By Time,

Verily man is lost

Except those who have faith and do good deeds

And join together in the mutual teaching of Truth and of Patience and Constancy

- Chapter 103 of the Qur’an

Today, I sit and reflect on these verses. It is true, that as time continues, the more we “progress” the more we seem to have lost ourselves. Humanity for the first time has the capability of affecting the entire planet through our actions. We focus so much on conquering space and beyond, yet we are unable to conquer ourselves.

This particular chapter reminds us that being people of “good faith” is not enough. Because faith or belief should engage our hearts and propel us to do good. That good should begin with us individually, looking after ourselves and trying to become better people. However, it MUST extend itself beyond and into our communities.

Each of us are like lights and as we bring our lights into our community gradually they become brighter and brighter. The Prophet (peace be upon him) reminded us that the best of people are the ones whom people can expect good from them and fear no harm and the worst of people are the ones whom people fear from them harm and can expect no good.

What kind of person are you?

Do people feel safe speaking to you about their problems? Can they approach you for help?

There are numerous ways for us to assist in the community, to help those that are less fortunate than us and it is important in the priorities of our lives, we begin to make this a top one. We must learn to balance our faith and our personal relationship with our Creator with the ability to do good in the community.

This  “good” should not be pretentious, nor should it be one based on pride or arrogance. Instead it should be based on humility and a recognition that those who are around us, who may be less fortunate, have a right on us. On the day of judgement, we should fear that they say to God, that they were in need and “so and so ate their fill, or took care of their needs but never once looked our way.”

How could we expect God to look after our needs when we ignore the needs of those around us?

What I often find remarkable about this particular chapter is that in Arabic, it says “man” as a single person is lost EXCEPT “those who…” it refers to “those” the plural form.  Imam Al Qurtubi reminds us that this indicates the importance of working together in a group. Something clearly demonstrated in the life of the Prophet (peace be upon him). It also helps us to realize the importance of keeping the company of good people who will encourage us to do what is right and push us to do the best that we can when we become lazy or self-absorbed.

During these days and nights, let us reflect on the importance of balancing our faith with our actions and reflect on the company of individuals we keep around us. Do they inspire us to push ourselves to do good? Do they encourage us to re-prioritize our lives to reflect our purpose or do they encourage us to continue in the mundane routines of life?

O Servant of God, the Gates of Paradise are wide open for you, God is calling you to Him and has blessed you with His mercy today, who knows what tomorrow will bring?