Faith in the Unseen – Part Two
By Maulana Wahiduddin Khan for New Age Islam
19 March, 2015
Establishment of the United Nations
The United Nations Organisation (UNO) was established in 1945. One of its main objectives is establishing global peace. All the many countries in the world are members of the UNO. They have unanimously agreed to the UNO’s charter, one clause of which reads:
All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.
This clause is, in essence, the same as what was agreed upon in the Hudaybiyah pact. In the 7th century, the believers had to unilaterally accept certain conditions of the opposing party, as reflected in the Hudaybiyah Agreement. But in the 20th century, all the nations of the world have themselves dropped these conditions.
The UNO charter provides believers today with peaceful global conditions. In addition, today all the many possibilities and opportunities have been made available, and on a larger scale than before, that are necessary for a global mission of inviting people to God—including religious freedom, openness, global communications, easy and convenient means of travel, the mass media, and so on.
As mentioned earlier, the Surah Al-Fatah was revealed after the Hudaybiyah Agreement. In its conclusion (48:29) it says:
Muhammad is the Messenger of God. Those who are with him are firm and unyielding towards those who deny the truth, but compassionate towards one another. You see them bowing and prostrating themselves, seeking the grace of God and His good will. Their marks are on their faces, the traces of their prostrations; they are described in the Torah and in the Gospel as being like a seed which sends forth its shoot, then makes it strong; it then becomes thick, and it stands firm on its own stem, delighting the sowers. He seeks to enrage the disbelievers through them. God has promised forgiveness and a great reward to those of them who believe and do good works.
Using symbolic language, these ending lines of the chapter Al-Fath convey an immensely vital historical reality. They indicate that the Hudaybiyah Agreement was not some temporary and local event. Rather, it was the beginning of a great process, in whose stage of culmination a global revolution was to occur. This revolution did occur—in stages—and it culminated in the 20th century.
By this global revolution was meant what we have referred to as the ‘Age of Hudaybiyyah’. The crux of the Hudaybiyah Agreement is to establish peace by unilaterally accepting the conditions of the other party and then to use all available opportunities for inviting people to God. The favourable conditions that centuries ago appeared through the sacrifices of the Prophet and his Companions are now, as a result of global changes and in accordance with the demands of the times, available—and on an even larger scale. These new favourable conditions have appeared on account of what is called ‘Western civilization’, democratic ideas, the United Nations, and so on. These revolutionary factors are apparently ‘secular’, but God has made these apparently secular developments a means of support for the Divine religion.
The favourable conditions that appeared as a result of the Hudaybiyah Agreement in the 7th century C.E. were termed as ‘clear victory’ in the Quran. This Agreement was no mysterious thing. It was understandably a result of wise planning. In the 7th century, this policy was used only on a limited scale, and, then, the Prophet and his Companions had to make the sacrifice of unilaterally agreeing to the conditions of the other party, so much so that the phrase ‘Messenger of God’ was deleted from the document of the treaty. But later on, with God’s assistance, new conditions appeared, and the Hudaybiyah Revolution became a global revolution.
The possibilities that were secured for only 10 years through the Hudaybiyah Agreement have, in the modern age, acquired the status of a universal norm on a regular basis. And now, unlike before, there is no need to accept others’ conditions, nor any need to remove the phrase ‘Messenger of God’ from any document. Following the Hudaybiyah Agreement, the believers gained opportunities. Today, they have access to these opportunities on a wider. All that is needed is to discover these opportunities and to use them wisely.
History of Religions
Religion’s connection with man is like the connection between the law of nature and the rest of the cosmos. The rest of the cosmos is being controlled by certain compulsory laws. In contrast, man is a free creature. Man’s future is determined by the proper or improper use of this freedom that he enjoys. It is for him to himself organize his life in accordance with God’s will and Divine principles as expressed in religion. Religion is a way of life for human beings based on Divine laws.
According to anthropologists, throughout history, in every age, human beings have believed in God—a supernatural Being who is Self-Existent, the Creator of all things, and the Controller of all that exists. As the Quran (112) says:
Say, “He is God, the One, God, the Self-sufficient One. He does not give birth, nor was He born, and there is nothing like Him.”
The Creation of Adam
Man did not emerge through evolution. Rather, on the very first day itself he appeared as a complete person. He was created so by God. God has the power to make things out of nothing. God granted existence to man, although prior to this he was, as the Quran (19:9) says, ‘nothing before’.
