Sunday, April 2, 2017

GOLDEN EDUCATION Chapter Nine

What would I understand when I ampreached on my Faith orally or in writing ? I understand that by creating me, God gave me the opportunity to have this brief terrestrial experience which I will remember when I am in Heaven, if I ever go there. On the Day of Judgement I will be given a book, it’s a book of my memories. My knowledge of theworld, of God, of myself should be a light for me. My knowledge should strengthen my faith. My knowledge and my faith will be like my two hands, my two eyes, my two ears, my too feet. So my mind (be it in my brain or in my stomach) won’t work independently of my heart. I need both of them as I need both of my hands, both of my eyes… My mind abd my heart will show me how to best work for both this life of the world (which is only ….) and my eternal life, where I will be able to see God with my own eyes, if I ever go to Heaven.


In my early youth I needed to know things without questioning anything. I grew up as a Muslim, so at school I was taught how to read the Quran, how to perform my ablutions, my prayers, etc. As I grew older I learned more from the mosque, from the media, from books, from society, etc But there came a time when I realized that what I knew was not enough. There was a book which could have helped me understand what I was going through, but I did not know the book at that time. When that book came my way and I read it, I finally understood part of what I had experienced. But the book was too hard for me. (I could not finish reading it on one occasion.) I thought i twas for saints, not for ordinary believers like myself. So I continued to think about my faith without relying so much on other people’s thoughts. I studued the Quran on my own. So what would I say now to someone who asked me about my religion ? The five pillars of Islam are known to all. There are another five things that are not known to all. What comes first in Islam, I think, is (1) la prise de conscience (    ) ; then comes la rédition des comptes (2) (    ) ; then comes (3) la bienveillance. (   ) (    )  (   ) ; then comes (4) solidarity : (   ) ; then comes (5) change : (   )

That’s the knowledge. Now the practice. Imams and preachers will not be with me everywhere every time. It’s my heart that will be with me everywhere everytime. So I have to work on my heart. If I have a clean heart Faith will go in just as the roots go into a fertile soil. How can I work on my heart ? As we said before, and as is well explained by our dear scholars, there is annafs al ammara and annafs allawama and al mutmainna. When I am in a hell because I don’t know what to do that’s annafs allawama. That means that I fear God, or, if I want to go a step further in my Iman, that I wouldn’t love to do anything that would anger my Lord. That’s out of respect, out of love of my Lord. That’s a good thing. And God likes that. (   )  (   ) (   ) (   )
It’s defiance that is a problem. Even between us humans it’s not right to defy someone whom we want to be good to us. The prophet (pbuh) said : (   ) The point is, there are limits that one should be ready to accept. All this is a set of « operations », a process, if you will, that take place in the heart. Defiance comes from the heart first. So it should be tackled in the heart first. I want to move up from Islam to Iman to Ihsan. I want to elevate my nafs from ammara to lawama to mutmainna. This means that it’s I who should endeavour towards reaching that level. I should do my best to please God, not to defy Him. I should do my best, but not the impossible. The prophet (pbuh) said : (  ) I should do what I can. If I can worship God at night while people are sleeping, that’s great, that’s the top honour for a moomin (a true believer). If I can fast very often, that’s great too. But Islam does not ask me to (   ) I can express my gratitude to God in many different ways. The prophet (pbuh) said : (   ) He also said : (   ) (   ) The Quran says : (    ) (    ) The mere fact that I am willing to give is a sign that I want to be grateful to God. The Quran says : (   ) This wish to give, to be good, is not peculiar to believers like myself. This wish is human because it comes from the heart and every human being has got a heart. Even animals have this kind of thing. Many people have been saved from death by their pets.

Now, I have the wish to do good. How can I do it ? Is it   always easy to do good ? One day I was listening to a radio show in which listeners asked for advice from other listeners. One listener said this : « I am the youngest of three brothers living in a foreign country. My problem is that I see one of my brothers flirt with the wife of my other brother. I am in a hell because I don’t know whether I should turn a blind eye and thus have peace with both of my brothers or tell my poor brother who is betrayed by both his wife and his brother. Please help me. I need your advice. » I am sorry I can’t give my opinion on this. But the other day I found a full cigarette as I was walking in the woods. I said to myself : should I crush it since it’ll only harm somebody’s health ? or should I rather leave it for a poor guy who can’t buy a cigarette ? Well, I did not crush it. This is called Ijtihad, meaning you try your best to come up with the right solution to a problem like this. Ijtihad is the work of scholars, of the erudite. But sometimes you need to take action on the spot. Hence the importance of work on one’s heart.

