A timely reminder.
See that pale blue dot?
Consider again that dot. That’s here, that’s home, that’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.
Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark.
– Carl Sagan (Source)
His agnostic inclinations notwithstanding, the man’s got a point here.
In my opinion, it is important for us, humanity, to be reminded of just how tiny a corner of the universe we occupy. There are far too many people still who give short shrift to our Creator, Allah (swt). How grateful we should be to Him, who cares for us, watching over us and providing us sustenance and guidance, as we hurtle through the immense deep black of space.
But look at yourself. Your Islam which you wear like clothes is torn and dirty. Your heart is ignorant. Your existence is nothing but trouble and stress. But you put on the airs of a king, holding a book in your hand whose pages are black. While you have no care or love, you imagine that you care and love. Your beloved is only the phantom of this world. Right under your foot is the grave. The hereafter is a step away. Be aware. Now. There is no time.
From Abu Hurairah (RA), the Prophet PBUH said:
مَا نَقَصَتْ صَدَقَةٌ مِنْ مَالٍ وَمَا زَادَ اللَّهُ عَبْدًا بعَفْوٍ إِلَّا عِزًّا وَمَا تَوَاضَعَ أَحَدٌ لِلَّهِ إِلَّا رَفَعَهُ اللَّهُ
“Charity does not decrease wealth. The servant who shows forgiveness, is awarded with dignity. And the one who shows humility, Allah grants him nobility.”
(Al-Nawawi’s elaboration here.)
Came across this clever poster. Granted it’s rather simplified, but the message is clear.
You won’t be able to stop them,
but you can protect yourself.
The One who created you knows more about your well-being.
No prizes for guessing what the wrapper refers to.
The first caliph, Sayyidina أبو بكر رضي الله عنه, gave a solid piece of advice on, urm, advice:
إذا وَعَظتَ فَأَوجِز، فَإِنَّ كَثرَةَ الكَلام يُنسي بَعْضَهُ بعضاً
“If you give advice, be concise. The more the words, the more will be forgotten.”
From المِقدامِ بنِ مَعْدِ يكَرِبَ, the Prophet (SAW) says:
مَا مَلأَ آدَمِيٌّ وِعَاءً شَرًّا مِنْ بَطْنٍ، بِحَسْبِ ابْنِ آدَمَ أكَلاَتٌ يُقِمْنَ صُلْبَهُ، فَإِنْ كَانَ لاَ مَحَالَةَ، فَثُلُثٌ لِطَعَامِهِ، وَثُلُثٌ لِشَرَابِهِ، وَثُلُثٌ لِنَفَسِهِ
“There is no worse vessel for the son of Adam to fill than his stomach. A few mouthfuls is enough for the son of Adam to keep his back straight. If he has no way [but to fill it] then allow one-third for food, one-third for drink, and one-third for air.”
– al-Tirmidzi, Ahmad, Ibn Majah, al-Hakim
Yes, you can stand up straight with just a few mouthfuls. How apt, especially in this current economic situation.