FROM MAULANA’S DESK
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, born in 1925, in Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh, is an Islamic spiritual scholar who is well-versed in both classical Islamic learning and modern disciplines. The mission of his life has been the establishment of worldwide peace. He has received the Padma Bhushan, the Demiurgus Peace International Award and Sayyidina Imam Al Hassan Peace award for promoting peace in Muslim societies. He has been called ’Islam’s spiritual ambassador to the world’ and is recognized as one of its most influential Muslims . His books have been translated into sixteen languages and are part of university curricula in six countries. He is the founder of the Centre for Peace and Spirituality based in New Delhi.
THE VALUE OF A HUMAN BEING
SUNANDA Pushkar, an Indian woman, died on 17th January 2014 due to a reported overdose of sedatives. She was 52. She was so highly distinguished that a commentator expressed his overwhelming impression of her in these words: 'Sunanda Pushkar: The woman whose presence you couldn’t ignore'.
There are thousands of such cases where people become depressed, develop tension and lose their peace of mind. In extreme cases of despair, some of them even commit suicide. It is common for people to turn negative when they undergo an unwanted experience; they forget the 99% positive things they still have in their life and let the negative 1% overwhelm them. Men and women of this kind are of every sort — rich and poor, powerful and powerless, stupid and brilliant, dull and charismatic.
Why this sad state of affairs? The reason is that people know what others are but they fail to discover what they themselves are. The fact is that every person is born as a hero but his pessimistic way of thinking makes him valueless in his own eyes. This is all a matter of one’s way of thinking. Change your thinking, and you will discover your true value.
Man is a special creature; unique in the whole universe. He has been endowed with superior qualities by the Creator that no other creature possesses. There are numerous stars and planets in space, abundant species of animals, majestic mountains, vast oceans and so many other forms of creation but no creature can match up to man!
This is one aspect of the human personality. Another exceptional characteristic feature of mankind is that man can think. By applying his mind, he can personalise all the bounties given by the Creator. The Quran observes:
He has subjected whatever is in heaven and
whatever is on the earth to you (man).
THE QURAN 45: 13
This is a matter of great blessing, and modern science has confirmed this by discovering that this universe is a custom-made universe. There are verses in the Quran that tell man to do Shukr-e Kaseer (to express much gratitude to God). This form of Shukr (gratefulness) is not in the form of simply repeating certain words of praise or thanks. It is an expression of a certain state of being.
How can one attain this level of gratefulness?
The formula is very simple: first you have to discover the universal bounties of God Almighty upon man, and then you have to reflect on what these mean to you personally. Relate to these divine bounties as if they were created especially for you. Cherish the personal benefits that you derive from them. Personalise them. It is this method of thinking that inculcates the spirit which is mentioned in the Quran as Shukr-e Kaseer.
If you personalise all these bounties in this way, you will feel overwhelmed with a sense of enormous gratitude that could be called thrilling shukr. It may be so great that you would feel that you have no words to express your feelings, that even all the words of dictionary in every language are insufficient to express your inner feeling of shukr or gratefulness. It is this great sense of gratefulness which is referred to in the Quran as Shukr-e Kaseer.
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan