Way of the Seekers

No Comments | February 2010

(English translation of an excerpt from original Urdu)

A ‘Good Man’ Defined

Let me now turn to the important question: What is the definition of a good man? The Christian view is that a man has to possess all virtues and to be free from all vices, all defects, to be called a good man. Other religions have more or less followed the same line. But the Holy Qur’an says explicitly:

Then, as for him whose scales are heavy, he will have a pleasant life. But as for him whose scales are light, hell will be his resort. (Ch.101:Vs.7-10)

For instance, if an examinee answers nine questions correctly but his answer to the tenth is not correct he will not be penalised for it. Similarly doctors too commit occasional mistakes but if by and large their patients get well, they are considered good doctors.

This means that a moral person is one the quantum of whose virtues is overwhelmingly greater than that of his vices, or alternatively an immoral person would be one whose vices outweigh his virtues. This is unlike what other religions say. From their point of view, a person may live a clean, full and virtuous life; but let him commit one mistake and this would be enough to condemn him as immoral. The Islamic approach is different. In Islam a moral person is one who honestly and sincerely exerts himself to do what is right, so much so that his virtues cover and score out his faults.

The truth is that other religious teachings regard the Shari‘ah as arbitrary. To them it is nothing more than commands which must be obeyed to please the law-giver’s fancy. The slightest breach brings down a penalty. There is no forgiveness, no exception, no leniency. The Shari‘ah, according to them, is nothing more than a manual of penalties. The Islamic view of Shari‘ah is quite different. The Shari‘ah rituals are not ends in themselves. They are exercises to help promote the really good life; the life of the heart. Therefore, if you fail to perform a prescribed ritual, you do not at once attract punishment, unless the omission or the error violates the purpose of the exercise itself. This does not mean, however, that occasional wrong-doing is permitted in Islam. No. That is not so. Deliberate wrong-doing is a kind of holiday from moral life. It is rebellion; and certainly rebellion is not permitted. If in a school examination a student refuses to answer one question and says he will not answer, because he has so willed, his act will be treated as a kind of indiscipline. He is just asking for punishment. It amounts to insulting the institution. But if he is unable to answer one or two questions, that is quite another matter. That would not entail any punishment. But deliberate refusal would be quite a different story.

Can Morality Be Taught?

The question arises; can morality be learned and taught? The answer is, why not? But this is a general answer. When the question is faced directly and a person is asked: Have you done all you can to improve your moral life? Have you met with the desired change? The reply generally is: No, I have tried but it is very difficult. Ask anyone in a group if morals can be improved; the answer will be: Yes. But when you ask if the person concerned has succeeded in actually improving his morals, he will say: I have done my best but I have not succeeded. The position is paradoxical. We have, in most matters, a poor opinion about others but a good opinion about ourselves. But in the matter of moral change and improvement by effort and exercise, human behaviour is the other way around. Somehow, others seem to be able to do something to improve their morals, but not we. We have some special difficulties or circumstances which hinder us. However, the Holy Qur’an is quite explicit on this point. According to the Holy Qur’an, moral life can be improved. Says the Holy Qur’an:

Continue to admonish, for admonition always helps. (Ch.87:V.10)

A Prophet is never to tire of giving good advice to his people. Good counsel never goes unrewarded. The Holy Qur’an is definitely optimistic in this respect and it is a thing worth noting. No wonder the Promised Messiah(as), who drew on the Holy Qur’an for everything he taught, held fast to this teaching of the Holy Book. What he said to his followers again and again and in different ways inspired hope. Once he said:

‘Think not: “We are sinners, so will our prayers be heard?” Do not think like this. Man makes mistakes, but a time comes when he is able to overpower his sinning self. This power to overcome the sinning self is also built into the nature of man. Water puts out fire. This is part of its nature. However much you may heat it, when water drops onto fire it must put it out. That is natural. So is man a purifier by nature. Every man has this purifying property. Do not feel defeated because you have been involved in sin. Sin is like a stain on the surface of a piece of cloth. It can be washed away. Your habits, your dispositions may be dominated ever so much by your passions. Pray to God weeping, crying – He will not let your prayers go waste. He is full of compassion.’ (Al-Badr, 1907)

The Promised Messiah(as)’s message is full of hope. It is the message of the Holy Qur’an, amplified in his style by the Promised Messiah(as). The optimism which permeates the Holy Qur’an is unequalled in any other Holy Book. The way it is amplified by the Promised Messiah(as) is indeed unequalled by any similar writer on the subject.

It becomes crystal-clear from the Promised Messiah(as)’s words quoted above that human nature has something built-in, which, when put to use, washes away all sin, and the sought-for resulting improvement is there for all to see.

Is Man in his Natural State Good or Bad?

The question may be asked: If man is so capable of counteracting evil, why is there so much evil in the world? Or, why is there more evil than good in the world?

I answered this question on another occasion before. But during the last few days, about half a dozen different people from different places have put this question to me again. It is quite strange that the same question should be raised by so many people at once and the same time. But let me proceed to answer the question.

