10 November, 2006

Contentment

I would like to share with you guys a story I heard in an Islamic talk show. This show is aired live every Friday night at 10:00 pm on both Sharjah TV & on 94.4 Sharjah FM. Last Friday, the guest Dr. Omar Abdel Kafy narrated a "strange" story from the early 1940s when Sheikh Abul Hasan Nadwi travelled to Saudi Arabia for Hajj. He is the same Sheikh Abul Hasan Nadwi who was declared the Islamic Personality of the Year in the Second Session of Dubai International Holy Quran Award.

Sheikh Abul Hasan wrote in his biography that one day just before sunset, he saw a person entering a clothes shop. The merchant declined to sell anything & instead directed the buyer to the next shop. The reason he gave for this was that he has had enough sales for the day but his neighbor did not had a single buyer since morning.
The above story is strange because today it is very rare, if not impossible, to find such merchants. Our Business graduates are taught the skills to maximize profits only. Our business schools preach the "survival of the fittest" theory. I think our "illiterate & uneducated" ancestors were far more ethical than the "cultured" businessmen of 21st Century.

People have more money & supposedly live a far more luxurious life than their forefathers. But one thing is missing. It is called "inner peace". Almost every second person you meet either suffers from blood pressure, diabetes or stress. From the moment a child is born, it is put in his mind that the purpose of our lives is to earn money. If this is so, then why all the people who died left behind all their wealth?

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet peace be upon him said, "Riches does not mean, having a great amount of property, but riches is self-contentment."

May Allah guide all of us to His right path.

13 comments:

pEtals said...

GOD BLESS U FOR SUBMITTING SUCH A TOPIC!!!

When I sit with the old generation of Dubai here and talk about past times, they mention things that have naturally disappeared here because of greed and money talk... How I wished I was born at least into that generation, at least when hearts were in their purist form....

Omar Abdul Kafi and his likes need to shake a lot of senses into us, May Allah help them in their quest..

Thank u again... :-)

Anonymous said...

DG: Good story about the cloth merchant.

Fittest are those that survive the spiraling effect of the moral bankruptcy roller-coaster ride.

archer14 said...

Reminded me of this quote from Churchill "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."
(http://en.thinkexist.com/ great site to find your fav quotes)

Businesses have been dominated by kids who graduate with 'hands-on' experience, a fast mouth, arrogance and ruthlessness.

Sadly, Darwins theory painfully reminds of the fight we have to put up with the changing dynamics of life. Be it at a job, a degree or driving your car... Chin up and fight it out.

Thanks for this wonderful post.

Slagothor said...

But one thing is missing. It is called "inner peace"

So something is missing in your life. It is arrogant to assume that everybody else is suffering from your personal affliction. I certainly am not.

It is idiocy to pretend that there was not high blood pressure, diabetes or stress in the past. I can't imagine a greater stressor than not knowing how many days one would have to go before his next meal. The ailments you mention were less observed because too many people died before they had a chance to be afflicted by them.

Just as it is human nature to assume that the grass is always greener on the pther side of the fence, too many people have a foolishly misinformed romantic image of some past golden age when all lived in harmonious peace with themselves, each other and nature. Such a time never existed.

By the way, ever ask why the second merchant had so much trouble making a sale?

Moona said...

DR. Omar Kafy is my favourite scholar

blogrosh said...

Infact, in most instance it is a true case of the fittest surviving the storm. I don't know if this intensity is going to level off or die down anytime soon, cause like you point out - "From the moment a child is born, it is put in his mind that the purpose of our lives is to earn money"

blogrosh said...

sorry for some reason my entire post didn't come thru the first time hmmmmm?

"Riches does not mean, having a great amount of property, but riches is self-contentment"

Neat post DG , very true - often most souls (me included) think/feel, achieving more in life will perhaps help reach that "level" of contentment, and perhaps we may not be looking at what is it we are truly missing in our lives.

I also agree with you that older generations (and I have heard this from the older generations themselves) did not have such competitiveness, capitalistic ideology and greed. Neither was there the pressure or rush to achieve success, let alone the level of success.

Yes, these sentiments/ideology have always existed in mankind - but the level or intensity we have today is perhaps higher than ever before.

