By Imam Abdullah El-Amin, MMNS
â€œProclaim! (or Read) in the name of your Lord and Cherisher, Who created- Created man out of a leech-like clot.
Proclaim! And thy Lord is Most Bountiful. He Who taught man (the use of) the pen. Taught man that which he knew not. Nay, but man doth transgress all bounds, in that he looks upon himself as self-sufficient.â€
Repeated from previous article. ALLAH, the Almighty made each and every human being a unique creature. You have the ability to do extraordinary and powerful things â€“ each and every one of us. Now this extraordinary ability is not the same in everybody. Some of us are good at certain things and not good at others. The good news from the above ayah is that He taught man that which he previously did not know. Man had no knowledge of the pen. ALLAH gave him the ability to read and write. So if you are a highly intelligent scholar, remember, that did not come from you.
The good news is all of our special abilities come from the same source. Imagine how confused the world would be if there were multiple creators giving man what each one wanted to give him.
ALLAH knew exactly how He wanted to make us. And He made us all different with different characteristics for the express purpose of us knowing each other, so we can grow as human beings.
â€œO mankind. We created you from a single (pair) of a male and female, and made you into nations and tribes that you may know each other).â€
With such wonderful gifts from ALLAH it is certainly acceptable to acknowledge yourself when you execute something from yourself in an excellent fashion. This is very important because many people are reluctant to give themselves a pat on the back when they have done something good. They would rather look for praise from other people. This is the exact wrong place to look for accolades.
Suppose you went an extra mile at your job. You did something that you knew was beneficial to your employers and co-workers. There is nothing wrong with you letting them know it, if they didnâ€™t know it already. Just keep in mind that the thought to do that good thing, and everything you used to execute it, came from ALLAH and not yourself.
There also is something else to keep in mind when you are rewarding yourself. There is a thin line between rewarding yourself for doing something good, and becoming arrogant about your ability to do it. As ALLAH ends the quote we have above with the fact that man transgresses bounds and looks upon himself as the source of his ability. When you become arrogant like that, you forget ALLAH is the source of your strength and not you. Arrogance will make you think it is your brain and intelligence that gave you the victory and if you donâ€™t repent, you are on your way to becoming a devil. ALLAH will let you wander in your own ignorance.
As Salaam alaikum
(Al Hajj) Imam Abdullah El-Amin