But hearts do get tired at times. The prophet (pbuh) said : (   ) How can I (   ) so that my heart won’t go blind ? One way is taking a holiday. One way is taking a rest, any kind of rest. One way is arts or sport. In the time of the prophet (pbuh) people liked poetry and cavalry. I don’t know what you personally like.

Listen to this unbelievable story that I heard on the radio. An aged experienced hunter was asked about his hunting feats. Speaking in front of members of his tribe who knew him well, he said he had hunted 72 wolves and scores of foxes, among other things. He and his friends ate those wolves and foxes. Once, the man said, my friends and I were lurking behind a makeshift wall for foxes, wolves or rabbits. Then a rabbit appeared on the bare ground. Je l’ai visé, et je n’avais jamais râté un gibier, et une fois que je l’ai pris dans mon viseur, the muezzin started to call for prayer. The rabbit s’arretta net. Il s’appuya sur ses fesses et resta motionless sans bouger. When the muezzin finished his call, the rabbit passe dits front paws on its face, as in prayer, and went away. I was moved as I saw that, so I left it alone.

That’s quite unbelievable, but one may need to hear or read challenging tales like this one. That’s part of literature, my own hobby. What would entertain my heart may be different from what would entertain your own. Tbourida in my country, Morocco, is not baseball in the US or hokey in Canada or cricket in India. When reading the Quran, an ex-priest who reverted to Islam may be interested in what it says about Jesus Christ and Mary ; an ex-rabbi may be interested in stories about Hebrews ; a scientist may want to focus on something in the Quran that has to do with science, etc. What about me ?

Well, I saw on TV a large crowd of people in China gathering for long hours (one said he waited for no less than three days) in order to see (and take pics of) white fog as it settled down on a village. The view was spectacular. It must be breathtaking to see white fog hanging just under your feet. I wish I were with them. I wish I could see sunrise and sunset in those places where people go only to see sunrise and sunset. The Quran speaks of (takweer : 17-18) The Quran is not poetry, but as a poet I love that kind of language. Have a taste ! This is how it sounds in Arabic : wallayli iza ’ass’ass wassobhi iza tanaffass
And this :
falaa oqsimu bishafaq, wallayli wama wassaq, walqamari izattassaq…
And this :
washamsi wa dohaha, walqamari iza talaha, wannahari iza jallaha, wallayli iza yaghshaha…
The Quran says : (   )  What is (al bayan) ? It’s the ability to express things in a beautiful way. How can I express things in a beautiful way if I can’t feel beauty ? Why does the Quran speak about beauty, as in (    ) ? Well, normally, (   ) The prophet (pbuh) said : (   ) When the Arabs and many non-Arab Muslims see, hear or smell something beautiful they say : ALLAH !


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Let’s start with change. At age 20 I was walking with a distant relative of mine through our old neighbourhood when he suddenly asked me : "Tell me, Simohamed, what do you do with girls ?" I gave him an evasive answer. Then he said with a sigh : "Well, I just can’t tell you how sad I am today ! You know what, since I left prison (for using canabis) three years ago I didn’t touch a woman. For three long years, can you imagine that ? In these last three years I enjoyed such a wonderful spiritual experience, and now all came to an end, because of one night’s mistake. I am really sad… " Then, suddenly, the weather began to turn nasty. He looked up at the gathering clouds in the sky and at the gusty wind, and said with a smile : "It’s a pity it wasn’t this kind of (romantic) weather last night. Otherwise, my night (with the girl) would have been much better !.... " Man can change overnight. That’s why God says
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One of my classmates at Faculty was looked on as a bad girl by many boys simply because she had a boyfriend and she smoked in public. Then, to everybody’s surprise, she put on the veil and became a very religious person. She gave up her boyfriend and smoking overnight. And yet other girls looked on her as an ‘abnormal’ girl, because few Faculty students wore the veil at that time. Then, one day, I was speaking with her at the entry to a public reading room when she said :  "I said to him (to one of our Faculty tutors) : ‘If God wants me to succeed I will succeed no matter what you do !’ I said it was unwise of her to say such thing to a professor who could yet give her a bad mark. She said she didn’t care. Then, suddenly, she said : "I’m sorry I have to leave because I have to collect my little brother from school and I have to attend the asr prayer at mosque." I felt ashamed of myself because at that time I seldom went to mosque and I didn’t even think of the asr prayer at that moment ! That classmate repeated that year (because of that professor), but she got her B.A. in English, anyway, two years later. No comment, I would just  like to say that, to me, that girl was a wonderful person.

