In Honour of Women and Relationships - by Yusuf M Islam

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In Honour of Women and Relationships - by Yusuf M Islam
« on: July 08, 2009, 12:01:07 AM »
In Honour of Women and Relationships

Towering at six feet two, my grandfather (Nana) instilled fear in most people he met. He had had many achievements. He brought the first printing press into the then East Pakistan and got the first car assembly license. He was the Founder President of Dhaka Chambers of Commerce and a Founder Member of Dhaka Stock Exchange. My grandmother (Nani), on the other hand, I remember as a meek, docile person who spoke very little. I seldom saw her leave the house, or for that matter, I seldom saw her visit the kitchen. My mother, however, tells me that my grandmother was very active when she was young. I picture her at the head of the long verandah of their house, on a big easy chair, with a phone on her left, like a wise queen. Somehow, everything from my grandfather's business to the children's education and the household seemed to run smoothly.

When my grandmother died, a strange thing happened. My grandfather changed suddenly. He didn't know what to do or even what to say. He found it very difficult to take decisions. This change had me puzzled and set me wondering. Finally, after many years, I worked out the only logical explanation to this puzzle. My grandmother was the guide behind everything. My grandfather was essentially the executor. The meaning of the saying, "Behind every great man there is a woman", finally became clear to me.

The nature of my grandmother, my grandfather and their relationship can be likened to that of a navigator and a pilot. My grandmother was the navigator and my grandfather, the pilot. For a successful journey through this earthly life, both helped each other and clearly understood each other's roles. Starting from a successful business to a successful, well functioning household, everything ran smoothly. All six children are well placed. I wonder what would have happened if my grandmother hadn't played the role that she did. If, for instance, had she also wanted to be a pilot as well, what would have happened to the business, the household and the children? Would these have survived?

Long Term View and Short Term View:

In a men-women relationship, is it natural for women to fall into the role of a navigator while men to fall into the role of a pilot? Women, by nature, hold a "long term" view of things, whereas, men, hold a "short term" view of things. The differences in views can be explained by the following examples:

Who are the best chefs in the world? Men! Is this because women are bad cooks? No, certainly not! A woman simply looks at cooking from a different point-of-view. A woman, while cooking, has questions like - Does the food have proper nutrients? Does it have the protein required? Will it fill the stomachs that it is supposed to feed? A man, on the other hand, in the same situation, would simply ask - Is the food tasty enough? How do I enhance the taste? A woman's concerns about food generally deal with benefits in the long run, whereas a man's concerns are for the moment – mainly taste!

Imagine that a man and a woman each are given Tk.100 that they do not need. After a week, if you ask for the money back, what are the chances of each being able to return the money? Most likely the man would have spent the money almost immediately, whereas the woman is likely to have put the money away, i.e. she would've saved the money for a rainy day. Grameen Bank for example, in Bangladesh, has found that giving loans to women not only benefits the entire family; women have a more responsible attitude towards their commitments.

Is there any difference between a man and a woman when each evaluates the other for marriage? What does a woman look for in a man? A woman has questions like - Will this man honour and respect me? Is he capable of earning a good income? What would he be like, as a husband? On the other hand, what does a man look for in a woman? He has questions like - Is she pretty?

The influence of a woman's "long term" views extends beyond her husband to her father, brothers, sons, daughters and society in general. Proper rearing of children would be important to women, whereas a man would generally overlook such considerations. Is it surprising that many women have taken it upon themselves to set up 'O' Level schools in Dhaka and other cities of Bangladesh, given the discouraging state of the education system? My hats off to these women – they are navigating the future generations of Bangladesh!

Cultivating Characteristic Views:
Compared to the household of my grandfather and grandmother, what is the state of our households today? Are our children growing up to be stable individuals who can one day stand on their own feet? Do they have a balanced view of the world? Do they end up having successful relationships and peaceful lives? We may not like to admit it; nevertheless, we are looking at households and a society that have taken a downward plunge. Where have we gone wrong? Have we lost our sense of direction? Are we navigating our children in the right direction? Have men and women lost their characteristic views? Do women nowadays want to take on a more "pilot" type of role? If both parents were "pilots", who would then be navigating our households? Is it because of the ‘lack’ of navigation that we have lost our direction? Would a man better understand this situation or would a woman?