The first man’s name was Adam. God made man and placed him in a world of gardens, or Paradise. Here, man had full freedom, but there was one tree in Paradise which God had given the status of a ‘forbidden tree’. God told Adam that he and his wife had every sort of freedom in Paradise but said they must not eat the fruit of the forbidden tree.
Satan was also present in some form in the world where Adam was. Satan misled Adam and his wife. He told them that the forbidden tree was actually a tree of eternity. He said to them that they had only received life so far, but not eternity. If they were to eat the fruit of this tree, he said, they would attain eternal life, and that after this they would be able to live in the world of gardens forever.
Adam and Eve both fell prey to Satan’s deception and ate the fruit of the forbidden tree. According to the Quran (20:121), this action was a violation of God’s command. And so, on eating this fruit, they both became bereft of God’s blessings. They found themselves in a helpless condition. This was the first instance of deviation in human history.
What is deviation? It is to turn from the path of truth. God made man and established a straight path for him. Walking on this path is following the truth. And deviating from this path is straying from the truth. The whole of human history is actually just another name for this obeying and this deviating from the straight path.
This incident about the forbidden tree tells us the cause of deviation from the path of truth. And this cause is always one, and that is: wrong nomenclature. Man, falling prey to Satanic suggestions, repeatedly gives a deceptively beautiful name to something that is opposed to the straight path established by God and then legitimizes it for himself.
This fact is highlighted in the following words of the Prophet Joseph, in a conversation with some polytheists who were fellow-prisoners:
All those you worship instead of Him are mere names you and your forefathers have invented, names for which God has sent down no authority: all power belongs to God alone, and He orders you to worship none but Him: this is the true faith, though most people do not realize it. (Quran 12:40)
Deviation always takes place because of giving a wrong nomenclature to something. This fact is indicated in a Hadith report:
A group from my community will make the drinking of wine lawful by giving it a name other than its real name. (Musnad Ahmad)
At the time when our Creator made us, He put deep inside us an awareness of the distinction between good and evil. By birth itself, every human being who comes to earth has this innate and deep awareness of good and bad, right and wrong. Man cannot deny this awareness of nature that is hidden inside himself. It is because of this that no one does evil in the name of evil. Whenever you want to do something bad, the first thing you do is to change the name of that bad thing and give it a ‘good’ name. You try to pass off evil as good. In this way, you falsely try to appease your conscience, telling yourself that what you are doing is good, not bad.
As mentioned earlier, the first case in human history of giving a wrong nomenclature to evil was engineered by Satan, who gave the forbidden tree the name of the ‘tree of eternity’ and then led Adam and Eve to eat its fruit. All through human history, almost always evil has been adopted and committed through the use of this method of wrong nomenclature. Almost all evils down the centuries are, directly or otherwise, cases of this wrong nomenclature.
Today, such cases of evil being sought to be legitimized through this tactic abound. Take, for instance, what are called ‘love affairs’? In many cases, they are nothing but sex affairs. Or, consider the case of an advertisement in a newspaper that features a young woman. She is wearing hardly any clothes, and the advertisement stridently announces, “Sarah is a confident girl!”
Some More Examples of Wrong Nomenclature
When God made man, He placed an awareness deep inside human nature of the difference between truth and falsehood. This understanding was embedded in man’s unconscious mind. Then, it was necessary to bring this from the unconscious to the conscious mind. For this purpose, God began sending to earth a series of messengers as guides or helpers. These prophets appeared in every age and among every people. God conveyed guidance to them through revelations, and they were entrusted with the responsibility of awakening people’s minds through education and exhortation. Their task was to help people develop the capability of consciously discovering those truths that lay in their unconscious mind, and then pattern their lives according to them.
The life of this world is a test. Two types of powers keep working here. One are the prophets, who show people the path of truth. And the other is Satan, who deceives people and pushes them onto the path of deviation. Satan’s method of operation is still the same one that he used with Adam. Using wrong nomenclature, he seeks to make people think of evil as good. This practice of Satan is called ‘fair-seeming’ in the Quran (15:39).
The prophets have always taught people the truth—that God is one, that He alone is the Creator and Lord, and that people should worship and serve only Him. This message of the prophets of God was in accordance with human nature. Human nature fully conformed with this message of the prophets. Therefore, it was not possible for man to deny God’s existence. And so here, Satan misled human beings into denying God’s existence and thus deviating them from their true nature.
