By Imam Abdullah El-Amin, TMO
(164)â€œSay: Shall I seek for my Lord other than ALLAH, when He is the Cherisher of all things (that exist)? Every soul gets the reward of its acts on none but itself: and no bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another. Your return in the end is towards ALLAH. He will tell you the truth of the things wherein ye disputed.â€ 165) It is He who hath made you inheritors of the earth. He hath raised you in ranks, some above others that He may try you in the gifts He hath given you, for thy Lord is quick in punishment, yet He is indeed Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.
Holy Qurâ€™an 6:164-165
Adam (human beings) is endowed with a remarkable mind that gives him dominion over everything in creation. This is a wonderful gift from the Creator of it all. And we would do well to recognize it. However, if we are not careful, we can miss the point of our existence.
One day I was talking to a non-Muslim fellow, whose age seemed to be in the mid- fifties. He had a job raking leaves and was complaining because more leaves were falling as he raked. I told him that the leaves falling might be ALLAHâ€™S way of insuring he had a job. As we continued conversing about the leaves, he asked me a question in a very serious tone. He said â€œWhy would God give me free will and then punish me for exercising that will? Regardless of what I choose it should be all right with Him since He gave me the ability to choose.â€ I could hardly believe that someone who had lived that many years could be so unaware of life. It brought to light the depths of ignorance of some people regarding the purpose of human life.
ALLAH didnâ€™t just create man and then leave him be. He created man and gave him guidance. Allah gave us free will, but he also informed us of the choices we have to exercise that free will on. He has told us that if you go down the street of disobedience of scripture and nature, you will be doomed to Hell in this life, as well as the next life. That is indicative of a very loving and caring Creator, contrary to it being a â€œcurseâ€ as supposed by that fellow.
He (ALLAH) has also told us that the guidance (scriptures) that He has given to us, provide a perfect blueprint for a peaceful productive life in this world, and an even better existence in the next life. We canâ€™t blame ALLAH if we make the wrong choice. He told you what would happen to you if you did.
The smartest way to use our free will is to constantly do those things, big and small, that you know pleases ALLAH. Use your free will to be charitable to your neighbor by assisting him with word and deed. Remember, you can choose to be a sourpuss and be mad and evil all the time, or you can choose to please ALLAH by bringing cheer to His creation.
The great civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, was fond of quoting words from a religious song thus: â€œIf I can help somebody as I travel along, If I can cheer somebody with a word or song, if I can show somebody where they are going wrong â€“ then my living will not be in vain.â€
This is what our living is all about.
As Salaam alaikum
(Al Hajj) Imam Abdullah El-Amin