Sunday, May 15, 2016

Chapter 34 – Uplift Those Below You

Chapter 34, Part 1 – Uplift Those Below You

During this lesson we discussed what the following aya says to us:

Sura 16; Aya 71:

God has bestowed more resources on some of you than on others: yet they who are more abundantly favored are often unwilling to share their gifts with those who are under their authority so that they might be equal in this respect. What! Will they, then deny that these favors are from God?

While there are many opportunities in life, all of us cannot take advantage of them equally. That is because some people are born in better circumstances, some people are more intelligent than others, some people are more resilient than others and so on. What this aya tells us is that while this “unequal state of things” among us is and will continue to be a fact of our lives and that the world is that way for a particular reason, it means that it is expected of those who are better situated in life to share with others, that is, to teach those who need coaching so that they can be equipped with tools to succeed, to provide financial help to those who are in need, or both. Those who do this understand the purpose behind what God is continually saying to us in this and many other ayas where he exhorts us to help one another. By helping others in whatever capacity we can, we understand that we are interconnected and depend, first of all on God, and then on others whose help we used to get to where we are in life: in order to survive, we need millions of people who produce food to bring that food to us; to get a job we have, we depend on schools where we are given knowledge that’s been condensed in books we read and which books contain compilations of knowledge accumulated through centuries.

By thinking deeply about what God is saying in this aya, we should eventually come to the very logical conclusion that we must help because we wouldn’t be here unless we were helped every step of our way. Our faith deepens and we reach higher levels of understanding once we do this because by doing the act of helping, it means we understood the true meaning behind God’s words. He promises us that it will only bring us closer to attaining a happy state.

Some of the thoughts that came to mind to those present during this lesson include: We are freed from the ego and experience a great expansion when we realize who we are (i.e., that we have been greatly blessed by God in many areas of life and have His divine spirit within us).The principle underlying giving is a spiritual one that states that we will receive abundance the more we give. If we worry about whether the other person will reciprocate, we are trapped in a small experience, away from God's stream of abundance. In order for spiritual growth to happen, we must “uncondition” ourselves, unlearn what we have learned, what we believe from our previous lives. All limiting beliefs can be unlearned. Quran always says: Give out of what We have given you. Everything that happens is from God and everything that we have is from God. You become one with the spirit if you give, you become part of the stream. The basic premise of the Quran is that God is Most Compassionate and Merciful. We are born in this stream and can be uplifted by it. The stream/God uplifts those who uplift others. Then you become an agent of God, but if you withhold it, you are outside this stream. We will never feel isolated or alone if we think of being part of this stream. Everything is from the Mercy of God. It is part of this stream. For example, if we read a good book and learn something from it, it is from the Mercy of God. Spend time to think about specific ways in which you are blessed. Do it regularly, for a long time. You will internalize this idea and will always feel blessed. By doing this, we eliminate the rust in our hearts (there is no shine because there is rust in the hearts). Then, we will always be happy, no matter what is happening outside. A good teacher will want you to be as good as he is. You want to make others equal to you, give them what you have. There is no limit to how far to mentor or encourage someone. You are a leader only if you are a servant. We benefit if we implement what we know within our own circle of influence. Unless we make something a habit, we don't do it: Make gratitude a habit. Opposite of gratitude is complaining. If you learn to be grateful, you won't need to ask for something because you will get a flood of abundance.
Summary by Alma Subasic

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