On December 12th, 2016 during our regular meetings in the New York City, we discussed Chapter 42 of The Quran and The Life of Excellence, which is based on the following ayas:
Sura 16, Ayas 120-123:
Abraham was indeed a role model, obedient to God, true in faith, and he joined not gods with God.
He was grateful for the favors of God; He selected him and guided him to a straight path.
And We gave him the best in the world, and in the hereafter, he will be among the worthy.
So We have taught you this inspired message, “Follow the way of Abraham the true in faith, and he joined not gods with God.”
These ayas are teaching us the most important lessons we need to internalize in order to reach the goal every believer is looking to reach: that of being rightly guided.
God is telling us not to join gods with Him. Looking at our lives today, we need to be careful about allowing influences of this world to overwhelm us. We need to examine our lives and look to avoid giving people around us, our family, our jobs, and our bosses power over us.
These ayas also teach us whom God guides: those who are grateful to Him. This means that it is of utmost importance that we spend some time every day expressing our gratitude to God. But before we can express that gratitude, it is important to think about what we are grateful for. If we truly focus our attention on the many favors God has granted us, we will begin to see that we really have so much to be thankful for as we begin to realize that we cannot move one step nor think a single thought without so many things coming together within our bodies to make it so. Consistent and regular thanks will, in time, help us reach our goal of being rightly guided. That was God’s promise to us.
Our prophet Abraham was one of those who was rightly guided and when God describes him to us to give us a true example to follow, He doesn’t tell us what Abraham looked like or where he lived or what he did for a living because none of those things matter when it comes to living a life worthy of God’s attention. Therefore, the idea is to understand the principle of what makes one a role model as opposed to copying the role model’s external behavior. The copying of the prophet’s external behavior limits us because we live in a different time and place.
Summary by Alma Subasic