Aspiring needs to be corrected stronger than desiring to be consistent.
~ Journeying the Victory With Destination Realized ~
By Sarah Jacobsson Purewal
Holographic TV Coming Your Way in 2017
Don’t get that 3D HDTV yet! The fastest motion-hologram technology has just been developed!
Step aside, fancy 3D HDTVs with your expensive “shutter glasses”–new breakthroughs in holographic 3D technology mean that we could see real, glasses-free 3D TVs in the next seven to ten years.
Previously, the only thing (okay, one of the only things) that was stopping us from sending Princess Leia-type messages across the universe in an R2D2 was the fact that we couldn’t make holograms with refresh rates quick enough to convey movement. Well, that’s changed–a research team at the University of Arizona has developed a system that can render an image in near real-time and update the image every two seconds, which is pretty darn close to real-time (well…considering).
In 2008, the same team presented an updateable holographic 3D display that was capable of recording and displaying images every few minutes. The display could then last for several hours without needing to be refreshed, but was sensitive to ambient noise (vibration and air turbulance), as well as thermal expansion, and so needed to be fully enclosed on an air damped optical table.
The new technology features a quicker refresh rate (two seconds) and thus no longer needs to last for several hours without refresh.
In order to create this quickly-refreshing holograph, the team uses 16 regular cameras to focus on a single object. The images are then sent, via Ethernet, to a computer, which reconstructs them into a 3D holographic image. The computer sends this information to a 50Hz nanosecond pulsed laser, which shoots holographic pixels called hotels onto a plastic screen (or “photorefractive polymer material”). The screen reacts to the laser and stores the image.
If you’re wondering what’s changed since 2008–why this new technology can now refresh at a much quicker rate–it’s a combination of the laser (which is now much quicker, with pulses in the nanosecond range), and the new screen (which is optimized for sensitive exposure, instead of durability).
So what does this mean for 3D–I mean, holographic–TV of the future?
Well, according to the researchers: these new, quick refresh rates mean that soon technology will be good enough to develop 3D holographic TVs for the consumer market, probably within the next seven to ten years.
[via Ars Technica and Nature]
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The internet’s twist of faith
Author Jeff Jarvis says owning pipelines, people, products or intellectual property is no longer the key to success – openness is.
No, it’s a little web-based game that McGonigal created called SuperBetter. There are, to date, no large-cohort longitudinal studies showing that SuperBetter makes you live 10 years longer, but then a TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) talk is all about attention-grabbing truthiness, not truthe.
Ted talks are lavishly produced speeches, lasting 18 minutes at most, that provide the assembled digerati with a nugget-sized “takeaway”: ideas as fast food. A TED talk takes the form of a collection of stories tied together by an intriguingly stupid marquee title, forming a tight video-bolus of anti-thought that is then linked around by web enthusiasts.
Media critic Jay Rosen sneers at publishing institutions by pasting to them the epithet ‘legacy’: ‘legacy newsroom’, ‘legacy media’.
Like every other era, our internet age turns out to have its own class of booster gurus. They are the “cybertheorists”, embedded reporters of the social network, dreaming of a perfectible electronic future and handing down oracular commandments about how the world must be remade. As did many religious rebels before them, they come to bring not peace, but a sword. Change is inevitable; we must abandon the old ways.
Yet the cybertheorists are a corporatist species of the Leninist class: they agitate for constant revolution but the main beneficiaries will be the big technology companies before whose virtual image they prostrate themselves.
There is now a class of gurus intent on “disrupting” old-fashioned practices. For instance, asking us to pay for valuable content. At the same time, the web giants such as Google and Apple are jealously guarding their profitable secrets.
Cybertheorists’ jargon often betrays an adolescent hatred of the world in which they find themselves. New York media critic Jay Rosen, a prominent “future of news” cyber-guru, takes care at every opportunity to sneer at publishing institutions by pasting to them the epithet “legacy”: “legacy newsrooms”, “legacy media”. Another favourite cyber-adjective is “disruptive”. For most of us, disruption is annoying, but for cyber-swamis the more disruptive of established practices technology becomes, the more exciting it is.
