I think that almost all of us have heard this Hadith of our Prophet (s.a.w) in which he said that none of you can be a believer unless and until he wants for others what he wants for himself.
I once heard a scholar say that he studied so much in search of just one question: what is the meaning of being good. After going through hundreds of books and travelling to so many places and meeting people he still could not be satisfied on any definition of “goodness” until he came upon the above mentioned Hadith and realized that finally he had reached the most complete answer in the most simple words…
But is acting on this Hadith as simple as its words? Yes it is… but unfortunately we have made it difficult due to our ignorance about the real purpose of our existence.
We have mistakenly assumed this world as a place for the fulfillment of our desires or aims or interests. And so our standards of what we want for ourselves, is much higher than what we think is “good enough” for others.
And the problem is that this way of thinking brings misery and restlessness to our hearts. Because then your whole thoughts revolve around what others are doing for you and you will always be resentful and heavy hearted that you are not getting what you want.
Our religion is practical and makes us most productive by shifting our focus away from self fulfillment in this world towards the fulfillment of a higher purpose… and that is to want (and do) for others what you want for yourself.
But how does this “shifting” of thought makes you productive?
Consider the fact that our heart is always wanting one thing or the other… so if you translate every “want” into a positive thought plus action, just imagine how active and productive you can become…
e.g. You wish someone could help you with your chores but others are so busy with their own things… instead of crying in self pity… you should start helping others with their work… NOT with the expectation that they will return your favours but ONLY for attaining the perfect faith and relationship with Allah… with this ultimate purpose firmly rooted in your heart, even the smallest act of goodness will raise your level of faith and you will feel so grateful that Allah made you capable of doing something for others.
You want others to care for you but they are so busy… get up and call some relative whom you haven’t talked to in ages… imagine the happiness it will give him that someone cares for him and that happiness will surely come back to you.
You wish you didn’t have to cook these endless dinners and lunches… but you have to do it anyway so instead of feeling miserable, make a little extra something and send to your neighbour… how happy she will be to get this surprise!
You wish your family members would appreciate your efforts and forgive your errors… start doing the same for them.
You wish someone would listen to your problems and suggest some solutions… so be a listener for others and be sincere and helpful in any way that you can.
You wish someone would suggest to you some tips on how to do things in a better way. So get up and do some research… then share these tips with others…
The more you “do” the more true will be your faith
And the more true your faith becomes… the more satisfaction you will have in your heart and soul.
By spending your time and your life in thinking and doing these positive acts, you will realize the enormous goodness which Allah has made you capable of doing for others… and it will make you love Him so much that your heart will not be free to hate anyone or to feel neglected by others.
This is the delight of faith… that you will have the conviction that Allah is the only one from whom you expect everything and He loves you only when you do for others what you want to be done to you J🙂