Youthful Reflections on Faith

Posts tagged ‘Rewards’

LIFE is a test

The reality of this life is that it is a test upon test upon test.

And we may not particularly like taking tests due to the stress and anxiety attached to it. As well as the long hours of preparation and planning and hard work which is against man’s nature which loves ease and leisure.

But we usually work harder to get outstanding grades in such tests, isn’t that right?

And better yet we still go ahead to take dozens and even hundreds of tests due to the hope or promise of something better and more rewarding. That, which will serve as a prize for all the time and effort invested.

Whether this prize is a better job or a job promotion; a new qualification, gaining a desired admission for a course of study or for personal development and self fulfilment. We crave a prize after the test. Or simply seek some ease after the gruelling practice.

With life, it isn’t much different. Every day we meet hurdles in the form of humans or systems or technology. We get red light signals all around, slowing down our pace or forcing us to a hard stop.

What can we do?

Either get working or resign to doing nothing and face the negative consequences.

In choosing to work, it’s about striving to excel in the test(s) – both in intention and daily actions. If after that determination, we still fail or perform below expectations then we take our lessons and move on knowing that at least we did our best. At least, now we are strapped with valuable knowledge of how to perform better in the next test whenever it comes along.

These tests come in various degrees and modes. Examples are:

– Family crisis

– Work issues

– Business/ Financial difficulties

– Study related stress

Р Health problems

– Emotional disturbances and many others.

They are simply bumps on this journey of life. Some huge and scary looking, others smaller or even barely noticeable.

With faith, we can enjoy the ride despite the bumps. Our knowledge and submission serving as protective seatbelts. And our understanding and actions we take – a great shock absorber.

Just as nothing beats good preparation and planning for an offline/online test so will the tests in our lives require similar skills.

With practice, reflection and reviewing, the materials get more familiar. And as a bonus, we gain better coping skills and worthy results.

The journey of life will surely get busier, and different tests surrounding each stage. Only a faith.i.fied driver will enjoy the journey to the end with fulfilment and everlasting reward.

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In the footsteps of a Billionaire

An article on a young African Billionaire caught my attention, so out of curiosity I read it thinking it will typically detail the size of his mansions, number of planes/cars as well as favourite vacation spots. Surprisingly none of that was mentioned. What I read about instead was the story of a 31 year old entrepreneur who lived a life of hard work & integrity.

English: Footsteps in the south My footsteps i...

English: Footsteps in the south My footsteps in the snow on footpath from the road at Dunstall Common, to the north the path enters the southern end of Croome Park. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With issues such as sustainability high on his goals, his passion is to bring about positive change in the society and especially in the lives of young people. And so, his work and life is directed towards having a big and long lasting social impact; Beyond just making money. His was a story full of lessons for every person – from whatever age group, profession or background.

The story reminded me of the Billionaire who lived during the time of our beloved Prophet (Peace be upon him), AbdurRahman Ibn Awf. A wealthy but humble companion; He migrated to a new land РMadina without his wealth, and worked hard refusing to accept handout and easy money. His hangout was the market place.

The fruits of his hard work, integrity and faith was seen throughout his lifetime in the form of blessed wealth, concern for the people and the greatest reward – promise of paradise. He was one of the ten companions promised paradise. He contributed actively to the society, and gave much just as he earned much.

What better reward can we hope for, in this life and in the next!

Only a few leave their footsteps in the sands of time. For those who do, we have important lessons to take.

1. Hard work: Never stop working hard. Work hard seeking for pure wealth, for Allah is pure and accepts only that which is pure.

2. Give back: Charity and other contributions to society never decreases wealth or knowledge, rather it benefits all including the giver & improves general relations.

3. Strive for balance: Life is temporary, so the wise ones seek for the best of the hereafter by means of what is best in the temporary world.

As the billionaire asked himself, ”How much am I really worth?”, ”How much have I given back?”; so must we all question ourselves.

Passion, hard work, selflessness, giving, having a worthy vision, making an impact & changing one’s mindset to that of success, cannot be found in a bank account, wallet or bank card.

Rather they all dwell in the heart and soul and is accessible to everyone in undue measures.

The final Sunset

Just as the sun sets each day, ushering in stillness and darkness and signifying the end of yet another day; so will the sun set on the soul of every living person.

What comes next depends on our striving and actions between the time of sun rising in our lives to its sunset. Will it be simply dark and frightening or bright and rewarding?

An eternal abode of rest and dwelling in which rich promises flow, that is our dream. The end will surely come, it’s only a matter of when. Yet that knowledge lies with no man except with the Creator.

Beeba turned 92 just over 5 months ago. Her sweet smile and repetitive conversation became a norm for all those who visited her regularly. She talked about how she was no longer able to go into her green house, and to do any gardening as she used to many years ago.

She was no longer able to cook but would eat meals prepared by her children and grandchildren especially the Chinese takeaways brought to her frequently by her son. Beeba always looked forward to those family visits where she could be with the entire family, listening to their jokes & sharing stories from the past – especially those about her late husband.

It came as an unexpected turn of events when sweet Beeba collapsed in the middle of one afternoon. She went off her feet never to walk again. In the short space of less than two weeks, the sun set for Beeba leaving her family in sadness and darkness. The permanent end had surely come, not subject to any further decisions. The clock of her life had stopped ticking & time stopped – never to be reversed.

What comes next is part of the unknown, but a sweet promise for those who prepared for it with faith. The resulting consequences awaits all, for better or worse!

It is worth reflecting where we will be when the end comes.

What will that final deed be & what awaits each soul beyond the sunset?

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