In 2009, journalist Jeff Jarvis, another American new-media cyber-quack, wrote in his tract What Would Google Do?: “Education is one of the institutions most deserving of disruption.” (The tone of resentful loathing is cyber-typical.)
What form might such exciting disruption take? The start-up Coursera, for one, promises to transform university teaching by offering lectures on snippets of web video and getting students to mark each other’s work. If you are a cybertheorist, this wheeze is a brilliant plan to leverage peer networks; if you are anyone else, it’s a brilliant plan to offload more of the labour of education on to learners.
Another purported quality of Coursera is that it is “open”, as everything must now be. The cyber-credo of “open” sounds so liberal and friendly that it is easy to miss its remarkable hypocrisy. The big technology companies that are the cybertheorists’ beloved exemplars of the coming world order are anything but open. Google doesn’t publish its search algorithm; Apple is notoriously secretive about its product plans; Facebook routinely changes its users’ privacy options. Apple, Google and Amazon are all frantically building proprietary “walled-garden” content utopias for profit.
“Open-source” software, on the model of the Linux operating system, used to be the cyber-theorists’ prime example of why open would always beat closed. Yet, for all the admirable successes of open-source software (especially in industrial applications), closed commercial software and services still dominate. Even Google’s open-source Android smartphone operating system is, for the majority of customers, experienced as a customised and re-closed version on phones made by Samsung, HTC and Sony.
“Owning pipelines, people, products or even intellectual property is no longer the key to success,” Jarvis wrote in 2009. “Openness is.” What is now the company with the highest market valuation on earth? Apple, which sells physical products, jealously guards its patent hoard and is about as “open” as Fort Knox.
Only the most black-hearted of cynics could suppose that it is in a cybertheorist’s interest to lecture media companies that they must be “open” so the technology companies for which he acts as a useful idiot can happily hoover up all their data free of charge and monetise it.
The genius of Coursera’s plot to “disrupt” university teaching can, if you like, be imbibed through the medium of a TED talk.
Jane McGonigal’s glib vision of using multiplayer video games to solve global problems, as articulated in her book Reality Is Broken is, in a way, just the zaniest new application of another omni-relevant cyber-meme: the wisdom of crowds.
James Surowiecki’s 2004 book of that title was relatively careful and there are some interesting wisdom-of-crowds effects. (For example, if you ask lots of people to guess the number of jelly beans in a jar, the arithmetical mean of all the guesses will be surprisingly accurate.)
Since then, however, cyber-thinkers have run with the wisdom-of-crowds notion to a place that bears little resemblance to reality as we know it, high-fiving each other among the rubble of reason in a fatuous kind of hi-tech, misanthropic herd-worship.
It can now seriously be proposed that there are occasions when “the smartest person in the room is the room”, as the subtitle of the cybertheorist David Weinberger’s book Too Big to Know, published early in 2012, claims. Its weirdly self-undermining idea (perfect for a TED talk) is that books are outdated and useless ways of organising “information” and the sum total of information is now so overwhelming that we may as well throw up our hands and concede that “the network” knows better than we do.
If Weinberger’s thesis were correct, his book would be disposable, because a random cohort of bloggers could be expected to come up with something far superior in a few weeks. Weinberger’s book is also cyber-typical for its pseudo-democratic hatred of any kind of expertise, and its cartoonish intellectual history, in the service of pretending our age is utterly novel. “The internet,” he opines grandly, “enables groups to develop ideas further than any individual could.” So have writing and talking, since time immemorial.
It is surprising how often Wikipedia is cited as a paradigm of communal “knowledge creation”, given that it explicitly bans the creation of any new knowledge. Its highest law is “no original research”, barring any mention of either “facts” or “ideas” that are not already published elsewhere.
Cybertheorists, in any case, daren’t attempt to distinguish information from knowledge, because to do so would require them to perform the kind of intellectual triage that their rhetorical success depends crucially on avoiding.
