Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Thinking about the choices we make

Whether we realize it or not, we are faced with options everyday.

We choose whether to take the bus or the train, to wake up early or late, to eat in or eat out, etc. The examples above are relatively easy to choices to make.

However, there are also times when we are faced with difficult ones, choices that will alter our way of life, such as when we are faced to choose a career, choose a partner in life (husband or wife), choose to have children or not, choose to do good or bad, choose a religion, etc. Even though we have made extensive research, there is still a large possibility that we become unsatisfied with the choices we make, and think that we've taken the wrong options.

So how do we know that we've made the right choices or not? Well, at the time we take the choice, we don't know for sure. All we can do is have confidence (hey, we've done our research right?), take the consequences and what is equally important, is to pray that our choices are correct and that whatever happens is for the best.

The maze of choices in life

Our life is like a maze with many right paths. Each choice we make contributes towards where we end up. But we have to beware that there are also dead ends. So pay attention to the clues and signs that might randomly show up. As in a maze, we can sometimes get lost in this world with all its offerings and glitters, which we should be aware of. For Muslims, we are lucky to be obliged to pray and be reminded for at least 17 times every day in our prayers to stay in the right path, "shiraathal ladziina an'amta 'alaihim", at least to protect our awareness.

May we all be guided on the path of righteousness, and be blessed with whatever choices we make in life.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Being grateful

I bet that everyone wants better things from what they have. Better earnings, better looks, better career, better computer, better car, better brain, better this, better that, better life...

Well let me tell you that it's perfectly human. One would always want better things from what one has. I guess we humans are cursed (and blessed) with this trait. It makes us progressive beings, who always seek for what is best.

Unfortunately, there are times when this trait makes us envious towards what other people have. And in turn make us ungrateful for what we ALREADY have. I know the feeling because I often experience it. If it gets too chronic and gets a hold on me, I become unfocused and spend a lot of energy on it (being envious and daydreaming takes quite an amount of energy you know...).

Anyway, the cure for envy is to be grateful for what we have. We often forget that the small details that God has given us are actually BIG blessings. The fact that we still have perfectly functional eyes to read this post is one of them. Having perfect hands to type with, having the luxury of internet connection, having the money to eat properly 3 times a day (sometimes more), being able to breath and all the little things that somehow slip our mind are all BIG blessings.

Being able to witness God's marvels are only one of the many blessings He has given us

Rather than looking up, try to look down to others that aren't as lucky as us. Say Alhamdulillahirabbil 'alamiin. "Praise be to Allah the lord of the worlds." And pledge ourselves to help those who are less lucky than us.

I hope we can all be grateful for the blessings that are given to us, and have tranquility in our hearts.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Our motives

Everything we do must have a reason, a motive behind it.

Our typical modern lives force our motivation to be dedicated to our family, career, money, hobby, lust, etc. And it is very difficult to create balance between them (for me anyway). There are also times where we get torn between our priorities, get obsessed into something and end up making a decision we regret. Furthermore, there might also be people who neglect common sense in order to pursue their ambition or motive, in the cost of other people.

In Islam, we are ordered to say Bismillahirahmaanirrahiim whenever we want to do anything. It is the opening verse of the Qur'an, which has meaning: "by the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful". By saying this, we pledge ourselves in Allah's path, and all other motives blend and harmonize with it. We are ordered to do our best to become blessing for the universe, and to be beneficial for other people. It is supposed to create balance in our lives, and in turn make us better and happier people.

Nowadays, a lot of Muslims do not realize the philosophy behind "bismillahirahmaanirrahiim". They just say it as a formality, as a good luck charm, or just as a custom. This is far beyond what the sentence really means, and thus does not create the impact it is supposed to create.

I hope we are all given the wisdom and knowledge to grasp the best motivation to carry in our lives...

The purpose

As can be deduced from the title, this blog is dedicated to try to understand the Quran. I'm going to be using simple analogy and words for doing it. I believe that when we read the Quran (or any other books) with a clear heart and positive mind, we will find the beauty in what we read. Anyway, I am going to do my best to articulate what I can learn and find interesting. I believe there are many Muslims out there who don't fully understand what is written in the Quran (including myself), and others that are just curious about what is written in it.

Hopefully we can gain knowledge and better understanding on the Holy Quran, and share it with everyone else...