Another Faculty girl was an admirable person too. I was in Tangiers in the summer of 1992 to take the entrance examination for the school of translation. On my arrival I booked a room in a small hotel and I had a long walk in and around the city. In the evening, I lost the rest of my money in a mosque. That was a problem because I could not pay for the coach to take me back home. I said to myself no matter, tomorrow morning I’ll find someone to lend me 50 dirhams (about 11 dollars US). The next morning I went from one man to another, all Faculty students I knew well, 17 men men or so, nobody wanted to lend me 50 dhs. My heart jumped with joy and relief when I saw one student whom I had lent 100 dhs. I said to him please lend me 50 dhs of the 100 dhs I lent you, consider it a loan! He said no, I’m sorry, my father asked me to buy him something, I can’t give you anything. Then, I caught sight of a Faculty girl to whom I had spoken just once before. She had come to Tangiers in the car of her boyfriend. I ran to her and said please lend me 50 dhs, I lost my money. She said I’m sorry to hear that, I can’t promise you anything now, but meet me at 5.00 p.m. and I’ll try to help you, inshallah. At 5.00 p.m. I met her again and she gave me 50 dhs and I went back home by train. And then whenever I had the money on me I would look for her, but if I didn’t have the money I would hide from her. One day I was sitting at a café and I saw her going on the street. I ran to her and said: “Please forgive me, whenever I have the money I don’t find you and whenever I don’t have the money I hide from you! Today I don't have the money, but I couldn't hide from you anymore!" She said how did you fare in the entrance examination? I said thank God I passed it, I was accepted. She said : “That’s my utmost wish. Forget about the 50 dhs and say a prayer for me!” That wonderful girl later put on the veil and married her boyfriend.