A book certainly does contain less information, in terms of the number of bytes needed to encode it, than a video of a sneezing kitten. And if you are a cyber-sage, you are likely to join Weinberger in despising books anyway. Consultant Clay Shirky, the cybertheorist author of 2008’s Here Comes Everybody – a crowd-sourcing manifesto that now reads as a forlorn exercise in boosterism of once-hot internet services such as Flickr – notoriously wrote that same year: “No one reads War and Peace. It’s too long, and not so interesting.”
Books do matter for the cyber-babbler on the make – it’s just that they matter in a different way. Jarvis told this inspirational story in the acknowledgements of his most recent book, Public Parts, published in the US last year: “[Seth] Godin is to blame for my writing books. He sat me down one day and said I was a fool if I didn’t write one – and I would further be a fool if I thought that the book was the goal. No, he said, the book would build my public reputation, which would lead to other business. It has.”
There you go: if you write a book with the book as the goal, you are a fool. A book’s correct function is that of a business card that gets you invited to where the real action is. Anyone who thinks literature, thought and argument are noble pursuits in themselves is an idiot This is the proud yawp of the ultramodern Philistine.
It may be accounted by some pedants a failure on the cybertheorists’ part that the world as it is today bears so little relation to their descriptions of it. People still read long Russian novels; the mass market for culture has not been replaced, as we have repeatedly been assured it has over the years, by “niches” (just ask Fifty Shades of Grey author E L James).
Open is not the prevailing model for internet business success. The New York Times now has nearly 600,000 digital subscribers, driving recent rises in circulation, even though cyberdogmatists long swore that an internet pay wall could never work. The term “pay wall” is used as a rancour-evoking sneer, as though one were expressing outrage that one had to pass through a “pay gate” to be allowed to take food out of a shop.
Meanwhile, the cybertheorists celebrate what they euphemistically refer to as the sharing of music and films by people who didn’t buy them, conflating it with sharing as the practice of retweeting a link and with the Oprah-era sense of “sharing” that denotes emotional revelation.
Indeed, sharing is now much sexier than making the stuff that gets shared. In an article published last February headlined “What the media can learn from Facebook”, on which no parodist could hope to improve, Jarvis pontificates on how newspapers ought to imitate Mark Zuckerberg’s business model: “Production is expensive. Sharing is inexpensive and it scales. Facebook will soon serve a billion people with a staff equivalent to that of a large newspaper.” Make the readers do most of the work and – hey presto! – legacy media are transformed into money-printing social media.
As with the notion of sharing, so with “social”: the cybertheorists have adopted a term of presumptive virtue and sprayed on to it a newly etiolated and instrumental meaning.
Social is now a commercial technique to persuade users of digital services to reveal more to potential advertisers about their “networks” of friendship and business contacts and to “connect” such users more intimately with brands by means of a “Like” button – and soon, as recent reports of in-house experiments at Facebook suggest, a “Want” button.
What sells to the cyber-fanatic’s intended audience is ludicrous utopian fantasy, silicon Panglossianism. Bill Leigh, who is the agent for minor cybertheorist Steven Johnson, recently told New York magazine that his client “wanted to take his book sales to the next level” and so decided “to slant his material with a particular innovation feel to it”.
Particularly canny is Makers: the New Industrial Revolution, newly published by über-cybertheorist Chris Anderson, former editor of Wired (not the Chris Anderson who is the controller – or, if you will, “curator” – of the TED talk franchise.) His new book snappily melds its cyber-utopian vision (in the future, we will all make cool things using robots and 3D printers) with geopolitical uplift (this means the US will once again become the globe’s leading industrial powerhouse).
Anderson, who didn’t mind the world knowing that some passages from his earlier book Free ± were simply copied and pasted from Wikipedia entries, is at least a real expert in matters of gadgetry and online empire-building, unlike most of the second-tier cyber-hawkers, many of whom, as Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Dean Starkman put it in a devastating essay about the “future of news” thinkers in the Columbia Journalism Review last year, are “journalism academics known for neither their journalism nor their scholarship”.
