The Value of Faith,Unity & Trust

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

Helen Keller

In pre-modern times, human beings used to live in scattered places and they were dispersed  all over the world. Oblivious of the existence of other societies living in far away lands, each community was living in isolation from each other. Of course this isolated way of living made sense at the time since resources were scarce and hostile groups could strike any time. By living this way they thought that they were protected. Contrary to their belief, their way of life caused various problems for them. They became easy prey, prone to constant attacks by hostile forces as well as wild animals.

Later on people realized the strength in living collectively and that they were safer living in close proximity to each other as that increased their chances of survival and calls for reinforcements.The value of unity to society/nation is not something that is being realized and appreciated now, it actually goes back many generations-maybe it goes back to the beginning of time.

Unity is an integral pillar that keeps people and nations cohesive. A nation that is not united is vulnerable to many forces. It can be easily manipulated and destabilized  by outside forces. Divided they can be easily disintegrated and played against each other. United they are strong and become a force that has to be reckoned with. There is a Somali proverb that says: “ Ilko wadajir bey wax ku gooyaan” literally translated it goes like this: “together the teeth can cut“. The moral of this proverb is that “unity is power”.

Nothing in life is steady. It is like a roller coaster. It has many highs and lows. Through the chaos and unpredictability of life the one thing that can save a person is faith. An individual that doesn’t have faith in something that is greater than him/her can’t simply function effectively. He/she may go with the follow in rosy times but when hard times come – and surely they will, that person will surely crumble emotionally.

True tests in life only come in challenging times. That is when you are emotionally challenged. That is when doubt creeps in your head and your judgment is clouded. You are outside your comfort zone. you are in an unfamiliar territory. At that moment uncertainty becomes the only constant in your life. This is the moment you come to grips with the frailty of being a mortal being. You realize that you can’t find answers and solutions for all the things that you seek to understand and solve.

Hence, this is the moment when faith in a higher power most likely comes to your rescue. If you are a person with faith you will have a better chance of tackling your problems in a balanced manner. You will be more resilient and be in a better position emotionally to manage the situation. You will be able to give your best shot at things and accept your limitations. Even if things don’t go according to your plan you will at least be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Trust also plays a major role in the development of a society. When people have trust in each other, in their leaders and in the system the society becomes more stable. I know trust is an intricate concept as it doesn’t automatically come to us. Like all other things in life, it needs balance and constant fine-tuning. Trust is not just given, it has to be earned. When individuals trust each other, communication becomes effective and straight forward. Similarly, when there is a mutual trust between couples, they tend to understand and cooperate with each other more and as result of that enjoy a healthy relationship.

A dear friend of mine once told me that “your personality is 50% of who you really are and the other 50% is what people think of you”. Today we are in an era where perception is everything. People judge you before they even set an eye on you. If your business and dealings are not honest and are perceived as not trustworthy then you simply lose face and get relegated to the recycle bin of history.Trust is a great facilitator of things. Where there is no trust, there is cynicism. Therefore, we should  try to trust but always trust with care!

The Power of Balance

” We’re flawed because we want so much more. We’re ruined because we get these things and    wish for what we had.”

-Don Draper

If you carefully observe  the earth, heavens and the surroundings in which you live in , you will immediately realize that everything around you is in order and is functioning according to a pre-determined natural order. What may seem chaotic in the beginning may actually be part of a more balanced grand scheme.

Almighty Allah has created everything on earth in opposite pairs so that balance can be maintained . Male-female, day and night, life and death. We may think they are different things but in reality they are all the two sides of the same coin since the existence of one gives value to the existence of the other. We value life and cling on to it because of death. How can you realize the value of light if you haven’t experienced darkness?

There are many things which are good for human beings but if used in excessive manner they all become harmful to us. For instance, when thirsty one must drink water .There is only that much amount of water you need to drink in order to quench your thirsty. If you exceed that level then you know that it will feel weird in your stomach and it is likely that you will throw up as a result. Similarly, death is part of life. If everything was immortal then earth would have been overpopulated and natural resources overburdened and finally drained therefore there has to be death in order to maintain the balance, avoid chaos & destruction and continue the cycle of life.

Every religion understands and appreciates the value of balance. Almighty Allah says in the Holy Quran: “But seek, through that which Allah has given you, the home of the Hereafter; and [yet], do not forget your share of the world. And do good as Allah has done good to you. And desire not corruption in the land. Indeed, Allah does not like corrupters.” Surat Al-Qasas{28:77}

In this Ayat you can clearly see the balance that Allah is talking about. He is saying that we should worship him and do good deeds in order to deserve heaven in the hereafter which is the eternal home yet we should never forget about our share in this world since we are his vicegerents on earth and have a responsibility. yet, I always encounter many people who strongly believe that this world is not for them and is a world that is made for the unbelievers.

In order to protect the balance of power Allah has ensured that there will be no one supreme power on earth since it will lead to tyranny, oppression and injustice on earth. Through out history there hasn’t been one single supreme power!. When the Roman Empire was at it’s peak there was the Persian Empire which challenged their authority. Today the U.S is the undisputed Hyperpower in the world but it’s power is not limitless as there are other powerful nations such as China and Russia who limit its movements.

Balance is an integral part of nature but it is one of the most challenging things to achieve. A wise man who was a taxi driver once said to me that” human beings are never truly happy with any state of their lives “.I believe his expression was a true reflection of the moods of our times. Everyone wants more than they already have. We are advised to never be soft but instead be kind. What defines us as human beings is our ability to express our emotions yet being very emotional clouds our judgments and perspective on things. We are also encouraged to be generous but never be frugal. The list is unending but one thing is clear from these statements.

It is obvious now that the key to solving all the above paradoxes is ‘balance’. I think the reason we are facing so many challenges these days is because we have lost our perspective on the power of balance. We should all embrace the spirit in the power of balance. We should all strive to achieve balance in our thoughts and actions because a balanced life is life well lived.