Can a man easily take on the role of a navigator? Men generally find it difficult to take a back seat. On the other hand, because of their overall views, women can easily take over the role of a pilot, if and when necessary. If women want to take over the role of “pilot only” permanently, there are likely to be serious problems. If, for instance, women adopted a short-term view of sex, men would enjoy temporary unattached relationships very much, however, would then women find their rightful places as navigators of society? Would it be more constructive if women adopted roles that bring out their "navigational" skills? Society has gained a lot from women as principals of educational institutes in Bangladesh, however, what has been accomplished by women in seductive poses in advertisements and in the film industry? On the contrary, has projection of the “physical side” of women (a short term, male prescribed view) become the role model for our children? Has ‘exposure’ and ‘amplification of beauty’ become driving preoccupations of girls today?

Many of our schools are co-ed. Boys and girls are treated as though they have the same type of views. Would it be worthwhile promoting the development of "long term" views in girls and "short term" views in boys? Cultivating characteristic views would not only help each sex understand their own nature, it would also help them understand the nature of the opposite sex. It would help us understand the importance of our individual roles and live our lives as complete human beings to the fullest.

Relationships:
Nowadays, boys acquire girl friends and girls acquire boy friends at a progressively younger age. Not only is it "cool" to have such relationships, many of these are quickly turning into physical relationships. To frowning adults these children have questions like, "What's wrong with having a girl friend or a boy friend?” "Is it wrong to be in love?" "Is it wrong to love someone?" or "He/she is just a friend!" To put these questions in context, let us examine the characteristics of teenage boys and girls:

Developing Characteristics: At this age, we often copy what we like of our role models. We continue copying others till we discover what suits our own natures. Our teenage character is in a state of continuous change till we become settled in our preferred ways. Something that we like today, we may not like tomorrow. Something that we would like tomorrow, we may not like today. Essentially, during this changing and exploratory period we do not exactly know what we want or need as we are in the process of discovering our preferences. The person with whom we want to be friends with, is himself/herself in a process of understanding his/her own character, while we are in the process of understanding our own. The decision to select a partner at this age is based upon changing likes and dislikes and is therefore a gamble.

Self-Rejection: Without the "expected" responses, one may start thinking, "may be I'm not worth it!" This may lead to self-inflicted torture. Some may take to drugs or other anti-self activities. Not only does self-development stop, we may destroy whatever chances we have of leading a good life. Just as easily as relationships are formed, they also breakup! Instead of concentrating on developing one’s personality and unique characteristics, many are left nursing wounded egos. Instead of developing understanding and respect for each other, we sometimes end up hating the opposite sex.

Expectations: Given their natures, boy’s expectations are derived from their "short term views", whereas a girl’s expectations are in line with "long term views". Girls may be looking for a steady relationship, whereas a boy may be happy with a short-term relationship. Each expects the other to have similar views. Not being able to understand the long-term views of girls, boys ultimately prefer unattached girls for marriage. Judging girls from their own short-term point of view, they are likely to conclude, “girls who can enter into a relationship without marriage, may continue to do so after marriage!" To understand the views of girls evaluate the following from a girl whose boy friend had recently ended their relationship, “I gave him all I had, I have nothing left to give another – I would rather be dead!”

Best Foot Forward: During dating or courtship, we are generally on our best behaviour. We do not show our weaknesses or our "bad" sides. Much to our surprise, marriage may reveal a different person. If we cannot put up with the "newly" discovered traits of the person, we are trapped. We cannot throw away our marriage and neither can we stomach it! Since we do not like blaming ourselves, we may even start blaming our parents for not being assertive enough and forcibly stopping the relationship, conveniently forgetting that we hid almost everything from our parents.

Liking someone of the opposite sex is natural. As a teenager, I myself (being of the male species) imagined that I fell "in love" with almost as many girls as I met - luckily, my feelings were only in my head - I never had the courage to approach anyone. Teenage women actually do not need to worry about getting a man - they need to worry about getting a man that would give them the respect and importance that they deserve!

So how does one find a partner?
Correct Views: One of the first things to do is get our "views" in order. To do this, we have to find out how much media has influenced our views. In the long run, a woman or a navigator needs "to be needed". It is the fear of not being needed or wanted anymore that sometimes makes it difficult for mothers to let go of their youngest as they grow up. However, media have conveniently interpreted and portrayed this noble need as a need for sex. The portrayal of women in seductive poses not only emphasises the sexual side of women, it suggests (to men) that women actively need sex. This is a short-sighted view and turns men "on". The advertising industry uses this view of women to promote their products. We have to work out whether this is the correct view of women.