Cybertheorists could perhaps be tolerated as harmlessly colourful futurists, were it not that so many of them, through the influence of their consulting work and virtual bully pulpits, are engaged in promoting widespread cultural vandalism.
Whatever smells mustily of the pre-digital age must be torn down, “disrupted” and made anew in the image of Google and Apple, but more open to the digital probings of the internet-company oligopoly. Long live sharing, social reading, volunteering labour as a member of a company’s online “community”, and entrusting your documents to the data-mining mega-corporations that control the “cloud”.
Cybertheorists love to apply the adjective “smart” to one another but, as a group, they are the most prominent anti-intellectual cadre of our day – little Pol Pots of the touchscreen and Twitter.
This is an edited version of a piece that first appeared in The New Statesman.
May Allah give us guidance and save us from the punishment of the grave.
Author: Ahmad Von Denffer | Pages: 59 | Size: 1 MB
`Ulum al-Qur’an: An Introduction to the Sciences of Quran, deals with the traditional subjects such as meaning of revelation, history and transmission of the text, asbab al-nuzul, exegesis, etc. as well as issues of more recent origin, like recording of the Qur’an, orientalists’ views, translations and others. The concluding chapter has valuable practical advice for reading and studying of the Holy Book of Islam.
Author: Mahmood al-Misri | Pages: 41 | Size: 1 MB
“For those of you who wish to embark on the praiseworthy path of memorising Qur’aan, the path which all the scholars and students of knowledge had first taken, this project will insha’Allaah aim to fully translate a very useful (albeit small) book titled ‘Asbaab al-Mu’eena ‘alaa Hifdh al-Qur’aan’ written to ease the memorisation of Qur’aan, containing practical tips as well as verses and ahadeeth speaking of the virtues of hifdh and the huffaadh.” Sister Farhia Yahya has just finished this project of translating this book in English. It’s an excellent resource for anyone who is serious about memorizing the Qur’an and it’s now available to us in English!
Author: Ibn Taymiyyah | Pages: 253 | Size: 35 MB
An explanation to the Du’a of Yunus. The Dua of Dhun-Nun (Yunus) by which he invoked Allah from within the belly of the whale was “There is none worthy of worship except You. You are pure. Verily I am amongst the oppressors.” TMQ Al-Anbiya 21:87 The Prophet (SAW) said about the Invocation of Yunus ‘None who is experiencing difficulty employs it except that Allah would relieve him of his difficulty’ Shaikh ul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah was asked about the dua of yunus and He answers it in the form of this Book. Among the Questions answered include. What is the Meaning of this Dua? Are their any unstated connection between belief in the heart and the meaning of this Supplication? What are the connection between belief in the heart and the meaning of this Supplication such that it leads to the removal of difficulty? What are the Conditions, the Method and many more Questions answered.
[Dhikrullah.com] | Quran |
” So when the Quran is recited, then listen to it and pay attention that you may receive mercy” – [Surah A'raf: 204]
Surah Araf (44-53) by Sheikh Muhammad Luhaidan. Heaven, Hell and Purgatory.
Manshallah! and did you guys notice this is one of the toughest surahs in the quran! may Allah make us ahlul quran! teach us the quran well, and remind …The average human being in the developed world battles sadness and worry on a daily basis. While the majority of the world’s population confront extreme poverty, famine, conflict and despair those of us privileged to lead relatively easy lives must tackle fear, stress, and anxiety. Why are those of us blessed with riches beyond compare immersed in loneliness and desperation? We are living in a time of confusion, we try as we might, yet gathering material possessions can do nothing to mend broken hearts, and shattered souls.
Now, more than at any other time in human kind’s history, stress, anxiety, and psychological problems are taking a tremendous toll on the human condition. Religious beliefs should afford a sense of comfort however; it seems that 21st century man has lost the ability to connect to God. Pondering the meaning of life no longer overcomes a feeling of abandonment. This desire to acquire material possessions, which in some way validates our reason for being, has become the balm that soothes our troubled souls. Why is this so?
