Selfishness brings nothing but loss

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One of the signs of believers’ faith is their moral virtues. Since they aim to attain Allah’s (God’s) approval in everything they do they are always careful to make their surroundings agreeable. One significant attribute of a devout believer is that he is loyal and determined. Believers give thanks for the blessings Allah bestows on them and always think of other believers first in all matters, even if they themselves are in need. They never exhibit an avaricious character. Allah describes this moral virtue of believers thus in the Qur’an:

”They give food, despite their love for it, to the poor and orphans and captives: ‘We feed you only out of desire for the Face of Allah. We do not want any repayment from you or any thanks…’” (Surat al-Insan, 8-11)



Believers, who regard other people as manifestations of Allah, have a great love for other believers that stems from their love of Him. Because of their faith and fear of Allah, they display a parental virtue. The well-being of other believers makes them happier than their own. In one verse Allah says: “You see them bowing and prostrating, seeking Allah’s good favour and His pleasure. Their mark is on their faces, the traces of prostration.” (Surat al-Fath, 29) The light of faith and moral probity of believers who turn to Allah is reflected in their faces.

On the other hand, thinking of their worldly desires alone put people in a humiliating position. In the words of the Qur’an, “Truly man was created headstrong – desperate when bad things happen, begrudging when good things come –“ (Surat al-Ma’arij, 19-21) Allah reveals the selfishness and weakness inherent in earthly desires.

However, people who believe in and fear Allah overcome these deficiencies inherent in their earthly desires through faith and moral virtues, by proper making use of their consciences. But those who strive to possess the temporary baubles of the life of this world imagine that selfishness puts them in a beneficial position. The fact is, however, that the benefits they obtain through selfishness do terrible damage to their souls. These people’s hearts become hardened to the praise of Allah. They therefore fail to see the beauties and manifestations of Allah around them and are unable to properly appreciate His might and power. These people, who turn their backs on moral virtues and seek only their own worldly desires, are unable to turn to Allah in a profound closeness. Their failure to heed their consciences and their selfish behavior also impacts on their faces. The faces of believers, who do heed the voice of their consciences, are radiant like those of the prophets, while the faces of the former display a spiritual rigidity born from selfishness.

Since believers place their trust in Allah, they never thirst for the life of this world and its attractions. They accept everything that Allah ordains for them in their destinies. And Allah bestows great blessings and ease on them because of these moral values. They enjoy the peace of mind that comes from submission to Allah. Those who follow the selfish passions of their earthly desires imagine that the benefits they gain through such moral values can really make them happy. But the result is very different. Allah only bestows true happiness on believers who live their lives for His approval. No blessing obtained through selfishness in the life of this world can replace Muslims’ spiritual peace and happiness, the profound satisfaction that comes from moral values displayed for Allah’s approval. Believers, who know that earthly desires cannot bestow any happiness beyond what Allah desires, keenly avoid complying with these desires and turn to Allah in full submission. They experience a profound satisfaction from overcoming their earthly passions in order to gain the love of Allah and from happily and willingly making sacrifices for His sake. Our Almighty Lord tells us of these servants who exhibit such superior moral virtues in the Qur’an:

“Those who were already settled in the abode, and in faith, before they came, love those who have made migrated to them and do not find in their hearts any need for what they have been given and prefer them to themselves even if they themselves are needy. It is the people who are safe-guarded from the avarice of their own selves who are successful.“ (Surat al-Hashr, 9)
2009-01-02 21:49:02
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