The measure of a man’s freedom is the degree to which he can stay courteous under provocation. Conversely, the extent of the man’s slavehood and bondage is the degree to which he can be provoked.
The trunk called the human virtue produces two main branches that all other virtues and branches flow from or start from. And the two branches are generosity and courage. All human virtue is in these two broad classes. There isn’t a third. There are only these two.
Your inner reality is one that is unspeakably majestic. We are that which cannot contain Him is His instrument which is designed to be subordinated to your service. But, the crux is that you subordinate yourself to His service. And that you don’t construct your life on the basis of what you think you want. You construct your life on the basis of what He wants.
There is a naiveté that we suffer from when we think it’s up to others to give us the Divine Encounter. Understand that the only thing that helps the Divine Encounter is your own effort, and tt’s guaranteed you’re going to die. You’ll get back to Him. What’s the fuss?
We are frail as human beings. We are designed by His Genius to be inadequate. It cannot be otherwise, because there is no other way of describing the condition of that which is very small in the face of that which is overwhelming other than frail, or inadequate and about to be overwhelmed.
It is particularly nights where you see people that you haven’t seen for a long time, where you realise that you share something really deep with many people – something that you develop over decades. These experiences are a metaphor for human existence.
Why do Muslims have an issue with pleasure? Why is it that being Muslim is so punitive that you can’t do things which other people enjoy doing, and which you enjoy doing, that you get pleasure out of? Why is it what we are so restricted and accept and take on this restriction?
In Surah Alam Nasrah, Allah subhana wa taala reassures us that in difficulty there’s ease. We often think of this as subsequently to difficulty there’s ease. But there’s at least one way of reading this that suggests that the difficulty itself is the ease.
Our base condition, our root condition, our normative condition, is ecstasy. That’s what we’ve been designed to experience. An ecstasy of such a profound character and nature, that to experience it even for a moment, is to fulfill a life. It is to have achieved the purpose of a life.
The average person has a miserable experience of being inside their own skin, they wake up alienated and frightened and they go to bed alienated and frightened. They are stuck in a cycle of being alienated and frightened.