We have the best of everything readily available, yet the reality is we have nothing. Nothing that comforts the soul. Beautiful furnishings do not hold our hand in the darkest night. The latest entertainment centre does not wipe our tears or soothe our furrowed brow. Those of us living with pain and grief, or afflicted with hardship feel abandoned. We feel rudderless on an open sea. Huge waves threaten to engulf us at any given moment. Our desires and debts stand at the apex and loom over us, like great avenging angels, and we search for comfort in addictions and self-destructive behaviour.
How do we step away from the precipice? In Islam, the answer is remarkably simple. We turn back to our Creator. God knows what is best for His creation. He has complete knowledge of the human psyche. He knows of the pain, the despair, and the sadness. God is whom we are reaching for in the darkness. When we put God back on our agenda, the pain will subside.
Islam is not a religion filled with empty rituals and hypercritical rules and regulations, although it can seem so if we forget just what our real purpose in life is. We were created to worship God, nothing more and nothing less. However, God, in His infinite mercy and wisdom did not abandon us to this world filled with trials and tribulations. He armed us with weapons. These weapons are more powerful than the arsenals of the great 21st century armies. God gave us the Quran, and the authentic traditions of His Prophet Muhammad.
The Quran is a book of guidance and the traditions of Prophet Muhammad explain that guidance. The religion of Islam is all about making and keeping a connection with God. This is how Islam deals with sadness and worry. When the wave is about to come crashing down or the world begins to spin out of control God is the one stable factor. The biggest mistake a believer can make is to separate the religious and material aspects of his or her life.
When we accept with full submission, that we are no more than slaves of God, put on this earth, to be tried, tested and tempted, life suddenly takes on a completely new meaning. We recognize that God is the one constant in our lives and we recognize that His promise is true. When we are overwhelmed by worry and sadness, relief comes from turning to God. If we live our lives according to His guidance, we gain the means and the ability to overcome any despair. Prophet Muhammad declared that all the affairs of a believer are good.
Indeed amazing are the affairs of a believer! They are all for his benefit. If he is granted ease then he is thankful, and this is good for him. And if he is afflicted with a hardship, he perseveres, and this is good for him.
Islam has the answer to all the problems that afflict humankind. It asks us to look beyond the need for self-gratification, and further still, beyond the need to acquire possessions. Islam reminds us that this life is but a transient pause on the way to life everlasting. The life of this world is but a fleeting moment, sometimes overflowing with moments of great joy and happiness but at other times filled with sadness, sorrow, and despair. This is the nature of life, and this is the human condition.
In the following three articles, we will examine guidance from the Quran and the authentic traditions of Prophet Muhammad in an endeavor to discover just how Islam suggests that we deal with sadness and worry. There are three key points that will allow the believer to free himself from the shackles of 21st century life. They are patience, gratitude, and trust in God. In the Arabic language, sabr, shukr and tawwakul.
 Saheeh Muslim
Sadness and worry are part of the human condition. Life is a series of moments. At the two extremes are joyful moments that make our hearts sing with gladness and dark moments that plunge us into sadness and worry. In between is real life; the highs, the lows, the mundane and boring, the sweetness, and light. It is in these times that the believer must try to establish a connection to God.
The believer must forge a bond that is unbreakable. When the joy of life fills our hearts and minds we must not forget that it is a blessing from God and equally when we are faced with sadness and worry we must realize that this too is from God, even though at first glance we may not see the blessing.
God is the Most Wise and the Most Just. Whatever condition we find ourselves in, and no matter what we are forced to confront, it is imperative that we open our eyes to the fact that God knows what is good for us. Though we shy away from facing our fears and worries, it may be that we hate a thing that is good for us and desire something that can only lead to ruin and damnation.
The life of this world was designed by our Creator to maximize our chances of living a blissful life in the Hereafter. When we face trials, they help us grow and mature into human beings who are able to function effortlessly in this transient world.
God has not abandoned us in face of the temptations and trials we face in this world, He has equipped us with potent weapons. Three of the most important are patience, gratefulness, and trust. The great Islamic scholar of the 14th century CE, Ibnul Qayyim said that our happiness in this life and our salvation in the Hereafter depend on patience.
