A Chinese proverb

{ Tuesday, June 28, 2011 }
I got the following quote from the very inspirational blog http://inspirationalquoteseveryday.blogspot.com/ :-)

Better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness

How true this proverb is! Sometimes we get so overwhelmed by all the bad things happening in the world, that we forget to turn on the light. When I hear a lot of bad news about injustice, violence, hatred, intolerance,... the lights in my eyes dim, and I breathe in despair and hatred for those who hurt others. The worst of it all is that I can't do anything to change a woman's faith at the other side of the world. I can't feed all the poor people in the world, or protect all animals from abuse. That feeling of helplessness is what gets me down, really down. So I stamp with my feet on the floor and curse the darkness, and lower myself to the level of wishing ill and bad to some others. But when did hatred ever solve anything? When did cursing others ever lead to a positive change? It's true, some people commit injustice and don't care about their actions. They wander in the dark and are blind to any light. They spread darkness like wood spreads fire and they cause misery and hardship to this world. But darkness cannot stay where light is. Darkness is only the absence of light, nothing more. Likewise, when we love and bless others, hatred flees. It's therefore important to not only pray for victims, but for perpetrators as well. For example, instead of hating Israel (which I often fall into if I'm not careful) we can send them love, light and God's blessings. Israel is obviously a country that lives in fear and hatred for the Arabs around them. They respond to the least bit of resistance with merciless violence, because they are scared that their Jewish state will perish if they don't constantly show their muscles. We cannot respond to such behavior with more hatred and violence, because where will it end? Instead, we can show Israel that there is a different way of dealing with people, and that respect, tolerance and patience will lead to much better results. It's hard to stay loving in the face of so much hatred and intolerance, but it will be worth it in the end. God loves those who replace evil with good. There is always a side that needs to be brave, stop the hatred, even if it's one sided, and start being tolerant and loving. There is always a party of a conflict that needs to stop wishing ill to the other side. Let that party be us.

As I mentioned before, it's easy to feel helpless when we are confronted with all the evil in the world. But we are not completely without power. We can help our environment and the people we know personally. If you look around you, instead of to the other side of the world, there is always work that you can do. And if everyone looks around and tries to help, instead of keeping their eyes on the far horizon, much good can be done. We can bring a smile and kind words which could make someone else's day. We can give money to a beggar on the street. We can help our mother in the kitchen and lift her burden. We can put some food out for the birds during winter. We can go by bike instead of taking the car. We can refrain ourselves when we want to criticise others. We can give up our opinion about what's best for others, and give them a chance to be themselves and to achieve what they want to achieve in life. We have the power to make others happy. And it's this power to help others that will make ourselves happy. It's this power that can and will change the world. It's the small candle light, first shy, unsure and quivering. The darkness is so vast and powerful around it. But then it sees another candle light, and another, and another. Together, they grow more confident and the darkness has no choice but to retreat further and further. Look at Prophet Muhammmad (PBUH), his light is still shining through the ages! As Muslims, we are to follow his sunna, and there are ample examples of his love, mercy and patience for others. So let's stop bickering, fighting, hurting, and let there be light!


MarieHarmony said...

This post is amazing Safiyah! Yes hatred doesn't help, doesn't change anything and brings more darkness to the world, it doesn't serve any cause.
If sometimes all this is too hard to carry, let's turn towards God and pray.
There are so many simple things we can do every day to help others at our doorstep. Imagine if every single person is helping another one in need, what a circle we would create between each other, what a bond would link us to one another.
Let's the light shine and let's the love out.

Take care sweet Safiyah.

Safiyah said...

Thank you for your nice comment, Marie :)

Inspirational Quotes said...

MashAllah Safiyah, this is a lovely post, and I'm so happy that it was inspired from a quote I put up on my blog. You are spot on, we can't let the hatred others put out into the world, effect us.

Interestingly, I have a post on my other blog about Islam about Muslims and the Media and was wondering what your thoughts might be on it because they are really interesting!
the post: http://islamonlinelearning.blogspot.com/2011/06/muslims-in-media-stereotypes.html

JazakAllah Khair for your kind comments.

Safiyah said...

Thank you! :-) I read your post and commented on it ;-) I'm also following your blog because it seems really interesting, mashaAllah :-)

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