Where Does the Shoe Pinch?


Of late one has been witness to certain stinking events, some of them publicised and others which may never see the light of the day. These events, proceeding from the worship of worldly pelf, power and glory are enough to convince us – if such convincing were needed – that in the absence of sterling character everything becomes meaningless. All struggles and crusades motivated by whatever pious ends, prove not only useless but counterproductive if launched by and among men who do not possess unimpeachable character. Any programme of reform and social upliftment should therefore begin with the purification of human thought and feeling and building of human character. In the absence of this infrastructure it is sheer lunacy to think of any change in the collective life of man. Without this, high-pitched social, political and economic programming is bound to flounder and end in smoke. Nor can any struggle, however noble in appearance, ever meet with success without this indispensable driving force. Such programmes and struggles can prove useful and move beyond slogan-mongering only in a society composed of charactered men. And what is character? It is to live an honest life by being conscious of God every moment and regarding this life as a life of probation. 
This is the first and foremost lesson that we learn from the glorious life of our Prophet (SAW). When he was charged with the holy mission of transforming man, Arabia where he began, was riddled with political, social and economic problems – chaos, social evils, poverty. But working under God’s guidance he went to the root of all human corruption:
Beware that in your bodies there is a lump of flesh, if it is set right the whole body is set right and if it is corrupt the whole body is corrupted, and beware that it is the heart and mind (qalb).   (Bukhari)
Purification of qalb led to the building of an exemplary human character as a result of which all problems were solved automatically; political order, social cohesion and economic prosperity followed as sunshine follows the dawn.              

Lastupdate on : Thu, 27 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 27 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 28 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST

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