By Imam Abdullah El-Amin, MMNS
If you believe that ALLAH is the only God and nothing is higher than yourself except God, then you must also believe in yourself as the cream of creation and a majestic piece of work created by ALLAH. ALLAH says â€œDonâ€™t die unless you are in a state of Islam.â€ Being in a State of Islam means realizing and exercising the enormous potential ALLAH has clocked in us. Being in a State of Islam means not allowing the Shaitan to have any authority over you. Being in a State of Islam means being in a state of submission; but only to ALLAH.
Oftentimes we have a hard time distinguishing between constructive criticism and someone just being critical. To some people the hurt is the same; but there is a difference. Constructive criticism is given by someone who loves you and has your best interest in mind. They might remind you of a small thing, like your tie is crooked. Or, it could be something serious that could send you into depression. Whatever the case, these sincere ones definitely want to see you do better.
On the other hand, a just plain critical person wishes to tear you down and make you doubt yourself. They point out all your faults and leave your good points unsaid. Donâ€™t spend the majority of your time trying to prove them wrong or change your image to please them. Just trust yourself to do what you know is right.
Iâ€™m reminded of a story told by a preacher about eagles and crows. The eagle is a big powerful bird that can lift and fly with many times its own weight. Well as it turns out, crows sometimes irritate the eagle and pecks at him. The eagle has the power to kill the crow with one swipe but he takes the high road. The eagle simply flies higher than the crow can go and leaves the crow below. The eagle is not being a â€œpunkâ€ or scaredy cat; heâ€™s just exercising his superiority. The crow cannot survive at the heights the eagle can.
We can learn something from the eagle. When some â€œirritantâ€ is pecking at us, using words and deeds to belittle us, simply take the high road. Use your God-given talents, work hard, and soar above the source of your irritation. Donâ€™t spend your time on your criticizer; spend your time getting better. Be a believer in you. This is a new day; ALLAH has a new beginning for you. Believe in the entire Holy Qurâ€™an which has the description of you. Then surround yourself with like people and strive to do ALLAHâ€™S will.
With ALLAHâ€™S name, the Merciful Benefactor, Merciful Redeemer
As Salaam alaikum
(Al Hajj) Imam Abdullah Bey El-Amin