisfied with what Allah has given them,usually the human beings thirst doesn’t let him quench, its always there “what more can I have” this is the 1st meaning of Attakahur and it preoccupies us, it takes over our mind...

2nd meaning : the struggle for more,not just the want,its one thing to want but its another thing to struggle for it,put effort into it,to exhaust yourself in getting done more,there are people who want more but don’t do anything about it, they just daydream,there are people who want more and are ‘go getters’,they will exhaust themselves,put their 45,50hrs a week of work to get ahead in the worlds,save money to get the house they want,whatever it is they exhaust themselves, and when they do so you cant talk to them about anything else, they are engrossed in getting to that goal,and when they’ve reached that goal they are still not happy because there is something else that came up,so u struggle for it and you acquire it but at the end there's always something more that you want...

3rd meaning:This is the critical meaning,there are people who say we have more than you, in other words the urge to how off to others how you have more than they do, you want to get stuff not just for you but to show people what you have..for instance in education,you finished your degree and you're talking to someone and they didn’t even ask you and you said "yeah I graduated from...",they didn’t even ask you,but you have this urge to show them,the urge to tell them that you have accomplished something,it preoccupies you,how can I show the world that I am great, that I am above,this can happen with your urge to proof yourself to your parents,community, co workers.And this kind of thought overwhelms you takes over you..

Alhakumuttakathur... these 3 things has invaded your mind,interestingly Allah uses the past tense,and the past tense is usually used for something final,meaning this is definitely the case,the proof of it is in your life,look back in your life,you don’t have to look ahead,look back,where you distracted by this your entire life? Yes, I have been distracted for a long time..
and then Allah azzawajalla when He makes this categorical statement, Alhakumuttakathur,the question that clearly pops in your mind is, you know how I told u the meaning of ilha’ is to be distracted by something that keeps you from something more important, Allah didn’t mention what is that more important thing,the answer lies elsewhere in the Quran, Allah says to us,He warns us in Surah Munafiquun,the surah dedicated for hypocrites “..dont allow your money your assets your wealth and your children to distract you, preoccupy you,take over your mind and keep u form the remembrance of Allah. we are supposed to remember Allah but we are remembering how much more we have in the bank etc..all of that we remember but remembering Allah is not in our minds,the remembrance hasn’t penetrated our hearts,that’s one problem but even beyond that, Allah didn’t mention about dhizkr in this ayat..Alshawkani says in other words it distracted u from any good thing,solah, obeying Allah,being a good person to your community,any good thing that you could have done you were not able to do because you got distracted by this takathuur

And then Allah says in the second ayat, you were distracted until you visit the graveyards,qubur is grave,maqabir is grave yards,by using that word Allah is describing location,Allah is not describing the grave itself but the location,one of the advantages of saying that is you are preoccupied at one home until you enter another home,another neighbourhood,its called the graveyard and you and I have to move there,there's no one that’s going to escape that moving,you know how you hate to move because you have to pack the furniture and get all the things,sell stuffs,load everything,but don’t worry about that, it will be done for you,this movement you wont have to lift a finger,you will be lifted yourself..

Zurtum-its not you entered the graves,no..you visited it,and the word ziarah in Arabic is to go somewhere for a little while and then come back,what we learn from that ayat is Allah tells us we are not going to be long in our graves even that is not a permanent home,even from that you have to come out,but you know there are people who have been in their graves for centuries,thousands of years and even that Allah says that’s just ziarah so compare that with how much time we are spending in this world,when we are above the ground not underneath it,if that is ziarah,if that isn’t a long time than how much shorter is this time how,much little time do we have here on this earth, Subhanallah Allah is comparing that time with the time we have now,how much time do you and I have to gather our acts together, to not get distracted,and whats amazing is the very next Surah talks about how much little time do we have..surah Al-'Asr...

To conclude..
Ali R.A used to say that people are asleep and when they die and go into their grave only than they wake up... they’ve been working all their life and then suddenly they woke up and say oh god Ive been doing the wrong thing,Ive been working for the wrong currency,this currency has no value...

Lets ponder for a while, have we been distracted also..think about it..this is a great reminder from Allah, a love letter especially for us, His servants...
Wallahu'alam..And Allah knows best..

2 Comentários:

mOmO said...

Salam Khayr,
"The want of plenty distracted you (rough translation)" for me IT IS THE MOST DIRECT AND ACCURATE TRANSLATION - easy to understand, hit right on the nose

I heard the lecture before too...
Really refreshing right?

It does give a great reminder for me to be grateful and thankful for what I have instead of craving to be or to have like others do.. ;)

Ana said...

Salam mOmO,
You're right dear,the rough translation is definitely the one that hit my nose too..
Its really2 refreshing,I repeated it 3 times coz I liked it so much..hehe..
I feel just the same as you mOmO..we should really instill 'syukur' in our hearts for everything that Allah has given us..and stop being distracted by what we don't have(reminder for myself again).

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