Wisdom In Taking Action
We are shocked by various heartbreaking tragedies occurring on an almost daily basis. Some people today seem to have lost their sense of mercy and have become cruel.
In a recent report, a seven-year-old girl suffered burns on her lips because she was forced to drink boiling water by her stepmother.
Prior to that, a nine-year-old girl died after being abused by her father and stepmother.
Have these cruel human beings who abuse children lost their reasoning and sanity, when they have actually been blessed with intelligence by Allah SWT?
The ability to reason is a gift from Allah SWT to mankind, enabling us to distinguish ourselves from other beings.
‘Reasoning’ is the basis of obligation (taklif). With reasoning, we can distinguish between good and bad, sin and reward.
Reasoning places human beings either as a dignified and noble creature, or as a dishonourable being even lesser than animals.
As declared by Allah SWT in Surah Al-Isra', verse 70:“And We have certainly honoured the children of Adam and carried them on the land and sea and provided for them of the good things and preferred them over much of what We have created, with [definite] preference.”
According to al-Nasafi, in his interpretation, he explained that the believers are nobler in the eyes of Allah SWT when compared even to Angels.
The Angels were ordered to be obedient, and they had an intellect without reasoning.
Animals are given desires without reasoning. Human beings, on the other hand, have reasoning and desires.
A human being whose reasoning dominates over his desires is nobler than the angels. A human being whose desires dominate over reasoning is worse than the animals.
In the Al-Qur'an, verses pertaining to reasoning and thinking are often repeated, such as, contemplation (tafakkur), reflection (tadabbur), to ponder (tafaqquh), example (i'tibar) and wisdom (ta'aqqul) to show the importance and magnitude of reason.
Islam celebrates reasoning, because only with proper reasoning would someone's mind be able to understand something well.
Islam places a special position on reasoning. Among them are the following:
First: Reasoning is among the five important foundational goals that must be preserved as Maqasid al-Shariah other than religion, soul, property and lineage.
Second: Islam recognises reasoning as one of the key requirements of obligation and accountability. Children who have not yet attained maturity, or a person who does not possess reasoning (namely having an unsound mind), is relieved of his obligation in carrying out the responsibilities of the Shari'at.
In a hadith recorded by Abu Dawood, as narrated by Sayidina Ali RA, it was reported that Rasululllah SAW had said:"One is not considered mukallaf (accountable) in three situations; those who are sleeping, a pre-pubescent child, and an unsound mind."
Third: Islam forbids all things that can weaken our mind and reasoning, such as liquor, gambling, music or songs that distract, and so forth, as well as habits or culture that are unacceptable and misguided, or misleading thoughts that can destroy our mind.
Those who have improperly utilised their senses are reprimanded by Allah SWT. They are described as similar to livestock, or worse than that.
Among the things to be aware of before starting any action are:
First: The mind is unable to act wisely without guidance received through revelation. Intellect alone cannot be relied upon. Reasoning requires the guidance of revelations, and both need each another.
Al-Imam Al-Ghazali has likened reasoning to the eyes, while revelation is akin to light. Without the eyes, the light cannot be seen. Similarly, without the light, the eyes cannot see. Reasoning and revelation, when combined, is light beyond light.
Second: Thinking before doing something is a wise step in relation to action. The Malay saying ‘due to careless speech, we suffer the consequences' is a reminder to us before we say anything. Indeed, it is true that words can destroy us.
Hence, stay away from articles on social media that can invite defamation, harassment, and degrade your dignity.
Remember, slander is fire, poison and cancer that can bring about a variety of destruction, accidents and strife either against self, family, country or religion.
Third: A person’s deed will reflect on him, showing whether he is wise or not. Therefore, we need to be aware of all our deeds, beginning with intention, speech and action.
According to Islam, the heart is the centre of virtue and evil for the human being. When the heart is good, then the body will be good, and vice versa.
We are able to display good deeds externally, although deep inside, we may desire other things. On the contrary, when we are virtuous inside, then the whole body would follow.
In a hadith recorded by al-Bukhari, from a narration by al-Nu'man ibn Bashir RA, Rasulullah SAW was reported to have said: “Beware! There is an organ in the body whereby if it becomes good the whole body becomes good but if it becomes spoilt then the whole body becomes spoilt, and that is the heart.”
To end the sermon today, here are some conclusions for us to reflect upon:
First: Our intellect is the basis of obligation, and a gift of Allah SWT to mankind, which helps to distinguish us from all other beings. With intellect and reasoning, we can distinguish between good and bad, sins and rewards.
Second: Every action, be it good or bad, reflects upon the character of a person, whether he is wise or not. Therefore, human beings need to be concerned about their deeds, which starts with intention, speech and action.
Third: Wisdom in action is to utilize the senses bestowed by Allah SWT upon us in the best way possible.
Allah SWT declared in Surah Al-A'raf, verse 179: “And We have certainly created for Hell many of the jinn and mankind. They have hearts with which they do not understand, they have eyes with which they do not see, and they have ears with which they do not hear. Those are like livestock; rather, they are more astray. It is they who are the heedless.”