A Man's Viewpoint: Men already have a short-term view of sex. Media have successfully played on this and turned women into playthings to be desired and used. Women in advertising and films become role models for young girls today, who are thereby encouraged to think that the job of a woman is simply to look pretty and wait for things to happen. On the contrary, mankind needs women as mothers, sisters, wives and daughters. In addition, mankind needs womens long-term views as guidance for meaningful survival. If women do not develop and share their long term views and guide society, what will happen to society in the long run?

As for men, Allah guides them as to their intentions towards women: "...seek (them in marriage) with gifts from your property, desiring chastity, not fornication..." [Sura An-Nisaa, 4:24]

Therefore, the basis of marriage should not be lust for the shape and form, it should be appreciation of the woman as a valued human being. For a woman, is it worth ensuring that the man seeking marriage is attracted by the person and not by her shape and form? A point to note here is that other women also have a similar shape and form, but do not possess the same personality! Which aspect of a woman is more likely to hold a family in the long run? Would a woman rather have a man marry her for her shape and looks or for her personality?

Development of the Unique Individual: Allah has made each of us - man or woman, unique. He has given each of us beautiful personalities and characteristics that we like."He it is Who shapes you in the wombs as He pleases......” [Sura Al-Imran, 3:Ayat 6]

We generally like and value our own selves. Allah has given us the potential to discover our unique selves, excel and become somebody. “It is He Who brought you forth from the wombs of your mothers when you knew nothing; He gave you hearing and sight and intelligence and affections..." [Sura Al-Imran, 16:Ayat 78]

Our individual job is to first discover and develop the unique potential qualities that Allah has given to the fullest. If we get side tracked into boy-girl relationships, our focus shifts from developing ourselves as we divert all our energies into such relationships.

When we were created, did the Creator ask for a "specification" to make us? Likewise, does He need a "specification" to make our partners? Given that we like the self (ourselves) that Allah has made, would it be not be unreasonable to assume that Allah would not arrange for partners that suit us? Would He not want the best for us? Or do we feel that we know better and need to force the issue by selecting a partner prematurely?

It took me fourteen years to realise that the woman I'm married to be the best possible match I could have. Surprisingly, it is not because of the qualities she directly possesses, it is because of the qualities she has helped bring out in me. We complement each other. She makes up what I lack and I make up what she lacks!

I was in a serious dilemma the day I was asked to consent to the girl my parents had chosen for me. I thought to myself, it is easy for my parents to approve or disapprove; they are not the ones getting married! It is a lifetime matter for me. I took the only recourse I had. I sat on a prayer mat and said to Allah, " I am totally lost, please tell me what to do!" After my prayers, I imagined that I saw the same girl playing records on our hifi set - we have Alhamdulillah completed twenty-four years of blissful marriage. Allah tells us:
   "And among His signs (miracles) is this; that He created for you wives from among yourselves, (so) that you may find repose (peace of mind) in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, in this are indeed signs for those who reflect."                     [Sura Ar-Rum, 30:21]


Unique Self: Being unique and the fact that we like ourselves is proof that our Creator has given each of us a lot of importance and made us with a lot of love and affection. Is there any logic to suggest that this love and affection would not extend to making and arranging marriage to our partners? Our job as teenagers is therefore to concentrate on developing ourselves as unique individuals to the fullest. Women should develop an interest in the lives of great women both Muslim and non-Muslim and concentrate on developing their individual long-term views. Compared to the views of a man, a woman's long-term views have the potential of influencing everyone in the near family. A good navigator influences her father, her mother, her brothers, her brother's friends, her sisters, her husband, her mother-in-law, her father-in-law, her sons and her daughters. Does the saying, “a good woman is worth ten good men” make sense?

When Allah presents the opportunity to decide, it is best for both men and women to seek Allah's help in choosing the right partner. Men already respect their mothers, their sisters and daughters. A woman can easily steer this respect to extend to herself! A man can be a good son, a good father, a good brother or a good husband, but to do so the man needs a good navigator!
                              
