True Islam (as opposed to brutal counterfeit Islam) is a beautiful way of life. Wise sages such as Rumi, Al-Ghazali and Bediuzzaman taught later generations how to live such beautiful lives that are inspired and guided by Islam, that are filled with worship, understanding of humanity and mercy. Wise Muslims have always followed such a beautiful path, right through the centuries. They demonstrated some very good things for modern human beings to emulate. Seven of these are listed below.
1. They were constantly aware of the Divine and thus they lived their lives in harmony with it. They did this through many ways, but one of the most special things that they did was to live in accordance with the Sunnah (way) of the Last Messenger who was sent by God to guide humanity.
2. They did everything in a balanced and moderate way, doing things according to correct priorities.
3. They neither harmed others nor allowed others to harm themselves, or innocents, if they had any say over the matter.
4. Indeed they were kind and merciful with all living beings, from small animals to the Children of Adam and Eve.
5. They lived in harmony with their neighbours and their environment, knowing that God has made humanity care takers of the world. Where they lived they avoided harming eco-systems and instead they improved them through tree planting, falaj systems, reservation and garden making. Their traditional ways of agriculture and horticulture benefited both human beings and wildlife alike.
6. They were peace-loving but were prepared to stand up for what was right.
7. They possessed two special treasures. The first treasure was empathy which allowed them to “stand in another’s shoes and see the world through their eyes”. Through this skill one may understand another’s feelings, motivations and needs and one may communicate in a deeper and more satisfactory way – it was something possessed by most ancient people but which has been tragically lost by many modern ones. Empathy is a foundation of human wisdom.
The second treasure was Wisdom itself and through it they understood the nature of the world, why we are here, what we are here for, how we should behave and all the sensible attitudes that one should take in life. Between them these two treasures are worth far more than gold and diamonds for the one who posses them, yet they may often seem incomprehensible and intangible to the one who does not.
Wise people avoid oppressing others, they know that it will one day come back on them if they do. The tyrants of the world, big and small, tend to get their comeuppance in this life and they make themselves a painful bed for the next life if they do not repent and seek to make amends.
No one is more unlucky
than an oppressor of men
Because on his day of calamity
no one is his friend.
A tyrant does not remain in the world
But the curse on him abides for ever.
Wise rulers or employers avoid oppressing their subjects or employees, wise husbands avoid oppressing their wives and wise wives avoid oppressing their husbands, wise parents avoid oppressing their children and wise grown up children avoid oppressing their parents. Wise human beings avoid oppressing other creatures that come into their lives, be they as small as an ant. Wise people do what they can to assist and help those who are disabled or impoverished.
Everyone needs room to breath, respect and basic decent treatment. We must no longer shut people away in darkness and dirt as occurs in a time of ignorance, rather we must bring them out into the light and help them achieve comfort and goodness.
The prince of all animals is the lion
and the meanest of beasts the donkey.
Nevertheless sages agree
that an ass who carries loads is
better than a lion who destroys men.
The poor donkey though void of discernment,
is nevertheless esteemed when he carries a burden
Oxen and asses who carry loads
Are superior to
men who oppress human-kind.