What is your objective in learning English? Which goals are you going to reach by learning English? Why are you learning English? Learning English takes time, hardwork, dedication and patience. However, above all these, having a sound aim and destination is the key to real success in English. Don’t forget: your horizon will determine the limits of your English.
There was once a small boy who banged a drum all day and loved every moment of it. He would not be quiet, no matter what anyone else said or did. Various people who called themselves Sufis, and other well-wishers, were called in by neighbors and asked to do something about the child.
The first so-called Sufi told the boy that he would, if he continued to make so much noise, perforate his eardrums; this reasoning was too advanced for the child, who was neither a scientist nor a scholar. The second told him that drum beating was a sacred activity and should be carried out only on special occasions. The third offered the neighbors plugs for their ears; the fourth gave the boy a book; the fifth gave the neighbors books that described a method of controlling anger through biofeedback; the sixth gave the boy meditation exercises to make him placid and explained that all reality was imagination. Like all placebos, each of these remedies worked for a short while, but none worked for very long.
Eventually, a real Sufi came along. He looked at the situation, handed the boy a hammer and chisel, and said, “I wonder what is INSIDE the drum?”
This week is an important week. What is the importance of this week? This week we celebrate the holy birth of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Who is Prophet Muhammad? What is his message? What did Prophet Muhammad tell mankind? How much do we know about his life and his message.
We have a great respect and love towards Prophet Muhammad. When we mention his name, we always praise him. We believe that Muhammad is the last Messenger. But loving a person is not enough. We must know his life and we must learn about his words and actions. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is a model for all muslims. His life explains Qur’an, the holy book. Prophet Muhammad is a mercy to all mankind. So, who is Prophet Muhammad? Let’s know him more closely.
Muhammad (PBUH) was born in Macca. His father died before he was born. His mother Amina passed away when he was only six years old. His grandfather Abdulmuttalib took a good care of the little orphan. But soon his grandfather also died. Prophet Muhammad was alone in the world. His uncle Ebu Talip looked after him after the death of his grandfather. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was very different from his peers. He never worshipped the idols. He never cheated or told a lie. He had a perfect character.
When he grew up, everybody knew his quality and good manners. Muhammad was an honest person. Everybody trusted him in Macca. The people of Macca called him Muhammad the trustworthy. When Muhammad was 25 years old, he married with a wealthy woman called Hatice. Hatice was forty years old that time. Muhammad was working for Hatice’s trade caravans and Hatice admired Muhammad’s kindness, truthfulness and honesty.
Muhammad (PBUH) was around forty years old. But he was often very thoughtful. His society was in darkness and ignorance. The men hated daughters. Some men burried their baby daughters alive. Because having a daughter was something shameful. The people worshipped the idols. The idols were made of stone and wood. Muhammad was surprised. Why did the people worship stones and woods? These idols coudn’t hear or speak. The rich men oppressed the poor men. The strong crushed the weak. The people were usually rude and cruel. There was a big corruption in the society. At this age, Muhammad wanted to be far away from his people. He didn’t like the actions of his people. He would go to a cave called Hira and he would stay in this cave for days and nights.
One day while he was in the cave on Mount Hira, the Archangel Gabriel appeared in the sky and told him he was a prophet. The Archangel Gabriel asked Muhammad to read the first verses of the holy Qur’an but Muhammad said he was unlettered. Yes, Allah chose him as a prophet when he was 40 years old. Muhammad was shocked. He directly went to his wife Hatice and he told her to cover him with a blanket.
Hatice immediately became a muslim when she listened to his story and the first verses of the Qur’an. Ali, the son of his uncle and some of his friends like Ebubekir became muslims as well. Muhammad told his people about Islam secretly for three years. When Omar became a muslim, they started preaching Islam openly. Thus, the difficult years started.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) called the people to believe in only one God. He told the people not to take any partners unto God. He invited the people to goodness, truthfulness, knowledge, equality and all the good manners. The polytheists of Macca didn’t like his message. Because Macca was a center of pilgrimage and trade. In Ka’ba there were more than 300 idols and every year many associators came to visit Ka’ba from different corners of the world. The outstanding families of Macca were earning money from polytheism, so they didn’t accept Prophet Muhammad’s message. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said all the people were equal, but the rich and noble families of Macca made fun of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Because they didn’t want to lose their priviledges.
