DISCOVER YOUR IDENTITY
Sometimes ALLAH opens the door of opportunity but you refuse to walk through it. He opened it and you could have reaped a lot of reward from it, but you choose not walk through it and then you end up suffering; and then you end up blaming ALLAH instead.
So now, if this is the case; everyone has a different lot in life – a different set of challenges, a different set of opportunity, so the question is why? Why not all of us have the same thing? Why not all of us have the same challenges? – make it consistent.
Next ayah (17:84) answers the question (why not all of us have the same set of challenges and reward?)
Qul kullun ya’ malu ala syaakilatihi
“Tell them, everyone should try to work”
(When a mudhaari’ becomes a sifat, it actually means trying to do something)
Everybody should try to work on their syaakilah.
(Syaakil = form; appearance of something or a mould of something. The shape of something)
In figurative meaning, (Psychological terminology = your predisposition) you are pre-programmed to certain way; some people have a very good sense of humour, some people are very serious, some people are oriented towards science, others are towards literature, some are very artistic.. etc.
People have different personality- different syaakilat.
Allah says, everybody first of all need to recognise their personality- and then work in accordance with that. In other word, syaakilah (with ta marbutah at the end), makes it actually a marra’- an individual thing. No two people have the same syaakilah. Allah makes personality very, very, very different. Everybody should try to figure out what their personality is like- as much as they can. And in accordance with that, try to figure out what is the most that they can make out of their opportunities. What are the challenges in their personality and what are the shortcomings they have and how can they over some them.
This is a very powerful concept at an individual level; but it is so powerful that ALLAH, in other place in Quran, even describe this at a level of nation (Syu’uuban).
Syuuban li ta’arafu.
Syu’uuban comes from the word sya’ab or syu’bah – meaning a dent or a crack in a wall. An imperfection. As if to say that every nation has some good qualities but also some quirks.
Nations have to get to know each other so that they can learn from each other’s strengths. One nation’s strength is another nation’s weakness, and one nation’s weakness is another nation’s strength. (eg; nation eating practice or diet) This is at the level of nation.
But even at the level of individual, if someone is able to recognise their weaknesses then they are able to make connections, make friends- put themselves around people that can put/ cover that weakness. If you surrounds yourself with people that have the same weaknesses with you; they have same problem as you- (eg 1) if you have a terrible sense of humour, you have no restrictions on your sense of humour, and you become friends with people who also have no breaks in their sense of humour, not very good thing will come out of that relationship. May be someone in this relationship should be able to stop- know when it is enough. (eg 2) if everybody is super serious, that is a very depressing life.
You need somebody to stir things up.
Qul kullun ya’ malu ala syaakilatihi
In terms of deen, (In terms of what ALLAH wants you to do with your life) everybody, instead of complaining – or you only get happy when good things happen and super depressed when bad things happen – the reality of it is, each of you will have your share of good and bad in this world and you need to make the most out of your personality; your syaakilah.
Fa rabbukum a’lamu, fa man hua ahdaa sabiila.
(He knows who is more guided, in terms of the path)
(Sabiilan – not as-sabila (singular/specific path): sabillan is a tamyiz in terms of a path- suggesting that every one of us will have a course, a path. Depending on our syaakilah)
This raise another question; where do all these personalities come from? How come we have different personalities? – eg in psychology, they study genetic twins. One’s favourite colour is blue and the other favourite colour is purple. They can’t figure this out – (because) genetically there are the same. (They can’t understand this because) Some argue that your personality is the product of your gene and your environment (nature and nurture. They can’t figure it out because the nature is the same – genetically they are the same; and they are brought up in the same house – their nurture is the same. But these twins ended up having different preferences.
Allah answers this in the next ayah – 17:85
Wa yas alunaka anirruh, qulirruhu min amri rabbi.
They ask you about the ruh – the essence of the human being.