The Arabic word for patience is sabr and it comes from a root word meaning to stop, detain, or refrain. Ibnul Qayyim explained that having patience meant having the ability to stop ourselves from despairing, to refrain from complaining, and to control ourselves in times of sadness and worry. Prophet Muhammad’s son in law Ali ibn Abu Talib defined patience as “seeking God’s help”.
Whenever we are beset by sadness and worry our first reaction should always be turning to God. By recognizing His Greatness and Omnipotence, we begin to understand that God alone can ease our troubled souls. God Himself advised us to call on Him.
“And (all) the Most Beautiful Names belong to Allah, so call on Him by them, and leave the company of those who belie or deny (or utter impious speech against) His Names.” (Quran 7:180)
Prophet Muhammad encouraged us to call on God by all of His most beautiful names. In his own supplications, he is known to have said, “Oh God, I ask you by every name that You have named yourself, or that You have revealed in Your book, or that You have taught any of Your creation, or that You have kept hidden in the unseen knowledge with Yourself.”
In times of sorrow and stress, contemplating the names of God can bring great relief. It can also help us focus on being calm and patient. It is important to understand that although the believer is encouraged not to thrash about in grief and anguish or to complain about the stresses and problems, he is allowed to turn to God and supplicate to Him and to ask Him for relief.
Human beings are frail. Our tears fall, our hearts break and the pain is sometimes almost unbearable. Even the prophets, whose connection to God was unbreakable, felt their hearts constrict in fear or pain. They too turned their faces to God and begged for relief. However, their complaints were surrounded with pure patience and pure acceptance of whatever fate God had decreed.
When Prophet Jacob despaired of ever seeing his sons Joseph or Benjamin he turned to God, and the Quran tells us that he beseeched God for relief. Prophet Jacob knew that there was no point in raging against the world, he knew that God loves and protects those who are patient.
“He said: ‘I only complain of my grief and sorrow to God, and I know from God that which you know not.’” (Quran 12:86)
Quran also tells us that Prophet Job turned to God begging of His mercy. He was impoverished, stricken with disease, and he lost his family, friends, and livelihood yet he bore all this with patience and forbearance and he turned to God.
“And (remember) Job, when he cried to his Lord, ‘Verily, distress has seized me, and You are the Most Merciful of all those who show mercy.’ So We answered his call, and We removed the distress that was on him, and We restored his family to him (that he had lost), and the like thereof along with them, as a mercy from Ourselves and a Reminder for all who worship Us (God).” (Quran 21: 83-84)
Patience means accepting what is beyond our control. In times of stress and anxiety, being able to surrender to the will of God is a relief beyond measure. This does not mean that we sit back and let life pass by. No! It means that we strive to please God in all aspects of our life, in our work and play, in our family life and in our personal endeavors.
However, when things don’t go the way we planned or the way we wanted, even when it seems that fears and worries are pushing us under, we accept what God has decreed and continue to strive to please Him. Being patient is hard work; it does not always come naturally or easily. Prophet Muhammad, may God praise him, said, “Whoever tries to be patient then God will help him to be patient”.
It becomes easy for us to exercise patience when we realize that it is impossible to count all the blessings God has bestowed upon us. The air we breathe, the sunshine on our faces, the wind through our hair, the rain on the parched earth and the glorious Quran, God’s words to us are all among the innumerable blessings of God upon us. Remembering God and contemplating His greatness is the key to patience, and patience is a key to Paradise everlasting, God’s greatest blessing for the fragile creatures called humankind.
 Ibn Qayyim al jawziyyah, 1997, Patience and gratitude, English translation, United Kingdom, Ta Ha Publishers.
 Ibid. P12
 Ahmad, classified Saheeh by Al Baniv.
 Ibn Qayyim al jawziyyah, 1997, Patience and gratitude, English translation, United Kingdom, Ta Ha Publishers. P15
As fragile human beings, we are often swamped by fears and anxiety. At times sadness and worry threaten to take over our lives. These emotions can become so consuming that we forget our primary purpose in life, which is to worship God. When pleasing God is at the centre of all our thoughts, actions and deeds, then sadness and worry can have no place in our lives.
