Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Have been quite busy at work (since when am I not busy? Quest can attest to that). But I figure it is much better being busy, than free, especially what I am going through. So alhamdullilah wasshukr to Allah. Come to think of it, I shouldn't complain, goodness. Think about what other people in the world are going through...
In the meantime, I have also decided to practice my French after putting it down for 3 years. Really, the one thing that keeps me going in my French is Tariq Ramadan (because he publishes in French a lot).
InshaAllah, I’d like to share with you a translation of one of his talks I attended on families (this was in French). I was taking notes, and I found them to be half in English and half in French, so I hope the below will actually make sense. The italics are my comments and random ramblings.
Family - From the Ideal to Reality, the Steps, the Challenges, the Struggle
It is important to realize that having a family is not only to follow the teachings of the Qur'an, of the Prophet (Peace be upon him), but it is also a daily challenge, a voyage.
We often speak of following the Prophet (Peace be upon him), but the true following of the Prophet is not only in theory, but in spirit.
Allah said in the Qur'an (3:31):
قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَاللّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
"Say [O Prophet]: "If you love God, follow me, [and] God will love you and forgive you your sins; for God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace."
Following the Prophet in the truest sense is to approach Allah.
We have the best example in the Prophet (SAW). Everyone knows this, but the best example in what? People always speak of following the sunnah in such ritualistic way, but they forget the essence in following the sunnah is in their manners, in their interaction with others. Being decent to one another is not sinful, you know. Why can't we learn to smile, why can't we learn to be decent, why can't we learn just to be, well, human? In love and in spirit.
Therefore, in forming a family, we should always remember not only in the way of applying the rules, but more importantly, in applying one's heart to the rules.
We have to model ourselves after the Prophet in educating our hearts how to better love and to better understand the other.
Not only do we need to translate the principles in our lives, we need to bring our hearts to our lives. Not only do we need to bring our hearts to our lives, we need to bring in our knowledge to our lives. All this is to reach our goal of approach the Unique.
And therefore, when the Prophet tells us that we should love him more than anything, more than our parents and even ourselves, it is not that he is arrogant (astaghfirullah) and that he thinks he is the most important person in the world (though he definitely is), but it's because he wants the good for us. He knows that it is by loving and following him as an example in heart, spirit, and actions, that we can approach Him. Everything that the Prophet did and advised us to do was only for our own good.
Forming a family, living with another man or woman in marriage, to be a father/ mother is a struggle, a daily struggle.
With all this, there is one reality that one should never forget: As an individual, one is responsible of oneself, one's heart, and one's intelligence.
That said, the quality of Oneness belongs only to Allah. Allah had mentioned in His book that all things are created in pairs. Humans, like nature, like animals, are destined in our solitude to live with another, to find the other half of faith.
One is alone in needs, but this is not exclusive. Marriage is not an obligation in Islam. There are many scholars, great people who choose not to marry. However, it is a recommended act, because it gives peace to one's heart.
A true couple strives for peace together, strives to blossom together, and strives for the well-being of both.
Allah is the path in the heart, but a spouse is the support to one in remaining faithful on this path. God as the path, and your spouse as the partner in the journey.