Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Negative Thoughts

An excerpt from the book entitled “Purification of the Heart – Signs, Symptoms, and Cures of the Spiritual Diseases of the Heart.” By Hamza Yusuf.

“Poem Verses 121-24
Some assumptions are not permissible, such as holding a bad opinion about someone who manifests righteous behavior.

This means that your heart is convinced and you have judged him based on your heart’s suspicions without proof that warrants such an assumption.

There is nothing wrong with having doubts about someone or having a bad opinion of him if it based on sound reasoning and is not arbitrary.

Thus our bad opinion of some profligate whose actions indicate his (corruption) is not prohibited.”

“Scholars have been advised that one should have even beware of forming conclusions based on the bad appearances of people, for it could be that God veils their goodness from others.

“But having a bad opinion of someone without a cause is considered a malady of the heart: “O you who believe, avoid suspicion, for some suspicion is sinful (Quran, 49:12). The Prophet s.a.w. said, “Beware of a bad opinion because it is the most false of speech.” If someone says to you that a given person is bad, ask for proof. Without proof it is tantamount to a lie. Shari’a is based on proof and not conjecture.

“Having doubts about people is different from decidedly judging them negatively. Concluding a bad opinion in the presence of ample evidence is common sense. But when people repent, they should not have their past held against them. There is a hadith that says, “There are two things that no believer has been given anything better: a good opinion of God and a good opinion of the servants of God.”

“Even if something unpleasant occurs, there is good in it.”

Friday, February 23, 2007

Level 42

How time flies when you're having fun.....

I still remember the time when I was 5 years old. Things were so simple then. My needs were simple, my life was elementary and my only problem was to make sure I didn't step on my mother's toes. There were no worries about aging, looks or waist line. The only relationship issue I had back then was my constant bickering with my little brother. I wanted to play house and he insisted that playing with toy guns was more fun. When I turned 15, I joined the school police cadet and got the opportunity to learn using M16 and real guns. Way cool! My brother was right. Definitely more fun than playing the domestic goddess role.

Last night, in one of our late night chats, my soul sister and I discussed at length the aging process and how much we are terrified of growing old. When we were in our 20's, we didn't even think about the impending 40's that was inevitable. But now that we are in our 40's, we have nightmares as to how we will be when we turn 60! Definitely scarier than a Korean horror movie with that wretched woman crawling down the stairs!

Men often moan and say, "What is it with women? They worry too much about things when they should be living life to the fullest." But I bet you these men DO have these worries too..... only difference is they fret about their performance and stamina. Maybe they have bigger denial problems than they would care to admit.

Having turned 40 two years ago was not as big a deal as I thought it would be. But eversince I turned 42, my level of empathy and understanding for those who struggle with issues relating to aging has increased tremendously. I'm sure that I don't even need to mention that this understanding would include issues related to matters of the heart. And I don't mean any of those pertaining to the organic heart but more of the emotional nature of it.

Being a counselor since 1994 has exposed me to a wide range of problems, including marital challenges. Of late, the cases that have turned up in my private practice has been mainly about betrayal and infidelity. I'd like to believe that my maturity and own personal experience is enhanced everyday through my counseling sessions. I learn from my clients and they in return learn from me.

Hence, my soul sister and I both agree that it is indeed refreshing to sit and chat for hours with the older generation because not only can we learn a lot from their life experiences but also being in their presence makes us appreciate out youth...while we still have it. After all, isn't youth a matter of perspective? ..... Ping! Elevator going up!!