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Two Goals 15 September 2008

Posted by MOZAFFAR in Misc.
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In our lives there are only two goals of any use. All else in our lives should be in the service of one or the other of the goals. They are goals that few Muslims will ever deny, yet so many — including so many scholars and so, so many activists — tend to disregard as either “a given” or as an obstacle.

1- Seeking the Hereafter.

2- Seeking God.

The two obviously overlap, but they are not the same.

Even when we engage in behaviors that seem to depart from the goal, that departure should be calculated to help support the goal. Meaning, sometimes we need to take a vacation from some work, so as to recharge ourselves to work harder when we return.

Almost all of our other goals can be categorized under one umbrella: seeking the world. Usually, we are seeking ownership, companionship, longevity or simply the sense of seeing fruits of our labor.

Even ascetics are often seeking the world. They are seeking to detach themselves from the material attractions of the world, in order to taste of the seemingly intangible attractions of the world, but these attractions are attractions of the world no less. A mystic who is “renouncing the world” is not renouncing the world. Rather, s/he is often renouncing the material draw of the world.

There are, of course, many virtuous goals within this umbrella of seeking the world. The seeking of justice is a virtuous goal. The seeking of the fulfillment of another person’s needs is virtuous. We call these works, “good deeds.” Now, if we shift the intentions of these good deeds to focus on either of the real goals, then we have a different picture entirely.

We seek to establish justice so as to provide an environment in which a person can most easily also seek the Hereafter or seek God. Or, we might seek to fulfill the needs of others, meaning, we might give so as to further cleanse our own souls in our quest for God.

Think about it. Everything else is fleeting and temporary.

And Allah knows best.

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