This is How Long You Will Live

Management gurus tell me to write a plan, what I want in life, happy family, money, home, car, business and then they say I should pursue it with the belief that I will achieve them. They come up with stories of successful people who did exactly that. I don’t think life is really like that. Management Gurus are wrong. Sorry!

Lets start like this. What do you know what’s going to happen in your life? The simple answer is you don’t know. Except for one thing, your life will one day come to an end. You could be the richest, the most powerful person on earth, but that will not change the most basic fact. Life will come to an end at some point and all those plans and strategies you made for life will surely vanish in thin air. And then what?

You have essentially two possibilities. You can either believe that life ends here on Earth and that’s the end of everything. Or, you could believe that life on earth will end while simultaneously another life will begin in another dimension, another time and space equation, the knowledge of which is yet unknown to you. Your first option is a bit scary. If this life is all you have, then you better put all your energy to achieve whatever it is you want to achieve. If you cant achieve anything then you will be unfortunately amongst the loosers. Well, at least that’s how I would interpret the messages of Management gurus.

It sounds bit sad that this wonderful life on earth will end and we will take none of our material accomplishments with us anywhere. Then why bother with anything at all? They talk about light at the end of the tunnel. What tunnel, what light? There is nothing to look forward to if this is it, this life and nothing after this. It seems also an indirect way of motivating the philosophy “ends justify the means” because you only live once and therefore you need to get whatever you want by any means necessary. This is also why they even teach that its okay to steal, to break rules and step over your emotions and feelings to get to wherever you want to be. It sounds all negative to be in a situation like this. It almost doesn’t make sense to live out this life under these dark clouds.

What about the second option, does that make life sound any better. Think about this for a while. Management Gurus show their stars, the winners, and then they motivate us to go after our goals with the same zeal as their super heroes. Well, guess what, 99% of the people are not going to do that. There will be men and women who will not make it to the Olympics, there will be people living on tiny paychecks, there will be farmers and factory workers who will not win Oscars. That’s real life buddy. That’s the hard life that we have to deal with. What future should they look forward to?

Some people believe in a different concept of life. Our stay on earth is temporary and short. This life is only one stop in the long journey that will take us all to a place more beautiful more rewarding than what we see here. That is the life after death, the eternal life. The rewards in the heavens will far outstrip the rewards in this world. Most important of all, unlike this crazy material life, we will have equal opportunity to enter the heavenly garden, based on our Goodness, unlike this life which pretty much only values material accomplishments.

Sounds more like a fairy tale doesn’t it? But that’s exactly what makes it all the more motivating and exciting. We are allowed to feel happy about such a concept of life where we will find pure and complete justice. We will find that the homeless and the billionaire will be evaluated for their good deeds and the one who qualifies gets entry into the garden of eternal pleasure. Maybe both of them will get entrance, all depends on the individual’s deeds. That sounds like a plan to me.

The wealth centric corporate world would desperately want us to believe in reality, to believe in what we can understand based on our limited knowledge. The good news is, it doesn’t have to end this way. We can indeed think about a better future in the After Life regardless of our material positioning in this world. So, if I ask myself, how long will I live?

The answer is, our life in this world is a very short one. When we will come back to life, in the Hereafter, we will say this worldly life lasted not for more than afternoon or an evening.

Belief in Life After Death is the right solution for those 99% people who work hard every day to meet the demands of responsibility. The heavenly concept in no way discourages you to not make any material plans for this world. Quite the contrary actually. It forces you to think about time. Your time. Since you know its limited, you will now make a much better plan for this world and for the world to come. In the process, hopefully, goodness and grace will be the guiding light.

 

 

 

 

 

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Salman Khan Conviction Unjust. Blood-Money in Islamic Law

Salman Khan´s case is a classic example where the victims rights for compensation was usurped by an unfair legal system. I am talking about the legal system not the judiciary. There is a big difference. In my opinion the judge in this case proved himself rightfully non-biased towards the super star fighting against a poor old homeless unimportant person whose death did not make much difference to most ordinary people. Judge´s neutrality in this case was admirable. That’s great, but what it does not tell us is that the legal system itself is faulty.

The question is not whether Salman was guilty or innocent, because that has already been decided by the court. The question is much more than that. lets try to understand them one by one.

First of all, the state has not opened its eyes to the cruel reality that there are men (and women) who are homeless and so poor that despite being citizens of a rising super power people are living on the streets without a roof over their heads. The glitter of Bollywood ends in the theaters, for after the show is over people go back to their dreadful states. Its a society controlled by few billionaires by the sweat of millions of dirt poor workers. The mask is very, very, deceptive. All is not at all well.

The working class have to put up back breaking work while the super rich drive around in cars that could be the income of an entire neighborhood´s lifelong earnings. Don’t believe me, ask those stars who drive around in Rolls Royce and Ferraris. The state has forgotten to look at the real condition of the society. The old saying, money cant buy happiness is true at both micro as well as macro levels.

The state just doesn’t want to talk about it anymore because it doesn’t sound quite correct in the global capitalist, money-ist, materialistic order. `Besides, what would the Americans think about such obsolete things such as inner-peace, tranquility, harmony and other philosophical stuff from the past` would be the common thinking among many policy makers. The root of the problem is here. Blindness of the state towards the actual sufferings of peoples´ conditions.