(Ruh – an Arabic word associated with rauh: joy, contentment, satisfaction: suggesting that there is something inside us that acts as the source of our happiness, the source of our contentment and it is distinct in each and every one of us. We can only know very little about it)
If they ask you about ruh, tell them it is from the command of my master. (min amri rabi)
(A named scholar- I can’t catch it) He argued that there are two worlds of ALLAH’s doings.
1) A’lamul Khalq – the world of creation
2) A’lamul Amr – the world of command
With this argument, he suggests that ALLAH created this physical universe, in which there are certain laws that govern it. eg- it is dictated by time- when you plant a seed in the ground, it does not just pop up into a tree. There is a process by which it turns into a tree. A baby does not turn a man overnight, there is a process to it. This is the world of khalq – ALLAH makes things with tadarruj in the world of khalq. There is process and progression in the world of khalq.
In the world of command- where when ALLAH commands for something, it comes to full formation and perfection instantaneously. Eg – angles (comes from the world of amr).
The ruh, is from the world of command.
Quran, is from the world of command.
The unseen world – where things happen but not limited to time (by our definition of time); not limited to distance (by our definition of distance); they are not limited by process (like we think of process).
The world of command has its own different entity.
When amr is mentioned- it comes into being immediately (Yaasin)
Inna maa amruhu idza araada syaian, an yakuu lalahu- kun, fa yakun.
These two worlds seem to be separated most of the time.
In us, as human beings, we actually have our physical growth – from a’lamul khalq – and our spiritual entity belongs to a’almul amr.
Prophets (components of a’lamul khalq) are teaching people – but their teachings come from a’lamul amr. The miracles that they are given, comes from a’lamul amr – breaks the a’lamul khalq; eg- fire stops burning in story of prophet Ibraheem a.s.
(Back to ayah 85) ALLAH says your ruh, belongs to a’lamul amr.
We know very little about the world of the command – angles, ruh etc. We know only what ALLAH tells us. Otherwise it is entirely unseen and unexperienced to us.
So the essence of this ayah is – there is something inside us that forms the essence of our personality; but yet we know about it very little. (Wa maa uu tii tum, minal ‘ilmi, illa qaliila – you have been given about knowledge, very little.)
There is something inside us that is so powerful, but we can’t even know about it ourselves.
(Think about it retrospectively) Our physical human brain, is not ruh. Even about this we only know very little. If we have very little knowledge about the things in the world of creation, so how can we know more about the world of command.
So, when ALLAH is teaching us that we have to go on in this expedition – when you work through your predisposition, you will discover more about yourself; YOU WILL NOT DISCOVER WHO YOU ARE UNTILL YOU PUT YOURSELVES TO WORK.
Young people nowadays, says they do not know what to do and keep asking for advices (but not working for it). (From the ayahs) Until you put yourself to work, you will not going to do discover who you are- you will not going to discover your strengths and weaknesses. STOP BEING AFRAID OF WORK. TRY! FAILING IS GOOD FOR YOU. It exposes the holes in the wall. It exposes on what you need to work on. It also exposes the few things that you are good at – that may you need to refine them even more. But that will not happen, until you grin it out. Until you throw yourself in the middle; in the mix.
Ar-Ruh is from the a’lamul amr, but this life that ALLAH has given us here, in which we can put ourselves to work and discover ourselves, is not an unlimited life. Between coming of age and sleep and become senile, we don’t have a lot of years to figure ourselves out; to put ourselves to work. So do not be afraid to try things. ALLAH has given us this incredible adventure in the world – do not be scared to try stuffs. (try things to achieve more!!) those who are afraid of failure, those are the kind of people who will only sit on the side lines and will not do anything in life. YOU HAV ETO STOP BEING AFRAID OF FAILURE. YOU HAVE TO WORK ON YOUR SYAAKILAH. You have to let go of that inhibition. Once you let go of it, amazing things will start to happen in your life. When you stop being depressed about failures.