Infact, in most instance it is a true case of the fittest surviving the storm. I don't know if this intensity is going to level off or die down anytime soon, cause like you point out - "From the moment a child is born, it is put in his mind that the purpose of our lives is to earn money"

DG said...

Petals: Thanks for your comment :-)

I fully agree with you & really wish that we had more scholars like Omar Abdul Kafi, may Allah reward him for his effort.

A world of Symphony: Thanks for the comment :-)

Very true, the humanity is really on the threshold of moral bankruptcy. Already so much has changed in the last 2-3 generations & I am really afraid about our future generations. I am not against change, I am against blindly following every new trend propagated by Uncle Sam (capitalism) & Hollywood in the name of "Freedom".

Archer14: Thanks for the quote & also for the website :-)

It is not just kids, many businessmen from the older generation have acquired the great qualities, i.e "a fast mouth, arrogance and ruthlessness" :-)

Moona: Thanks for your comment :-)

Blogrosh: Thanks for your comment :-)

I think the problem is that we mixed up our priorities. I think media has not played its role effectively. Media has become just like any other business, the main aim is to maximize profits.

Just a small example from the recent past. Majority of programs aired on our tv stations during Ramadan, the least said about them the better. The sad part is that these serials & movies were made "specially" for Ramadan as if Ramadan or Islam encourages such things.

DG said...

Slagothor: Thanks for your comment my friend. Did I mention anything about my "personal affliction" in the post? I am very happy & content with my life, God has given me more than I deserve, my life is much better than so many unfortunate people in this world.

My friend, yes people had less food & less economic opportunities, but they were far more happier than us. Why? Because they were content, they helped each other, there was a sense of brotherhood & cooperation.

No one dies before his appointed time. You are assuming that there are no more deaths for younger people because of better health care. It is not true my friend. Life & death is in the hands of God. If it was in the hands of science, why we see infants born dead even in most scientifically advanced countries? And why we see people aged over 100 in some of the economically backward countries?

You said, "too many people have a foolishly misinformed romantic image of some past golden age when all lived in harmonious peace with themselves, each other and nature. Such a time never existed"

I will only say, did you ever sit with your elders & heard stories about their lives? If not, then my friend do it now. Not all information you read in books is 100% correct, interact with people to get a balanced picture :-)

You said, "By the way, ever ask why the second merchant had so much trouble making a sale?"

I think you forgot that not all humans are equal. There are strong & weak people everywhere. And you are also ignoring the fact that if I earn more money than you, this does not mean I am a genius & you are a failure. Where is the brotherhood & care for the less fortunate?

Sorry if you felt offended by my comment, God bless you :-)

blogrosh said...

"but they were far more happier than us. Why? Because they were content, they helped each other, there was a sense of brotherhood & cooperation"

I hear you DG - and for that we can look at life in the UAE in the 70's & 80's and compare to what we have today. Yes there's development & progress, however I would choose to regain the safe, serene, and fantastic quality of life we had in 70's or 80's. Where souls would help out one another, were more hospitable and considerate, and actually had a conversation - rather than an exchange for business cards. For the most part, souls were at more peace and content then.

Starling David Hunter said...

DG said: "Our Business graduates are taught the skills to maximize profits only. Our business schools preach the "survival of the fittest" theory. I think our "illiterate & uneducated" ancestors were far more ethical than the "cultured" businessmen of 21st Century."

Where did you get this notion? What business school did you attend where "maximizing profits only" was what was taught? Business schools in the United States, Europe, and even here in the UAE all have as part of their curriculum course like Business Ethics, Business Law, and Business & Society. Your assertion about "profits only" has no basis in reality.

blogrosh said...

"Starling David Hunter - "Business Ethics, Business Law, and Business & Society. Your assertion about "profits only" has no basis in reality"

Business Ethics, Business Law, and Business & Society - please note the emphasis is on the word business.

Business - " an occupation, profession, or trade. the purchase and sale of goods in an attempt to make a profit " (as noted from dictionary.com)

Hence, I suppose the END objective of such courses is all about profits.

DG said...

David, although I don't agree with it but still thanks for sharing your point of view here :-)

Thank you Blogrosh for supporting my arguement, you have not left anything for me to say. God bless you :-)

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