Muslims

Born Wisdom

Tomorrow is September 2. September- the 9th month. 9=Born. 2=Wisdom (or Woman) according to the Five Percenter’s Supreme Mathematics.

Tomorrow I begin a new chapter in my life working as an assistant teacher at a pre-school. I see the significance of the Supreme Mathematics in relation to this day. (1) Born… I am going through a rebirth, not just as a new career path or even the beginning of the school year but rather a spiritual rebirth. In these past 2 months I have learned and built on more knowledge than I have in the past two years.

Since August 1, I have travelled from the west coast in the Bay Area where I sat with Rastafari brothers, Black Panthers, and other revolutionary Muslims, over to the east coast to build with the Ahmadiyya community,  and finally down south to Texas for a Shia Conference where I met a tattooed gun-owning Sufi  and laughed about how our lives were like a Michael Muhammad Knight novel- and back to my home base, Chicago where I’ve been building with my neighbor who grew up in the NGE/Five Percenter community.

(2) Wisdom. All the wisdom I have gained and began to wish to gain- the thirst for knowledge… ilm… Imam Jafir al-Sadiq (AS) has said,

One who does not use his intelligence will not succeed and one who does not use his knowledge will have no intellect. One who understands will attain nobility and excellence, and one who is tolerant will triumph. Knowledge is a shield (against evil), truth begets honour and ignorance disgrace, understanding is distinction, generosity is salvation and good manners command love and respect. (Muhammad Kulayni, Usūl al-Kāfī – The Book of Intellect and Ignorance.)

I plan to learn much more from the children I will be teaching at the pre-school. These infants, between the ages of 6 and 18 months have so much to offer, life lessons that go beyond any university lecture hall. I envy their innocence and also their strength, to be brought back to such a state of mind even by virtue of sitting and working with them will be an immense honor.

I have seen the beginning of new movements, people struggling together and making beautiful strides towards liberation. I have said goodbye to close friends who are moving across oceans, state lines, or imaginaries. I have seen a part of myself that I don’t ever want to go back to.. and now I am Born again.

This is today’s Supreme Mathematics.

The Divine Obligation to Combat the Self- Pt 1

Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (pbh) narrated on the authority of the Imams before him, that the Holy Prophet (pbh) said: ‘O, Ali, the best thing about self-struggle is when a person wakes up with no desire to wrong anyone”1

What does it mean to engage in self-struggle? It looks a little bit different for each of us, depending on where we are in our lives- spiritually, emotionally, physically.. these all play a role in how we can prepare ourselves for reflection and struggle.

In this narration, we are faced with the possible consequence of no desire to wrong anyone.. is this a realistic possibility for any of us? While self-struggle may be inward and primarily comprised of reflection and thinking of ones own problems, the outcome of self-struggle often comes in the form of how we interact with others. If you are not at peace with yourself, you cannot be at peace with your Creator, or other people in your life.

Have you ever noticed those times when you are particularly angry, irritable or rude to others? These are usually moments when you suffer internally, or are dealing with matters that may be only fixed if you look into your own mind and soul. We may never know the exact ways in which our inner selves produce such hatred or anger towards others, but the only way to combat these ills is to reflect on what is going on inside ourselves.

Personally, I find that the moments when I am most stressed or angry is when I am unsure of a decision I have made or am about to make, or I am suffering from depression and anxiety that turns into bad behavior towards others. Sometimes this can be as simple as ignoring someone’s calls or texts, or taking out my anger on another person by pushing them away.

But what does it mean to truly have no desire to wrong anyone? We may think we are good people and would never harm someone physically, but this “wrong” can be done emotionally or spiritually as well. When was the last time you felt hurt by someone’s words or actions? Were you able to tell them about your pain? Did they apologize and ask for forgiveness?

It seems more and more, with advancing social media and the lack of personal contact with our friends, family, peers, it becomes more difficult for face-to-face interactions and discussions like these. I will be the first to admit that it is much easier to call someone out for their mistakes or pain they have caused me by email, text, or a message on Facebook than it is to get together in person. If I see them face-to-face, it may cause me to get too emotional, I may cry, I may risk them seeing my true pain or how upset I am. How can this be a bad thing? Don’t we want our friends to see the truth of our emotions, our “real” selves?

This narration has really forced me to reflect on how I have hurt others in the past-whether intentionally or not. I hope that I can one day be the person who wakes up with no desire to wrong anyone, and to be the person who is ready to discuss any time someone has wronged me.

 

1 al-Faqih, v. 4, p.245, no 821