Two Prayers: Two Men
PROF G R MALIK
Verses 200-201 of Surah al-Baqarah read:
And amongst people are those who say, ‘Lord, grant us (all) in this world’ and they have no portion in the Hereafter. And amongst them are those who say, ‘Our Lord, grant us the good of this world and the good of the next world and save us from the torment of Fire (2:200-201).
The two contrary prayers denote two different attitudes rooted in two divergent views of life. The prayers may not be necessarily verbalized but do in any case represent two attitudes of mind translating, naturally, into their corresponding modes of life and behaviour. From the Quranic point of view, men in general broadly fall into these two categories. People falling into the first of these categories consider this world to be the be-all and end-all of life. Consequently all their energies are concentrated on this world. Their values and ethical principles naturally derive from this all-engrossing aim of theirs. In whichever way this worldly life becomes rich, luxurious and comfortable is ipso-facto good regardless of whether the way is dishonest and corrupt or otherwise. Not to speak of opting for dishonest ways, such men can sell their souls to the Devil, like Dr Faustus, to attain to worldly glory. When this world-view comes to guide the collective life of a society, it is reflected in its policy ad planning and its culture and civilization.
People belonging to the second of the Quranic categories do not say ‘no’ to this world’s life but subject it to an ethical code determined by belief in God and accountability to him in the next phase of life that follows the terrestrial phase. Consequently they live their individual lives according to the principles of truth, honesty, justice and mercy as taught by Divine guidance. These ethical principles are duly mirrored in their collective life and its various structures. Opting for these principles may sometimes entail worldly loss but they bear with it with courage and contentment. Such men, in practice, ultimately reap the good of this life as well as the next life. These are the men held up by Quran as ideal believers.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 11 Jul 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 11 Jul 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 12 Jul 2012 00:00:00 IST
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