This deviation was based mostly on the principle of wrong nomenclature. Accordingly, some people claimed that while they did believe in God, they argued that God had set up certain partners. Instead of directly relating to God, they started worshipping these imaginary partners. They claimed that they could reach God through these ‘partners’. These so-called partners were only some fabricated names, but in order to try to pass off these fictitious names as genuine, their votaries claimed that they were partners of God.
This is what all polytheists, from ancient times down to the present day, have done. They have themselves invented some names—for instance, ‘the god of light’, ‘the god of life’, ‘the god of power’, ‘the god of wealth’, and so on. These imaginary gods have no existence at all, but in order to try to pass them off as ‘genuine’, some names were made up for them. On the basis of these names, it was falsely claimed that they were partners of God.
What is ‘associationism’ or polytheism? It is to manufacture imaginary partners for God while accepting God’s existence. This sort of polytheism was widespread across the whole world in ancient times. Later, a second phase of polytheism dawned, in the ‘Age of Philosophy’. It began among the ancient Greek philosophers and then spread in the form of a philosophy of polytheism after entering and spreading in different religious traditions. This form of polytheism was what can be called ‘philosophical polytheism’.
This ‘philosophical polytheism’ is better known as monism. Although it professes belief in God, for all practical purposes it is tantamount to denying God. This conception was also put into people’s minds by Satan, using a fair-seeming but wrong nomenclature.
The polytheistic philosophy of monism claims belief in God. It claims that it does not deny Him. But, at the same time, it also claims that earlier God was given a limited form and that people believed Him to be a localized person, but that the monistic theory has made God an all-pervading spirit.
In terms of its reality, monism is a denial of God, but this is covered-up with seemingly-beautiful words. The fact of the matter is that faith in God is not faith in some philosophical concept. Rather, it is faith in a living and All-Powerful God, a God that has a real existence, a God who sees and hears, a God who creates. He is aware of people’s actions and requites them for their deeds. He is a God who is the Master of the Day of Judgment.
According to the ideology of Tawhid or monotheism, God is not only a being, but, along with this, He possesses all high qualities in their complete form. On the other hand, in monism, God becomes just an abstract concept, a concept that is bereft of all Divine attributes. In monism, God is conceived in the same way as, say, cosmic rays or the force of gravity. This sort of god has, in practical terms, no significance at all. His existing is as good as his not existing.
A third seemingly-alluring yet deviant conception of God is presented by advocates of what is called ‘organic evolution’. Although the notion of evolution has been in existence for a long time in philosophical circles, it was presented for the first time as a regular discipline by Charles Darwin (d. 1802), especially in two books of his, On the Origin of Species (1859) and The Descent of Man (1871).
Darwin presented his theory of evolution in biological terms, offering his own views of how he thought animals and human beings developed through evolution. But later scholars expanded this theory, using this tool of evolution to reflect on all aspects of life.
From the strictly scientific point of view, the theory of biological evolution is still an unproven theory. Many leading scientists still regard it only as a workable theory. Leaving aside the scientific aspects of this theory, what is relevant for our discussion here is those aspects of it that relate to the issue of the existence of God.
Seen in this regard, the theory of evolution shows itself to be another form of polytheism—what can be called ‘scientific polytheism’. This theory does not necessarily deny God outright, yet, for all practical purposes, it has no place for God and considers Him of no consequence. In his book On the Origin of Species, Darwin appears to have admitted the existence of God, but this admission is only in a symbolic sense, because in his theory of biological evolution, God has no role.
Darwin claims that life is a result of a long process of evolution. Nowhere in On the Origin of Species does he say that he denies the existence of God. To the contrary, the book refers on more than one occasion to God. In fact, Darwin concludes his book with these words:
There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one.
In the theory of evolution, although God has been accepted, in practical terms, He is regarded as completely ineffective. According to this theory, God’s role in human life and in the history of civilization was only to start off life, in the form of some invisible amoeba. After this, advocates of this theory claim, God has had no control over man’s journey of life and human history. They believe that God does not have any role to play even in the end of human history. This is because in their ideology, God is not the Master of the Day of Judgment, and nor will He reward or punish human beings.
Clearly, to believe in such a god is no different at all from not believing in him. In practical terms, there is no difference at all between these two options.
Some people claim that there is no conflict between Darwin’s theory of evolution and the Quran. But on academic grounds, I do not regard this claim as proper. As far as the issue of the existence of God is concerned, this theory is undoubtedly synonymous with denial of God, and after Darwin’s theory became widely popular in the West, this is practically what happened there.