More people followed Prophet Muhammad, mostly weak and the poor. The leaders of Macca tortured the new believers. They were afraid of Prophet Muhammad’s message. They applied an embargo against muslims. They wouldn’t do any business with muslims. The new muslims were weak, poor and hungry. Some muslims immigrated to Abyssinia. There was a just king in that country. So, muslims would practice their religion in freedom. In the meantime, Prophet Muhammad first lost his wife Hatice who was his biggest helper and then Ebu Talip, his uncle. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was looking for a way out. He went to Taif to preach Islam, but he was rediculed and stoned. Those days some people came from Madina and they accepted Islam. One year later the number of new muslims has increased in Madina and they invited Prophet Muhammad to Madina. However, the polytheists of Macca were determined to kill Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
Click on the link below to listen to this article:
A dervish was praying silently. A wealthy merchant, observing the dervish’s devotion and sincerity, was deeply touched by him. The merchant offered the drevish a bag of gold. “I know you will use the money for God’s sake. Please take it.”
“Just a moment,” the dervish replied. “I’m not sure if it is lawful for me to take your money. Are you a wealthy man? Do you have more money at home?”
“Oh yes. I have at least one thousand gold pieces at home,” claimed the merchant proudly.
“Do you want a thousand gold pieces more?” asked the dervish.
“Why yes, of course. Every day I work hard to earn more money.”
“And do you wish for yet a thousand gold pieces more beyond that?”
“Certainly. Every day I pray that I may earn more and more money.”
The dervish pushed the bag of gold back to the merchant. “I am sorry, but I cannot take your gold,” he said. “A wealthy man cannot take money from a beggar.”
“How can you call yourself a wealthy man and me a beggar?” the merchant spluttered.
The dervish replied, “I am a wealthy man because I am content with whatever God sends me. You are a beggar, because no matter how much you possess, you are always dissatisfied, and always begging God for more.”
— By Sheikh Muzaffer
This is a real story that happened in my life. It is really an interesting and funny story that will make you smile and think. I believe that you must have experienced similar stories in your own life as well. Let’s go back to my university years to meet my twin whose existence I was myself unaware of. No, I haven’t met him yet but I am sure that our names have reached each other. Are you ready to fly back through the time machine?
There was one great master, a Buddhist master, Nagarjuna. A thief came to him. The thief had fallen in love with the master because he had never seen such a beautiful person, such infinite grace. The thief asked Nagarjuna, “Is there some possibility of my growth also? But one thing I must make clear to you: I am a thief. And another thing: I cannot leave it, so please don’t make it a condition. I will do whatsoever you say, but I cannot stop being a thief. That I have tried many times–it never works, so I have left the whole sport. I have accepted my destiny, that I am going to be a thief and remain a thief, so don’t talk about it. From the very beginning let it be clear.”
Nagarjuna said, “Why are you afraid? Who is going to talk about your being a thief?”
The thief said, “But whenever I go to a monk, to a religious priest, or to a religious saint, they always say, ‘First stop stealing.'”
Nagarjuna laughed and said, “Then you must have gone to thieves; otherwise, why? Why should they be concerned? I am not concerned!”
The thief was very happy. He said, “Then it is okay. It seems that now I can become a disciple. You are the right master.”
Nagarjuna accepted him and said, “Now you can go and do whatsoever you like. Only one condition has to be followed: be aware! Go, break into houses, enter, take things, steal; do whatsoever you like, that is of no concern to me, I am not a thief–but do it with full awareness.”
The thief couldn’t understand that he was falling into the trap. He said, “Then everything is okay. I will try.” After three weeks he came back and said, “You are tricky–because if I become aware, I cannot steal. If I steal, awareness disappears. I am in a fix.”
Nagarjuna said, “No more talk about your being a thief and stealing. I am not concerned; I am not a thief. Now, you decide! If you want awareness, then you decide. If you don’t want it, then too you decide.”
The man said, “But now it is difficult. I have tasted it a little, and it is so beautiful–I will leave anything, whatsoever you say. Just the other night for the first time I was able to enter the palace of the king. I opened the treasure. I could have become the richest man in the world–but you were following me and I had to be aware. When I became aware, diamonds looked just like stones, ordinary stones. When I lost awareness, the treasure was there. And I waited and did this many times. I would become aware and I became like a buddha, and I could not even touch it because the whole thing looked foolish, stupid–just stones, what am I doing? Losing myself over stones? But then I would lose awareness; they would become again beautiful, the whole illusion. But finally I decided that they were not worth it.”