Yousuf M Islam,
PhD.
ymislam@gmail.com
« Last Edit: July 09, 2009, 04:31:26 PM by ymislam »
G. M. Shaharia Azam
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Offline shibli

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In Honour of Women and Relationships - by Yusuf M Islam
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2009, 12:40:41 PM »
Dear Sir

This is an excellent piece of writing by you, sir. I was really moved when i was going through it. Please accept me as your younger brother, wouldn't you?

Regards
« Last Edit: July 08, 2009, 03:38:40 PM by shibli »
Those who worship the natural elements enter darkness (Air, Water, Fire, etc.). Those who worship sambhuti sink deeper in darkness. [Yajurveda 40:9]; Sambhuti means created things, for example table, chair, idol, etc.

Offline kulsum

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Re: In Honour of Women and Relationships - by Yusuf M Islam
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2009, 02:54:40 PM »
Dear Sir,
I 've just finished reading it, your observation and writing is really nice. Thank you very much for raising these issues and and showing the light for solution.

But as a working woman how far can i perform the nevigation duty? And nowadays to maintain a better life(providing good schooling,food,entertainment) women need to do piloting. We can't be only like our grandmother generation.

What i agree with you is proper understanding between couple and in this case what i feel males should be more caring and cooperative towards the family specially to wife and children, only earning money and paying for everything is not all.
They have to think more and prioritize their activities. Males have to learn how to share life, have express their inner thoughts.
As a male he has got access to different sides of society other than female. So is'n't it more logical that they should raise(Educate) children(as they explore and know more!) but you see responsibility is to women who in most of the cases didn't study in university and do not  work out side.But if the kids are not proper  who is responsible? Mother.

Bottom line is we have to change our attitude towards each other and life as a whole.

Wish you all the best, and hope to read more from you.

Umme Kulsum
Dept. of English

Offline azam_802

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Re: In Honour of Women and Relationships - by Yusuf M Islam
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2009, 12:54:42 AM »
I am Shaharia student from L1T1 CSE department of DIU. I have posted this topic to this forum. One day i have asked to yusuf sir on a workshop about what type of behavious should we do with any women. To answer this Yusuf sir gave this topic to me & i have posted it in this Daffodil Web Forum.

Thanks everybody who read it & response on it.

G. M. Shaharia Azam
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Offline azam_802

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Re: In Honour of Women and Relationships - by Yusuf M Islam
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2009, 12:58:12 AM »
Dear Kulsum Madam,
I am G. M. Shaharia Azam from CSE L1T1 Batch. Especially madam to post this topic i remembered you & one debate on "What should we prefer between Family & Career" in our English foundation class..

Can you remember this madam?
G. M. Shaharia Azam
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Offline kazi shahin

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Re: In Honour of Women and Relationships - by Yusuf M Islam
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2009, 01:48:32 AM »
Kazi shahin. CSE, l1t1. When I have read the topic, I am just thinking the problem happening in our daily life. Nobody is ready to show their  respect to the Perfect person. If everybody live with their own way, it must be conflicted & I think it's just happening. We think what we know it's the rite way but is it?

It's needless to mention about the quality topic.
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Offline kulsum

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Re: In Honour of Women and Relationships - by Yusuf M Islam
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2009, 02:59:48 PM »
hello shahria,

Thank you for posting.

I can remember you very well, i enjoyed the debate in class and also sir's article as well.

Hope u seen my response.

Wish u all the best.

UK madam


Offline ymislam

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Re: In Honour of Women and Relationships - by Yusuf M Islam
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2009, 04:58:12 PM »
Dear Shibli, Kulsum and Shaharia,

May Allah reward you for your appreciation! Shaharia, thank you for posting the article thereby giving more people access to the article.

Shibli, of course. Delighted to have you as my brother.

Kulsum, yes the basic idea is that if we understand our own natures better, we are not only in a better position to deal with day-to-day situations and also understand other people. Women are better equipped to perform tasks both as navigators and pilots. If however, they give up their role as navigators entirely, society would be left without the benefit of guidance.

If you feel appropriate, you could also ask your students to read the forum article, and write a position summary comparing the thoughts in the article with their own point of view. They can then share their write up in the forum which other students should also comment. You could award marks for both their original write up and for commenting on another students writing.

Best regards.