The fact is that only that conception of God is reliable which is in accordance with the concept of monotheism. Besides this, to believe in God in some other form, is in practical terms, synonymous with denying Him, because, God cannot be conceived without regarding Him as All-Powerful.
The dawn of modern science was followed by the age of materialism or materialistic civilization. In this age, too, leaving aside some extremist atheists, people did not deny God. In this age, too, what happened was that people gave God symbolic status, and all issues relating to God were given such an explanation that God was reduced to being only a hypothesis. In practical terms, God no longer had any place in people’s lives.
Modern research has shown that this earth on which we live enjoys such conditions that are ideal for life as are not to be found anywhere else in the universe. In modern scientific parlance, this is referred to as the earth’s ‘life support system’.
The term ‘life support system’ might seem unproblematic, but in the light of some contemporary conceptions of life, it appears to be yet another case of wrong nomenclature. A ‘life support system’ contains all those things that, directly or indirectly, are necessary for the existence and flourishing of life. About these things the Quran (14:34) says:
He has given you all that you asked of Him; and if you try to reckon up God’s favours, you will not be able to count them.
Man was already aware of this fact in general, but modern science has discovered this reality in great detail. The things that God has blessed the world with in terms of the ‘life support system’ are so many that they simply cannot be enumerated. Some of these include the light and heat emitted by the sun, an exactly appropriate gravitational force, an astounding system of oxygen supply, an amazing system of supplying water, abundant sources of nourishment for plants and animals, and so on. Innumerable such things are present on this earth without which life here would have been impossible.
But, as per the Divine scheme, all these many things are not really given as just part of a ‘life support system’. Rather, they are given as part of what can be called a ‘test support system’. In line with God’s Creation Plan, these things are components of a ‘test support system’, and not a ‘life support system’.
According to the Creator’s plan, this world has been made as a testing ground. The freedom that man has been bestowed with in this world has been granted to him not as a right or a reward, but, rather, only as a test. We humans are in this world for a test. This test lasts till the moment of our death. The things that we have in this world are only in order to sustain our lives and to continue with our activities while carrying on participating in this ongoing test.
Death is the moment when the period allotted for this test gets over. That is why all the many things that are part of the ‘test support system’ remain with us only until our death. After that, we are parted from these things forever.
In line with God’s plan, our lives are divided into two periods: the pre-death period, and the post-death period. The things that God has arranged for in this world are only for this duration of the test to which we are all being put. Once this test period is up, all these things will be snatched away from us. And after this, we will find ourselves having to face the Day of Judgment. Depending on our record, we will be admitted into paradise or put into hell.
When you realize this reality of human life, you will recognize that, in a sense, the term ‘life support system’ is a case of wrong nomenclature. In the light of God’s creation plan, what some people call the ‘life support system’ is more appropriately termed as a ‘test support system’, indicating those many things that have been given to us human beings for a limited period so that we can survive while undergoing the test that we all are undergoing throughout our lives on earth.
In itself, the term ‘life support system’ is not wrong. It refers to all the things through which we are able to survive and grow while on earth. But we human beings have not made these things ourselves. Nor have we been given these things as a matter of right. All these things are entirely a blessing from God. Every blessing has a giver. And these blessings, too, have a Giver—God.
People today who do not believe in God consider the ‘life support system’ on its own and by itself, without admitting that there has to be a giver of this immense blessing. They have detached this blessing from its Giver.
This is no ordinary matter. It has produced horrific deviation. It has wiped out the notion of accountability and introspection from people’s minds. People now think that the purpose of life is simply to earn money and ‘enjoy’ themselves as much as they can. Taking things as simply a ‘life support system’ has led people to make use of these things as they please but not to recognize any responsibility in this regard. Because of this, an entire culture and way of life has emerged and has spread across the world based on the theory that the purpose of life is simply to ‘eat, drink and be merry’.
If you consider the many things that this world abounds in as part of a ‘test support system’, you will not regard them as a source of enjoyment. Instead, you will recognize that they have been given to us to enable us to carry on living while undergoing the ongoing test of life. You will realize that these things are like an examination. As long as a student is seated in the examination hall and is writing his examination, he can make use of the facilities that are provided in the hall. But once the time set for the examination is over, he no longer has permission to do this.
We human beings face exactly the same predicament as long as we are in this world. This world is like a vast examination hall. It contains a number of things that a student would need while writing his examination. But as soon as the examination period is over, he does not have the right to benefit from any of them.
