Friday, March 29, 2019

Love do us part

Don't play with fire unless you're looking for scars.

Love is designed to protect women and children from the most horrific things life and the world have to offer. It allows a man to happily and dutifully take bullets and knives - for love of the family.

Love is duty, sacrifice, honor, and when you allow that bond to take hold it never goes away.

Unconditional love - this utopia is imagined by every man. That's the reason the patriarchal concept of western marriage includes vows to remain together whether in sickness and in health, and until death 'do us part'. But women can't love like this.

This is a reality. A bitter reality.  

Islam solves this problem. Humans need to love for the sake of God. Islam knows a human can never love another human for who a person is; without changing, without tweaking and thereby breaking the human. Love comes with conditions. Sometimes the conditions are bearable and a compromise is possible. Compromise for the dream of a better, happy world.

Sometimes, they are costly. They cost happiness.

Do we have the ability to become a gardener for another human, a gardener who not only looks after the plants, but also talks and sings to them? Unconditionally.


We must learn to love ourselves. Some define this as self-indulgence and gluttony. Filling the empty void with branded, earthly possessions. True, I have experienced the joy that comes with buying a new car, or a shiny watch. The joy fades as rapidly as it peaks. I don't regret making those purchases since I am very calculative. But self-love doesn't stop there. It is waking up every day a little better than yesterday, having grown intellectually, physically or emotionally stronger than before.

How can you love others if you can't love yourself? 

How can you take care of others if you can't take care of yourself?

Love others

Other humans have their own problems. Other humans create situations that you can't control.

We can always control how we react to these situations.

We should always lend a helping hand to others, no matter how undeserving they are. People are born to be selfish, to forget favors, to gossip, and to judge. We have to learn to live with this. 

It is only a matter of time when your favorite human being; perhaps your most emotionally rational sister, or your book-smart, brilliant spouse forgets your sacrifices.

It is only a matter of time, when your private conversations with a family member, end up being the gossip topic of the town.

Love is to pray, to make dua for others, for the same goodness that one wishes for the oneself.


Thursday, March 28, 2019

Outcome doesn't matter.

It is the effort which is in your hands. The outcome is from Allah.

Employees are judged and rewarded by their superiors by the level of successful outcomes of their activities.

This is because outcomes can be measured, analyzed and are tangible proof of success.

Yet, the gamification theory embedded deep in Islamic pillars of life dictates that it is the effort that counts, and not the outcome. In fact, the effort itself is not compulsory, but the niah - the intention of the actor towards a particular outcome.

The stoic philosophy agrees with this concept. Not every step of any process in under one's control, and it is wise to focus only on what can be changed - one's effort to achieve said outcome. Getting upset over uncontrollable events is not productive, and can drive one insane.

It is the way of the wise to measure success, not by the outcome, but by the effort.