-Yousuf.
Vice Chancellor
& Executive Director, HRD Institute, Daffodil International University

Offline nusrat-diu

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Re: In Honour of Women and Relationships - by Yusuf M Islam
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2009, 02:55:02 PM »
Thanks to Shaharia for posting Yousuf sir's article! u've done a great job!

Sir, I am an admirer of your writing and I believe this piece is specially able to purify one's inner self. Thanks a lot for your thought provoking write-up. I'll tell all my students and colleagues to go through your article. I want to read more from you on forum.

Regards

Nusrat
Nusrat Jahan
Assistant Professor
Department of English
Daffodil International University

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Re: In Honour of Women and Relationships - by Yusuf M Islam
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2009, 02:23:43 AM »
Dear Nusrat,

May Allah reward you for your appreciation. As requested, I am posting another article. Some of my articles are quite long. This one is actually a transcript of a lecture I gave to a group of students and also to an audience at Rotary Club. It includes the questions students asked in {brackets}.

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Do you like Yourself?   - by yousuf mahbubul Islam

This group of about 15 students wanted me to speak on religion as it related to them. The text(1):

   "Is there any among you who likes himself or herself? Raise your hand if you like yourself! {Not knowing in what light to take the question, they looked at each other questioningly. Eventually, all raised their hands one by one(2), grinning}.

{Yes, sir, we like ourselves very much!}
   Then you would agree that Allah has made at least one person that you like! {They slowly nodded}. Therefore, should we be grateful to Him for giving us someone that we really like?

Qualities of this Person:
   Not only has He made someone we like, He has made this person unique. Does anyone know of two persons with the same features, personality and thoughts? We don't need to be very learned to realise that each of us is totally and completely unique.

   "He it is Who shapes you in the wombs as He pleases......."   [Sura Al-Imran, 3:Ayat 6]

   He has made us unique and given each of us a beautiful personality. He has given us sight, hearing, thought processes, understanding, feelings and much more. He has given us a unique existence! We exist as beautiful unique physical beings. Within certain physical constraints, we are free to think and do as we please.

   "It is He Who brought you forth from the wombs of your mothers when you knew nothing; and He gave you hearing and sight and intelligence and affections...[Sura Al-Imran,16:78]

Making something Unique:
   Is making each person different and unique easy? To ensure uniqueness, one has to keep track of the characteristics of each and every person already made. This is very different from making identical clones out of a single mould. If one does not keep track, out of millions, a double may be made by accident. However, no such accident has happened(3).

   Imagine the time, effort, love and affection that would be required to make just one unique being, with unique feelings and thought processes. The fact that each of us is unique is evidence of the importance the Creator has given to each individual. Allah has given each of us a lot of importance. Each one of us is therefore uniquely important to Allah, our creator. If Allah had made us all identical clones, what would it be like? Would we feel important?

Do we like being unique?
   Allah is unique and He has made each of us unique. There is no one like us in the rest of the universe! Can there be a higher honour than this? He has bestowed upon us the highest possible honour. In addition to this, He has also given each of us a unique "I" feeling. He has created the unique "this-is-me-feeling". He has given us a complete & unique existence.

Do we give Him similar importance?
   He has therefore given each of us the utmost of importance. It is only fair and right that we give Him importance in return. It is only fair and right that we give Him singular importance.

   "..........that ye may give thanks (to Allah)   [Sura Al-Imran,16:78]

   "O ye people, worship your Guardian Lord, Who created you and those who came before you that ye may become righteous(4), Who has made the earth your couch, and the heavens your canopy;..."   [Sura 2:Al-Baqarah, 21-22]

   How can we give Him importance? Among the ways that we can give Him importance are:
     -   thanking Him for giving us existence
     -   realising that He is the holder of absolute power
     -   realising that it is only He that provides sustenance
     -   not running after other things and persons imagining that they provide sustenance
     -   doing what He has asked of us with sincerity
     -   saying the truth and helping others understand the truth of our existence
     -   saying and doing what is right by Him, hoping to earn His approval
     -   hoping to meet Him on the Day of Judgement without having earned His disapproval
     -   asking His help to enable us to fulfill the purpose of our unique existence

Most Valuable:
   Would you exchange your life, i.e. your unique life, for all the gold in the world? Most likely no! -  this means that your life is the most valuable and precious thing to you. Allah has therefore already given us the most valuable thing that we can ever have. Anything else that we may get or not get in this world is of lesser value. We already possess the most valuable thing that we could ever have. Anything else in this world, e.g. affections, parents, children, material possessions, fame, power, lust are necessarily of a lesser value. Yet we spend majority of our time in pursuit of these things.

