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Focusing on the Core

April 5, 2012 Leave a comment

Listen Here: “Focusing on the Core” by Shaykh Husain Abdul Sattar

I wish we would discuss Islamic lectures the way we discuss tv shows. We often have lengthy discussions on a show’s characters, premises, events, effects, and thoughts on what will happen next. This is especially true for Pakistani dramas. However, we leave Islamic events and the discussion in the car goes like:

Fatima: “So that was a nice talk.”

Mariam: “Yeah (nods), I liked it. It was beneficial. I’m kind of in the mood for Chinese.”

Most talks provide opportunities for great reflections when you really think about them, especially Shaykh Husain’s talks. In “Focusing on the Core,” he discusses how we should focus on what matters more and learn to ignore the superficial fluff that surrounds us, he says, “Every matter has a surface, and behind that surface lies a core… people become people of the core by learning to overlook the surface.”

For example there is a house and there is a home. The house is a structure no matter how beautiful and ornate, but a home is connections, memories, peace, and love. People usually focus on the house (surface) but only the home (core) brings you tranquility and happiness. You can buy a house but not a home.

The surface of something doesn’t explicate it’s core, a person could look very physically strong but be completely incapable of controlling his desires, lack courage and character etc. Nice clothes and hair don’t make us beautiful, we are beautiful if our core is beautiful because Allah  سبحانه و تعالى‎ is seeing that beauty.

The people of Allah are those who, as described in the Quran, remember Him standing, sitting, and lying (every possible stance= constantly). They recognize that the whole of creation is nothing but a sign of Allah سبحانه و تعالى‎ and they reflect upon this creation. They are able to conclude that there’s nothing left for them to do except worship Allah سبحانه و تعالى‎ and seek refuge from the torments of the fire. They are the ones focusing on the core. We as humans have to get past the games of this life and establish the core.

My Thoughts: So what are some other examples of how we neglect the core and focus on the fluff? One thing we students do is spend so much time on our worldly studies that we can’t even remember the last time we studied this much about Islam, while Islam is the only true knowledge to be had. Sometimes parents are so passionately concerned about the college, career, and marriage of their children, that encouraging the deen just becomes a side-note. If the children let them down in any of these spheres then that becomes the main source of aggravation, not that they’re hardly praying or openly sinning. The real concern should be the deen of the children and everything else should be a side-note. May Allah سبحانه و تعالى‎ help us navigate through the insignificant and reach the significant.

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