When you consider the things that support life in this way as a ‘test support system’, it is enough to completely shake you up. This awareness will make you take life very seriously. When you start viewing things as components of a ‘test support system’, it will lead you to consider them as something that you are responsible for, and not simply as objects of, or for, enjoyment.
To make use of all the many blessings that surround us without considering the Giver of these blessings makes one ungrateful and irresponsible. In contrast, to consider these blessings along with the Giver of these blessings makes one modest and responsible.
The Religion of Islam
Scholars of religion have identified around a dozen major religions of the world. One of these is Islam. According to the general Muslim conception, Islam is the most superior religion. According to the Quran and the Hadith, however, this view is completely baseless. What is true, though, is that there is just one difference between Islam and other religions, and it is in a historical sense.
This one difference is that Islam is a preserved religion, while all other religions are, from the historical point of view, unpreserved religions. The text of no other religion is fully preserved, and nor are its teachings available in their original forms. All other religions have been distorted by clergy of later times, rather than by the immediate followers of the founder of the religion.
The greatest harm caused by this change or distortion or ‘unpreserved-ness’ has been that these other religions have lost many of their original teachings. One major teaching of religion is that man is accountable to God. This point has been made very clearly in the Quran. But this very important teaching was, in later times, deleted from other religions.
In the Jewish religion, for instance, later Jewish scholars invented and added the belief that heaven and hell are a racial matter. They claimed that all non-Jewish people would go to hell and all Jews to heaven. This theory naturally made those who believed in it to lose completely the fear of the Day of Judgment, even though this was a complete deviation from the way of life that God has prescribed.
This deviation in the Jewish religion is clearly mentioned in the Quran. For instance, with reference to Jews, the Quran (2:80) says, “They say, ‘The Fire is not going to touch us, and [even if it does], it will only be for a few days!’” Elsewhere, the Quran (5:18) says: “The Jews and the Christians say, ‘We are the children of God and His beloved ones’.”
In connection with these two Quranic verses, the well-known scholar Maulana Abdul Majid Daryabadi (d. 1977) writes that from Jewish sources it is clear that the Children of Israel considered themselves completely out of, and protected from, hell-fire. He mentions a belief that the fires of hell will not even touch the sinners among the Jewish people, because as soon as they reach the gate of hell they would acknowledge their sins and would return to God. He also mentions a belief among some Jews that on the Day of Judgment, the Prophet Abraham would be standing at the gate of hellfire to prevent any circumcised Israelite from falling into it, and that the fires of Hell would have no powers over any Jew who would have committed wrongdoing. The Jews considered themselves to be God’s favoured ones and were extremely proud about it.
The same claim of deviation can be made with regard to the Christian religion, too. The Prophet Jesus’ teachings were the same as that of all the other prophets, but after him, the Christian Church, through self-styled interpretations, changed his teachings. Today, what is called ‘Christianity’ is not the religion of the Prophet Jesus. Instead, it is a religion that has been invented by the Christian Church. This religion was founded by Paul.
Paul was a famous Christian missionary, and many of his writings have been included in what is called the ‘New Testament’. Much of what is considered as Christianity today is based on Paul’s own views.
Paul died in 67 CE. After this, in 325 CE, the Council of Nicaea was held by the emperor Constantine, and was attended by leading Christian priests. The beliefs and doctrines that were decided at this Council became the foundation of the Christian Church.
Present-day Christianity is based on the belief in what is called the Atonement. This is of fundamental importance in Christianity. According to this belief, in order to atone for the sins of human beings, Jesus was crucified. According to this dogma of the Christian Church, Adam committed a sin by eating the forbidden fruit in paradise, and because of this, all people became sinners by birth. This is what is called ‘original sin’ in Christianity. The Church believes that Jesus died on the cross and that his sufferings and death redeemed mankind and brought about a reconciliation of God to man. He died; it is claimed, to atone for people’s sins. This is what the doctrine of the Atonement claims.
According to this dogma of Atonement, there is just one way for people to be saved: and that is to believe that Jesus died for them on the cross. Only if you believe that Jesus was crucified for humankind can you attain salvation—that is what this dogma claims. If you do not accept this claim, there is no hope for salvation for you, so it is argued.
This belief in Atonement is, from the rational point of view, completely incomprehensible. Interestingly, it is not clearly present in the existing Bible, although the Christian Church is based on this belief.
This belief in the Atonement puts an end to every sort of moral incentive. According to this theory, the condition for salvation is not good deeds, but, rather, belief in the supposed Atonement of Jesus. In this case, why would people who believe in this dogma do good? Furthermore, this dogma puts an effective end to a major teaching of religion—accountability before God.