In the previous article, we discussed about dealing with sadness and worry by striving to be patient. We also talked about counting the blessings God has bestowed upon us as a way of encouraging patience. Another way of overcoming sadness and worry is by being grateful to God for His countless blessings. God explains in the Quran, that true worshippers are those who are grateful and give thanks.
There are many ways to express gratitude. The first and foremost way is to worship God in the manner that He has prescribed. The Five Pillars of Islam were ordained upon us by God and they guide us to worship Him easily. When we fulfill our obligations towards God, just how truly blessed we are becomes obvious.
When we bear witness that, there is no god worthy of worship but Allah and that Muhammad is His final messenger we are being grateful for being blessed with Islam. When a believer prostrates before God in quiet, joyful prayer, we are expressing gratitude. During the fast of Ramadan, we become thankful for food and water by realizing that God provides our sustenance. If a believer is able to make the pilgrimage to the House of God in Mecca, it is indeed a cause for thankfulness. The Hajj journey can be long, difficult, and expensive.
The believer also expresses gratitude by giving charity. Prophet Muhammad, may God praise him, advised his followers to give charity everyday to express gratitude to God for every single joint or faculty in his body. Imam Ibn Rajab, a noted Islamic scholar of the 7th Islamic century said, “Human beings are obligated to give thanks to God every single day for His blessings on them by performing acts of virtue and charity on a daily basis”
If we remember God by reading the Quran and contemplating its meanings, we gain a greater understanding of the life of this world and the hereafter. Consequently, we begin to understand the transient nature of this life and the fact that even the trials and tribulations are blessings from God. God’s wisdom and justice is inherent in even the direst situations.
How often have we heard people with debilitating diseases or terrible disabilities thank God for their conditions, or speak about pain and suffering bringing blessings and goodness into their lives? How often have we listened to others speak about horrific experiences and ordeals, yet continue to thank God?
In times of sadness and worry, when we are feeling alone and distressed, God is our only refuge. When sadness and worry become unbearable, when there is nothing left but, stress, fear, anxiety, and misery, we instinctively turn to God. We know His words are true, we know His promise is true!
God knows the wisdom behind why good things happen to bad people, or why bad things happen to good people. In general, whatever causes us to turn to God is good and we should be grateful for it. In times of crisis, people are drawn closer to God, whereas in times of comfort we often forget from where the comfort originated. God is the Provider and He is the Most Generous. God wants to reward us with life everlasting and if pain and suffering can guarantee Paradise, then trials and tribulations are a blessing. Prophet Muhammad, may God praise him, said, “If God wants to do good to somebody, He afflicts him with trials.”
Prophet Muhammad also said, “No misfortune or disease befalls a Muslim, no worry or grief or harm or distress – not even a thorn that pricks him – but God will expiate for some of his sins because of that.” We are imperfect human beings. We can read these words, we can even understand the sentiment behind them, but acknowledging the wisdom behind every situation and being grateful for our trials is very difficult. It is much easier to fall into sadness and worry. However, God, the Most Merciful, gives us clear guidelines and promises two things, if we worship Him and follow His guidance we will be rewarded with Paradise and that with hardship comes ease.
This verse is part of a chapter of the Quran revealed when difficulties in Prophet Muhammad’s mission were weighing him down and causing him distress. The words of God comforted and reassured him just as they comfort us today. God reminds us that with hardship comes ease. Hardship is never absolute; it is always accompanied by ease. For that, we should be grateful. For that, we need to express our gratitude.
We must accept the trials, triumphs, and tribulations that are part of being alive. Each one of them, from the highest highs to the lowest lows is a blessing from God. A blessing designed uniquely for each individual person. When we are overcome by sadness or worry we must turn to God, strive to be patient and grateful and put our trust in God. For God is the most trustworthy. By trusting Him, we can overcome any moment of anxiety and conquer any sadness or worry that tries to creep into our lives.