   "Nothing is the life of this world but play and amusement. But best is the Home in the Hereafter, for those who are righteous. Will ye not then understand?"
   [Sura Al-Anam, 6: Ayat 32]

   On the contrary, since each of us is unique, no one else can give to the world what you can give. No one else can call Allah or be grateful to Allah in the way you can. You have your own special way and flavour of doing things. If you did not do things your way, you would be depriving the world of what only you can give. To be ourselves, we must find out more about ourselves and what we like to do. When we are young, as we are learning, we copy things we like of our role models. Sometime, eventually, we adapt and do things in our own way. We need to discover and respect this person that Allah made with so much love and affection and given so much importance. If we ask Allah, He will help us discover this person.

Special Quality:
   Having made us individual and unique, it follows that each of us is special in a unique way. To be different, He has given each of us a special gift, i.e. a quality in which we can excel more than others. When we have placed our total trust in Allah(5), we are at peace with ourselves, it is then that we can discover and excel in our unique qualities. We then become a complete human being in the fullest sense and fulfill the individual purpose of being created.

   Exercising this special quality with the help of Allah would result in carrying out our obligation to Allah and the rest of His creation. When Allah was about to create man, He said to the angels:

   "Behold, thy Lord said to the angels, "I will create a vicegerent on earth"..."
   [Sura 2:Bakarah, 30]

   A righteous person therefore has a duty to be grateful to Allah and find out his/her own unique quality. This person should then seek the help of Allah to develop this quality to the fullest and give to the world the benefit of this unique quality. This duty would necessarily be a service to mankind for the sake of Allah. Effectively, then, each one of us would be a vicegerent with a particular duty.

{Sir, why in the first place has Allah created us?}
   To understand the nature of our life on earth further, in the Quran, Allah tells us why He has created us:

   "We created not the heavens, the earth and all that is in between them for mere play. We created them not except for (establishing the) Truth,..."   [Sura 44:Ad-Dukhan, 38-39]

   To understand how human beings can "establish the truth" or establish a fact, I would like you to consider a three-part analogy of a teacher who wishes to establish the fact that he is a teacher.

   In the first part, let us imagine the situation that there are no students. If there are no students, can the fact that he is a teacher be established?

   Before Allah created, He was alone. Once He initiated creation, He became the Creator.

   In the second part, let us now imagine that there are students available. How can he best prove that he is a teacher? If he takes all types of students into his class, from the dumbest to the cleverest, obedient to the most disobedient, and all the students acknowledge and say, "yes, he is a teacher"; he can establish the fact that he is a teacher. The more the students, the more the different types of students, the stronger is the proof.

   As the creator, Allah created unique individual "beings" who can work out the fact of their existence and can be grateful. Beings who can independently evaluate, comprehend, be grateful and be righteous. A righteous being is one who takes the trouble to ponder over the fact of his/her existence, comprehend, is grateful for existing and takes steps to disseminate the truth of the creator. Allah has entrusted each of these beings to individually to establish His truth.

   In the third part, we need to realise that the teacher must not influence or force the students to say that he is a teacher. This means that the teacher cannot ask face to face, or hold a gun and say "declare that I'm your teacher"! The students must not only have the free will to decide, they should have the ability to independently understand and perceive that the person is a teacher. This means that the students must somehow be independently given the ability to evaluate the fact of teaching.

   Human beings should similarly be able to independently understand the concept of creating(6), the fact of creation, the operation of free-will between right and wrong, etc. Our brains comprehend by practically experiencing or observing followed by comparing and contrasting experiences. For example, to understand hot and cold, both must exist. We need then to experience both hot and cold. Experiencing cold helps us to appreciate hot and experiencing hot helps us to appreciate cold. Similarly, ill-health helps us appreciate good-health(7), etc. Therefore, a world must exist with all kinds of opposites to allow independent development of the human brain. From birth, Allah has arranged the life of each human being to independently experience and/or read about all types of worldly flavours.

Our Role:
   Allah has not only given us a unique existence, He has given us things that we can independently enjoy and live in comfort(8). However, with this He has given us the responsibility of understanding and establishing the Truth.