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Le poids de la société est plus lourd que les montagnes. Même avec la foi il faut faire beaucoup d’efforts pour se libérer sans choquer. Que vous dit la foi alors ? Un jour un sage a vu un homme debout en train de regarder à droite et à gauche. Le sage lui dit : "Que voulez-vous, homme ? " L’homme lui dit : "Je cherche un endroit propre pour faire mes prières. " Le sage lui dit : "Nettoyez votre cœur et priez là où vous voudrez !" Si vous parvenez à nettoyer votre cœur vous pourrez aller là où vous voudrez, avec qui vous voudrez, vous pourrez manger ce que vous voudrez là où vous voudrez ; vous pourrez mettre les habits que vous voudrez là où vous voudrez. Votre cœur vous guidera.
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Vous voyez les grades de la foi ? Si vous faîtes la première, la deuxième, la deuxième fois, vous serez puni et vous comprendrez que ceci ou cela n’est pas bien pour vous ; votre cœur prendra une leçon et vous mènera là où vous n’aurez plus de problèmes ni avec Dieu ni avec les gens. C’est ça la sagesse. C’est comme ça que la liberté deviendra pour vous a second nature. Gérez votre cœur, Dieu gérera votre vie. Your heart is the most precious piece of you. Keep it clean and your life will be clean.
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Comment voulez-vous croire en tout ceci si vous ne l’avez pas vécu vous-même ? La première fois vous aurez des doutes. Toutes les portes sont fermées devant moi, je vois mal comment je pourrais m’en sortir. Dieu vous dit
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Vous vous patientez encore et encore sans que rien ne change. Un jour, une petite porte s’ouvre, à votre grand soulagement. Ce n’est que quand vous avez atteint un niveau très élevé de la foi que cette règle générale devient de plus en plus une exception. En clair, si le salut ne vous vient pas aussi tôt que vous le souhaitiez ça peut indiquer que Dieu a bien voulu le retarder compte tenu de votre disposition à endurer certaines souffrances pour un certain temps. Mais quand le salut viendra il sera total. La récompense variera en fonction de votre foi et de vos sacrifices. Encore une fois, c’est une question de yaquine. Un jour un homme a dit au prophète (salut soit sur lui) : "Mon frère a mal au ventre." Le prophète lui dit : "Donnez-lui du miel." L’homme revient un autre jour et dit : "Je lui ai bien donné du miel mais sans succès."  Le prophète lui dit : "Dieu a raison, le ventre de votre frère a tort !" Il ne devrait pas y avoir de doutes entre vous et le Seigneur. Vous ne demandez pas la lune, vous ne demandez pas d’avoir un enfant à 90 ans ou de décrocher un boulot dont vous n’avez pas les compétences. Vous demandez tout bonnement de mener une vie tranquille, une vie digne et décente sans trop de problèmes. Vous aurez tout ça et plus si Dieu vous le promet.
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Le problème n’est pas là. Dieu a tant de choses à vous offrir, vous –qu’est-ce que vous avez à offrir à Dieu ?
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Dieu n’attend pas de vous à ce que vous Lui donniez à manger. Ce que Dieu attendrait de vous c’est que vous Lui faites une place spéciale, très, très spéciale dans votre cœur. Dieu dit dans le hadith quodsi :
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Si vous avez choisi pour vos prières le plus bel endroit dans votre maison, tenez à réserver au Seigneur l’endroit le plus beau, le plus propre, le plus intime de votre cœur. Dieu parle dans le coran de tijara (commerce) : si vous faites ceci je vous donne cela. Vous, cher ami, ne faites pas de donnons-donnons avec Dieu. Faites de Lui un ami, un ami sûr et fidèle à jamais. Ne Lui cachez rien, Il sait tout. Don’t feign, He knows what’s in your heart. S’Il vous prive d’une chose ou d’une autre, parlez-Lui le plus poliment possible. Demandez-Lui ce que vous voulez, faites-Lui part de ce dont vous souffrez –comme si ce n’était pas Lui qui vous a tant fait souffrir. Montrez-Lui vos larmes que vous ne montreriez à quiconque d’autre. Dites-Lui les plus belles paroles, celles que vous ne diriez à personne. Montrez-Lui à quel point vous L’aimez, à quel point vous êtes honoré de L’avoir en Dieu, en ami protecteur. Montrez-Lui que vous L’aimez pour ce qu’Il est et non pas pour ce qu’Il vous donne. Montrez-Lui à quel point vous avez besoin de Lui, de Sa Grace, de Son paradis, de Son agrément. Montrez-Lui, avec des dires et des actes, que vous n’êtes rien sans Lui. Il fera que vous soyez content de ce que vous êtes, content de ce que faites. Il fera que vous ne vous sentiriez plus seul. Il fera que vous soyez heureux. Il vous donnera plus que vous Lui avez demandé. Dieu est
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Les gens de ce monde fêtent le jeune marié  le jour de son mariage, au Maroc on l’appelle Sultan ! du fait de son aura et de son importance ce jour-là. Certains jeunes mariés sont portés sue les épaules des hommes dans ce qu’on appelle ‘âammaria’. Ce jour-là tout le monde est au service de l’heureux marié, il est le boss, et tout le monde chante et danse à son honneur. Certains même aimeraient voir le rayonnement du visage de l’heureux marié ce jour-là….. Que dire du Seigneur, du Maître des cieux et de la terre ? Ne mérite-t-Il pas d’être fêté tous les jours comme l’on fête le jeune marié le jour de son mariage ? Si l’on porte le jeune marié, au Maroc, sur les épaules des hommes une ou deux fois de sa vie, le Trône du Maître des cieux et de la terre est porté en permanence sur les épaules des anges, dont les louanges qu’ils chantent à la gloire de Dieu retentissent jour et nuit dans les cieux. Mieux encore,
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A quoi ressembleraient les cœurs de ces ‘âabidines’ ? Y aurait-il une place pour quiconque autre que Dieu dans le cœur d’un âabid ? S’il y a encore une place pour quiconque autre que Dieu dans votre cœur, faites en sorte que Dieu ait la meilleures place, la plus belle place et la plus convoitée. Si vous avez Sali votre cœur avec un pêché, versez vos larmes, mouillez vos yeux pour le nettoyer. Balayez-le chaque jour avec le tasbih de votre langue. Faites en sorte que la place de Dieu dans votre cœur soit plus propre que vos vêtements, que votre alimentation, que votre demeure. Et dites


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