Second point, alcohol is harmful for many reasons. Why legalize alcohol when we know it does more harm than good? Its too sad that its harmful effect had to be understood by the death of an individual. But, we knew about it already, it says in the Islamic law that all kinds of alcoholic drinks are haram and we should have obeyed that command. You can argue that India is not an Islamic country so why should it submit to that restriction. Well, alcohol does not change its properties according to its consumer. India is home to the second largest Muslim population, and it used to be an Islamic country under the Mughals and the Delhi Sultans. Islamic law has been researched and published out of India possibly more than any other country in the world. Islamic connection to Hindustan is 1000 year old and it is an integral part of the Indian civilization. Of-course India can adopt Islamic laws.

Third point, probably my most important one, is this. The right to retribution should remain with the victim, not with any one else. The surviving victims were disappointed at this whole episode. They said, `this conviction against Salman has done no harm or any good to me. What is it to me whether Salman is convicted or not, I don’t get anything`. How true and how cruel at the same time. Salman spends millions of US Dollars on charity. he would have been very happy to give his entire 5 years charity budget roughly 7 million US Dollars (estimate) to the victims for their rehabilitation. I bet, other homeless men would have lined up outside Salman´s house dreaming of being run over by him!!

But that did not happen. Salman will spend next 5 years in jail, no money, no charity. Victims will live in poverty in their villages starving most of the time along with their families. Nobody will benefit from this judgment. You guessed it, I am once again talking about the Islamic system where the victims have the right to accept blood money in return for a pardon. Forgiveness is a lofty virtue and it comes with lots of material benefit as well. Only if the system had opened its eyes to it. The system of blood money existed in Hindustan before the British replaced it with their secular unforgiving codes.

Lets call a spade a spade. Salman was found guilty. He was tried as per law and that was the right thing. Trial was non biased and for that the judge must be honored. The judgment was given as per law, and that was also correct. What was wrong was that Salman was being tried fairly under an unfair legal system. Salman is guilty but the state is more worthy of being blamed for enforcing unjust legal system.

I know my Hindu friends might raise issues with this post. That is understandable. But I must also state my opinion as a free man, and my opinion is this. Islamic legal system is not blind, it takes into account the right of the victim to receive compensation. Islamic system allows forgiveness, mercy and pardon only by the victims. I feel sorry for both Salman and also for the affected ones.

Surah Al Fajr Attacks Materialistic Societies

I am not a native Arab. I learned to read the Noble Quraan from an early age. I still do not understand why the meaning of the Noble Quran was not a part of my regular syllabus. Sometimes I feel embarrassed to tell people that I can read the most important Book of Islam but I don’t understand what I read. I know it does not make sense but unfortunately that is the reality in many non Arab Muslim countries.

When I read the Sacred Book I keep a translation copy to quickly check for understanding. I did this for about 12 years. I can now understand the frequently used words to some extent. This led me to start a memorization project, many times. I achieve some results and then I stop. Then I start all over again. About 10 years ago I started with Juzz Amma. I was quite happy with my progress initially but then after a while I stopped. Slowly I forgot many of the long surahs. 3 years ago I started to memorize again. But this time I started with Juzz ALM. I memorized page 1 and then stopped.

Few weeks back I started the memorization project again. This time I did some research. I now know which reciter I like most, Salman Al Utaybi, and I also know which Mushaf to use everyday (Medina Mushaf). Equally importantly, I know that I can give about 15 minutes a day after Fajr salah with both revision of old and new surahs. It is a 10 year program and I am so far doing good, Alhamdulillah.

IU am currently on Surah Fajr. The beauty of this Surah is in its rhythm, the words and the noble concept that shakes man by his collar. The Surah starts out by making a man come to his senses. ALLAH SWT tells man to think about history of mankind, to reflect on what happened to the people of Ad, Thamud, Firaoun for their unrelenting rebellion against G-d. Around the middle this magnificent Surah talks about our deepest desires.

When a man gets what he wants he thanks G-d for it. He thinks he has been honored with privileges in the pursuit of happiness. He says My Lord has honored me. The same man when he is tested with diffciulties he changes his tone to an ungrateful person. He says, my Lord has disgraced me. What is happening here?
I am happy and thankful to G-d when I get what I want. My piety and outward show of gratitude happens to be due to the good things in life I got from the Lord. Like an exchange, when the index goes up market is bullish, when the index is down the market had a bad day. My relationship with my Creator according to this materialistic theory is connected by the exchange of benefits. I get wealth, my Lord gets my gratitude. No wealth, no gratitude.

It is the trading mentality of Wall Street brokers employed in mostly Jewish owned houses. Its what the Jews used to do outside the Masjid Al Aqsa when Jesus AS broke their usurious banks at the gates. It is what the pagan Arabs used to do in Makkah. The Jews and the Mushrikeen pagans were pure materialists, they had no worry about the after life, this world was all there was to it, and therefore they tried to make the maximum profit in the Duniya.

The Majestic Quraan tells us to open our hearts, to see the tears of the orphan child, to feel the hunger
of poor men and women, to see the world as a normal human being, not as an elite. The Surah is telling us to stop thinking about material benefits all the time. We must put a stop to this insanity of collecting wealth for the sake of purchasing happiness. It does not work like that and we need to make our minds understand all this by opening the inner visions waiting to be opened in our hearts.