   "O ye people, worship your Guardian Lord, Who created you and those who came before you that ye may become righteous, Who has made the earth your couch, and the heavens your canopy;..."   [Sura 2:Al-Baqarah, 21-22]

   "Those who have faith and do righteous deeds, they are the best of creatures."
   [Sura Al-Baiyina, 98: Ayat 7]

   "......Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you......"   [Sura Hujurat, 49, Ayat 13]

Quality of a Person who does not recognise and establish the Truth:
   What would you think of a person who does not acknowledge and/or appreciate his/her parents? Our parents look after us, they protect us and help us grow. Allah is much more than a parent. He has also created our parents. Therefore, the person who does not recognize Allah, is worse than the person who does not recognise his/her parents.

   Could we blame Allah if He organises punishment for such a person?

   "Those who reject Faith, neither their possessions nor their progeny will avail them aught against Allah: they are themselves but fuel for the Fire".   [Sura 3:Al-Imran, 10]


Notes:
 (1)   Curly brackets show the student reactions and questions. They include any comments that I need to add to illustrate the text.

 (2)   Among the numerous people I have asked this question, so far two have not responded positively. Both these persons are habitual drug abusers. To these people and others who say that they do not like themselves, I would ask whether they get hurt when someone abuses them. If you did not like yourself, you would not get hurt. Therefore, there are no exceptions. We all like ourselves.

 (3)   The fact that no such accident has happened is evidence that we are not random beings, i.e. we have deliberately been created. It is evidence that we have been created one by one, individually. Again, although unique, as human beings we are the same, i.e. we are all alike as human beings. This is proof of there being only ONE SUPREME BEING.

 (4)   Make effort to learn and do what is right.

 (5)   When we have worked out in our hearts that Allah is the creator, provider, sustainer and protector, our minds come to rest. We become like the happy little child, sitting in the mother's lap, knowing that the mother provides and no one in the world can touch or hurt him.

 (6)   Allah has given us the ability to manufacture out of the elements he has created for us. This helps us appreciate not only how difficult it is to create, but also that we cannot create ourselves. If we ponder on this subject, we would also see that unique and functional things cannot be random.

 (7)   Therefore, if we are going through a bad-patch in life or have ill-health, it is not that Allah does not love us, it helps us not only understand the good things in life and good-health, but it gives us an opportunity to call on Allah for help. Asking for help, in turn allows us to understand that Allah is all-powerful and everything is from Allah, i.e. it helps us appreciate the truth. Everything from Allah is for our own benefit.

   ".........We have tried them both with prosperity and adversity; in order that they might turn (to Us)."   [Sura Al-Araf, 7: Ayat 168]

 (8)   He has also given us parents to look after us and children to cherish.

Vice Chancellor
& Executive Director, HRD Institute, Daffodil International University

Offline omar_sayem

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Re: In Honour of Women and Relationships - by Yusuf M Islam
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2009, 02:59:26 PM »
 Thx to dear allah for giving me a chance to meet with Dr. Yousuf Sir
 
i dnt know how can i thank to my dear Yousuf Sir, Fortunately i got the article few days earlier from Yousuf sir, when i shared a problem with him about one of my O-Level students. She (my student) was facing some problems in her daily life and i was unable to identify the reason.
 
 Dr. Yousuf heard the whole things, and gave me some good suggestions including the article that i may give it to her and get her confidence back. Unfortunately by this time, she was out of country and i kept it to me.
 
 One day, somehow i just tried to see what was written over there [ but i was not interested to KNOW, Because it's size is too big and that is good enough for killing my all interests  :p ]

 I dnt know wht i got, but i must say, i got the message which i was looking for a long ! And i dnt know how many times i've read it out, but it obviously more than 5 times !

Thanks to Mr. Azam  for posting it over here


-Muhammad Pasha
Level-4, Term-3,
Dept of CSE
« Last Edit: July 17, 2009, 03:01:40 PM by omar_sayem »

Offline R i Y a D

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Re: In Honour of Women and Relationships - by Yusuf M Islam
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2009, 03:24:56 PM »
i do feel the same way
Mahmudur Rahman
RF Optimization Engineer
Radio Network Planning & Optimizations
ZTE Corporation Bangladesh Limited
[email: riyad_ete@yahoo.com]