Consider, now, what are called the ‘Aryan’ religions. These religions have a common belief in the karma theory, or what is called rebirth or reincarnation. According to this theory, depending on our deeds, we continue dying and being reborn back in this world. If you did good in your previous life, you are reborn in this life as a good person. If in this life you do a lot of bad things, in your next life you will be born as a bad person or as an animal.
This cycle of birth and rebirth, it is claimed, passes through hundreds of thousands of life-forms, and finally, if the soul has been fully purified, it attains salvation. Like a drop, it drops into, and gets fully dissolved in, the ocean of Reality. It is said that this process takes place on the basis of the principle of ‘cause-and-effect’. This unseen law of cause-and-effect continues, it is said, till the soul attains salvation.
This theory, too, removes man’s incentive for action. It gives man nothing but an imaginative philosophy. It does not have intellectual or rational proof to support it. It is just a baseless hypothesis. Proponents of this theory claim that some people can remember many of their past lives, and even that one or more people have been able to ‘see’ all their previous lives.
There is no scientific proof whatsoever for this claim. From the point of view of the scientific method, such claims are not valid. They are not scientifically verifiable or repeatable.
The fact of the matter is that other than Islam, all religious theories are simply hypothetical ideas.
‘Creative solution’ is a popular buzzword today. It is about rethinking issues that need solutions and searching for new answers. A creative solution provides a fresh perspective to a challenging problem.
A creative solution is a general principle of nature. It is as much relevant to the secular domain as it is to the religious sphere. It is something fully desirable as far as Islam is concerned. What is called Ijtihad in Islam is precisely this principle. Whether it be in the religious or the secular sphere, people repeatedly face the need to rethink certain issues with an open mind, to rise above prejudices and seek new and effective solutions for them.
A person with a creative mind is someone who is free of prejudices, someone who can think objectively about issues and with a completely open mind. Such a person can arrive at creative solutions to problems.
A prejudiced mind is a veil that prevents one from developing creativity. Freeing yourself from prejudices leads to opening your mind. Try and make yourself someone who thinks with an open mind. Try and keep your real nature alive at every moment and in every circumstance, and then you will find that your mind discovers practicable solutions to even the most difficult problems and situations.
Egoism or Individualism?
There is a genre of literature that is called ‘egoistic literature’. In this genre of writing, the author’s ego occupies a central place. The story revolves around his ego.
Egoism is actually a negative term for individualism. Individualism is a natural attribute of every human being. Misuse of this attribute turns into egoism, which can further escalate into arrogance.
According to a Hadith report, “God created Adam according to His form.” (Bukhari) This does not mean that God has created man in accordance with His appearance. Rather, it means that just as God is a being in Himself, separate from other things, so is man a distinct being. The only difference is that while man has a finite existence, God’s being is infinite; God is self-existent, but man was brought into existence by God.
God’s greatest blessing to human beings is that He has made us beings with a distinct existence, beings that have our existence separate from the stars and the planets, the mountains and the seas. This discovery about the nature of our existence is the greatest that a person can make. If this discovery is based on the realization that we have been bestowed this existence by God, it is the biggest blessing.
Self-confidence is an important attribute. You need to trust yourself. You need to have the necessary determination to do the task you have set for yourself. You need to have the confidence to plan your course of action without hesitation and keeping in mind the available opportunities. You need to be able to discover what opportunities exist and act accordingly. All these are related to self-confidence. You need self-confidence to be successful in any and every sphere of life.
Self-confidence is a sign that you are still alive, and lack of it is a sign of death. But self-confidence has a minus-point, which can sometimes completely destroy a person. This negative-point is what is called over-confidence.
If a little stream runs past your house and you leap across it to the other side, it shows that you have self-confidence. But if instead of a stream it is a wide river and you want to jump across it and reach the other shore, you will not be successful, of course. You will fall into the river and drown.
In this world, all of us exist between two dimensions—ourselves, on the one hand, and external conditions, on the other. In other words, for any effort to succeed, your role is 50%. The remaining 50% depends on the prevailing external conditions.
In this regard, then, what you need to do is that before you take any practical step you should consider both aspects. If you only look at what you want or like and ignore the external conditions, your plan is bound to fail. And then you will start complaining about others, even though you yourself, and not somebody else, are the cause of your failure.
URL of Part One: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-ideology/maulana-wahiduddin-khan-for-new-age-islam/faith-in-the-unseen-–-part-one/d/102004