 Testimony of faith, Prayer, Fasting in Ramadan, Compulsory charity, Pilgrimage.
 Saheeh Bukhari
 Saheeh Bukhari
As we move into the new century, those of us privileged to live above the poverty line are faced with a unique set of challenges. We have food enough to eat, shelter from the elements and most of us can even afford life’s little luxuries. Physically we have all that we need, but spiritually and emotionally, we are bereft. Our minds are filled with sadness and worry. Stress and anxiety mount. As we gather possessions, we wonder why we are not happy. As we embark on yet another holiday we feel alone and desperate.
A life that is far removed from God is a sad life indeed. No matter how much money we accumulate, or how grand our house is, if God is not the centre of our lives then happiness will elude us forever. True happiness can only be found when we at least attempt to fulfil our purpose in life. Human beings exist to worship God. God wants us to be happy, in this life and in the Hereafter and He has given us the key to real happiness. It is not a secret or a mystery. It is not an enigma or a puzzle, it is Islam.
The religion of Islam explains clearly our purpose in life and gives us guidelines to follow to make our search for happiness easier. The Quran and the authentic traditions of Prophet Muhammad, may God praise him, are our guide books for a life completely devoid of sadness and worry. This however does not mean that we will not be tried and tested because God states very clearly in Quran that He will test us. Our lives will be filled with situations that require us to reach out for God and depend upon Him. God promises us that He will reward those who are patient, He asks us to be grateful to Him, and He tells us that He loves those who put their trust in Him.
Life is filled with triumphs and tribulations. Sometimes it is a roller coaster ride. One day our faith is high and sweet, the next it has plummeted and we feel sad and worried. The way to even out our journey is to trust that God knows what is best for us. Even when seemingly bad things happen, there is a purpose and wisdom behind them. Sometimes the purpose is known only to God, sometimes it is obvious.
Consequently, when we realise that there is no power or strength except from God, we can begin to relax. Prophet Muhammad, may God praise him, once reminded one of his young companions that God was all-powerful and nothing happens without His permission.
“Young man, uphold the commands of God, and He will protect you in this life and in the next. Uphold the commands of God and He will help you. When you ask for anything, ask it from God, and if you seek help, seek help from God. Know that if people were to unite to do you some benefit, they could benefit you only what God has recorded for you, and if they were to unite to do you some harm, they could harm you only with what God has recorded for you. The pens are withdrawn and the pages are dry.”
When we are mindful of the fact that God has control over all things and that He ultimately wants us to live forever in Paradise, we can begin to leave our sadness and worry behind. God loves us, and wants what is best for us. God has given us clear guidance and He is the Most Merciful, and the Most Forgiving. If things do not go according to our plan, if we do not see the benefits of the challenges we face in life it can become very difficult not to despair and fall prey to stress and anxiety. At this point, we must learn to trust God.
As believers, our trust in God must be constant, in all situations, good, bad, easy, or difficult. Whatever happens in this world happens by the permission of God. He provides sustenance and He is able to withdraw it. He is the master of life and death. God determines whether we are rich or poor and whether we are healthy or ill. We thank God for granting us the ability to strive and to go out and acquire that which is good for us. Whatever our circumstances may be we need to thank and praise God for them. If need be we must bear our difficulties with patience and above all we must love and trust God. When life becomes dark and difficult we must love God more; when we are overcome by sadness and worry we must trust God more.
 Ahmad & at-Tirmidhi
Verily, in the remembrance of God do hearts find rest. (Quran 13:28)
By Aisha Stacey (© 2013 IslamReligion.com)
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Don’t be Sad
Aaed ibn Abdullah al-Qarni
At a time in which the Muslims are beset with trials from every periphery and within, comes this heartening book rooted in the commandments of Allah (swt), the Sunnah and the excellent guidance and examples of the Muslims that have come before us.
Don’t Be Sad is an absolute must-read for all people. It is full of practical advice on how to replace sadness with a pragmatic and ultimately satisfying Islamic outlook on life. It exposes to the modern reader how Islam teaches us to deal with the tests and tribulations of this world.