Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Parable : The Straying Servant

A person who is concerned for himself is like a servant whose master has dispatched him on a mission. The master had sent him to some land that the master owns in order to procure some cloth there for him. When the servant arrives in that place, he begins to say to himself, "Where will I reside? Whom will I marry?" He gets preoccupied with these questions, expanding all his energy on anxiety about these concerns, until he is delinquent in executing the commands for which his master had sent him. When his master calls on him, his reward from the master will be that the master cuts him off and separates himself from the servant, since he was totally preoccupied by his own affairs rather than observing the prerogatives and rights of his master.

So it is with you, my fellow believer. The True One has dispatched you to this world and commanded you to serve in it faithfully, and has undertaken to support and sustain your existence contingent on your service. If you become engrossed in worrying about your own concerns for yourself and neglect the rights held over you by your master, then you have turned aside from the path of right guidance and slid down the low road to ruin.


Ibn 'Ata' Allah al Iskandari [ d.1309]
The Book of Illumination
Kitab al-Tanwir fi Isqat al-Tadbir

8 comments:

Pearls & Gem said...

This 'posturing' of letting Him to take care of all your needs and be without 'care' and fear, in 2010 may sound totally misplaced .

But let us take one example and this has actually happened to a friend of mine : A friend of his took a substantial sum of money from him, the legal status of which he could not go to the police nor the court [ Only Pak Lah seem to think that can be done nowadays even in Perak's situation ! ]to secure back. Let us say there is no black and white.

Now 10 years has passed ,no amount of cajoling nor 'blank' threat can persuade that person to return back the money he took .In 2010 way of doing things , since all avenues of persuasion have been tried, My friend could pay a chap in Belakong just 2k to break that chap's leg or just threatened to .He may get back or may not get bacl his money. If my friend is not interested in the money anymore but doing this out of spite and anger ,the Belakong chap could easily bump off the errant friend of his ,end of story of 10 years of heart pain.

Alternatively he can go on his prayer mat and do 'hajat' prayer everynight for as long as it take ,a month , a year or forever. My friend may definitely come out a much better man and soul, and insyaallah ,his errant friend may just finally own up .May not ,but who cares .2 years of prayers and munajat; just imagine the amount of berkat and soul searching moment that friend of mine will benefit from .Mashaallah !

That is how I look at Ibn 'Ata'Allah's advisory .Now I have a couple of personal issues myself ,I might as well take advantage of that wisdom and find my prayer mat and put into practice what I preach .

This is 'Ghandi-an' !

Anonymous said...

Dear Nik,
The best thing is, never to lend money to friends. Because, after the borrowing, we can no longer remain friends. The borrower would avoid you.From a distance, he would make 180 o turn, once he sees you.
A friend of mine, makes a list of borrowers who have not settled their loans. And show it to the potential new borrowers.
I would adopt his tactics. I hope it will work for me.
One person (not even I call a friend) borrowed money for his marriage. Today, already has four children, yet no sign of returning my money. Dah halalkan.
There is one a computer technician who use to mend my computer, borrowed 5K to open a cybercafe, a couple of years ago, I couldn't trace him as he changed his HP number.
My list getting longer, I definately will show it to the other potential borrowers when they approach me. Hopefully it works.
Rahmat.

NiK! said...

Well Rahmat, point accepted.But life's problems are multifaceted .Cancer ,marriage breakdown,financial,failing health,parental expectations of 'children' and their aspiration ,faith and lack of faith itself ,existential crises etc etc . Endless cause for anxieties ,come to think about it.

The 'highest state of yoga' is of course to just flow along as the Sheikh suggested. Failing to reach that level of 'makam', then the 2nd best thing to do is one should do one's best and pray for the best outcome.

Oftentimes our 'aspirations' are flawed anyway .More frequent than not ,aspiration not flawed but the route taken not right ,occasionally aspiration right and route and effort taken also right,but yet we got stuck .This is where 'prayers' soften the blow .The hours of munajat and 'internal conversation' may change 'minds' [ remember HIM yang dapat membolak balik kan hati ] ,our perception of our need may change which lead to acceptance .

And we are reminded yet again of that earlier advisory by Abdullah al Ansari on 'Wants':

May be it is not yet time ?
May be we want too much ?
May be we want what belong to others because of hasad ?

Maybe maybe !

PS : The 'gambar' up there is not mine , macam mana gambak anak I masuk dalam I tak faham !

Pearls & Gem said...

...and last and certainly not least, maybe this si God's idea of testing our resilience and iman, especially in the category when when you already got all things above board and correct : correct aspiration, correct and the right amout of effort and correct route .

Allahualam .

Anonymous said...

Hu hu Dr Nik in my case I have paid all my loans so far be it from relative, individual, banks, or even the government.alhamdulillah I feel good.I take my time and when the bounty is alot I pay accordingly.Mutaah janda 30k bayar angsur 2tahun setengah, hutang kat abang gi buat fellowship exams ( fail) bayar dalam 7 tahun, hutang lawyer defend case medicolegal 11k selepas discount 500rm) bayar dalam 5 tahun,,huhu!

Pearls & Gem said...

Hah Hah !

Do I note a happy man there Fiz.The accent is on being able to pay 'mutaah janda'.

You are an example of the Sheikh's going with the 'flow of things' Fiz :
Marriage did not work ,accept it rather than suffer silently for the rest of both your lives .call it a day . Start afresh .Fail exam cuba lagi .

Now enjoying new life with new family but not forgetting old one ,anak2 from 1st family dah besar ,janda nak pergi holiday pun masih sponsor [ dia bukan orang lain ,mak anak you juga] .

Good 'posturing '.Berkat hidup you .No acrimony.

Anonymous said...

Doc,
My simple philosophy:
Syukur
Doa
Redha



Mat Ribut

Pearls & Gem said...

Mat ,

Certainly sound very simple but very profound I must agree: Syukur, Doa , Redza.
Not far from Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jailani's short advice on Islam some 10 centuries ago:Enjoy the things halal to you,avoid the haram things, and redza.[ something to that effect ].

Do'a ,[ and this include 'hajat prayer ] amongst present day Muslims like us has been very much understated and 'under-practised', at least that is what I feel .Do'a I feel is double edged. It may work on the 'problem' which is the subject of our do'a or failing which it may work on our 'internal milieu' to accept and redza something that is immovable.

Allahualam. Syukur, Do'a, Redza. That is beautiful.