The question is: Can we say that man is good by nature? We must remember that God has endowed man with all sorts of capabilities and has also endowed him with the freedom and the discretion to use them in a good or bad way. The parting of the ways is shown to him and then he is left free to act. Says the Holy Qur’an:

We have shown him the Way, whether he be grateful or ungrateful. (Ch.75:V.4)

More Good or Evil

The fact is that it is often forgotten owing mainly to errors of observation that the world is more good than evil. Take a thief; true, he commits theft, but against each theft, he does so many things which are good. Perhaps he meets people in a pleasant manner. He is generous and charitable. He serves his parents, and takes good care of them. If you count up in this way, you will find the good in each person preponderating over evil.

So also men taken individually do more good things than evil. The quantum of good or evil in the world would certainly give good an edge over evil, possibly more than an edge. Why do people generally think the number of evil actions to be greater? This wrong impression is the product of two cir-cumstances. One is the too patent fact that in terms of formal, professed belief and unbelief, certainly unbelievers would be found in a much larger number. The other circumstance is that most men suffer from one moral defect or another. Because of this, the quantum of evil seems larger.

But it is an illusion. These circumstances are not adequate proof that there is more evil than good in the world. Certainly, there may be more unbelievers. But the number of enlightened and convinced unbelievers is much less than appears on the surface. The so-called unbelievers are often such as have not really analysed or tested their beliefs. Many so-called Kafirs [(disbelievers)] are not Kafirs in the eyes of God. They will yet have the chance to decide. Or, if this does not happen, their actions, which they have performed freely and responsibly, will be taken into account in determining their moral merit. Thus weighed, can we say how many will turn out to be good men and how many evil? Altogether it seems there is more belief in the world than disbelief. Proportionately, therefore, it would be safe to say that there is more good in the world than evil.

The other circumstance too, that all or most people suffer from some moral defect or other, is open to question. In fact, this is not the way to judge the matter. The question is: Are most men good or bad? If most men are good, the quantum of good in the world is greater. If most men possess most of the good moral qualities, the good predominates. Keeping in view the total good of men in the world as a whole, the evidence on the side of good will be found to be more incontrovertible.

Some people at this point interject and say that if most people are in for punishment of one kind or another, then what does it prove except that Satan has won and God has lost. But I would say: No, still God is the winner and Satan the loser. For, does not Islam say that ultimately, that is, after all accounts have been settled, all human beings will enter the Divine Garden:

And I have not created the Jinn and the men but that they may worship Me. (Ch.51:V.57)

This eventuality fulfilled, as it must be, who will think that any human beings who have, by trial and error, become images of their Creator, should still remain in Hell and not go to the Garden, which is the destiny of all good men and women? From other evidence also we know that a time will come when hell would be emptied of all its inmates, also that they will all have been admitted to the Garden. All will have become good servants of Allah. When this happens, where will Satan be? Do you think he will be sitting by himself alone, unlike the rest of the creatures? He also will join the others in the Garden after he has been cleansed of all evil. So he will after all be defeated in his personal aim to mislead human beings and will himself stand de-satanised. Those who consider Satan as the winning party shall stand corrected when they find Satan in the Garden: Satan who has ceased to be Satan.

To turn to the question of the definition of the perfect man. The perfect man is free from sin to the extent that in after-death he finds himself equal to the requirements of the good life. “Requirements of good life” means to deserve the pleasure of God and to be safe from His displeasure. The good soul has enough good deeds to its credit to enable it to enter the Garden of Divine pleasure at once. The emphasis is on at once. The perfect man is ready to enter the Garden at once, to which sooner or later, every soul will be admitted. The perfect man’s only distinction is that he will be among the first to enter.

What is Sin?

I now turn to the definition of sin. Sin is an activity which renders the human soul sick and incapable of viewing the face of God. Difficulties have to be encountered in the journey which the soul undertakes as it moves towards the purpose of its creation. Activities which amount to sinning are either physical, whose dangers are visible to oneself as well as to others; or, they are spiritual. Of the physical activities many are such that the dangers and disabilities they entail are obvious.

What are good deeds? Good deeds are deeds which bring a person enough strength to join the onward march in the hereafter and which makes the soul capable of viewing the countenance of the Lord. Normally, a healthy person means one who is capable of going about life’s activities in a normal way. One does not have to be extra-capable. One has to be just capable. Otherwise, small defects exist in everyone. Doctors cannot point to a single perfectly healthy body. A good man is one who has done enough good deeds, both physical and spiritual, to be capable of viewing the countenance of God.

Kinds of Virtues and Vices

We cannot give an adequate account of the different kinds of sin, unless we can also describe different kinds of virtue. So, let us remember, there are three kinds of virtues and correspondingly three different kinds of vices or sins. They are as follows:

• Virtues and vices which pertain to the heart. These indeed are the real virtues or vices.

• Virtues and vices of the tongue or expression.

• Virtues and vices which entail the use of the other physical organs like hands, feet, eyes, etc., etc.

Where Does Sin Come From?

Here an important question arises. It may be asked, with so many encouragements towards a life of virtue, and so many discouragements towards a life of vice, and so much room for improvement, how does vice manage to enter the life of man?

I can only briefly indicate the answers to this important question. The main causes of sin are the following.

(1) Ignorance. Sometimes a person allows himself no time for reflection while trying to satisfy his natural impulses and allows a passing interest or pleasure to determine his action. The excitement of the moment removes from his view the more permanent and the more solidly happy ends of life.

Why should this happen? Why are the more permanent ends of life ignored?

Firstly, because of ignorance, which may be permanent or passing. Permanent ignorance is a thing apart. Temporary ignorance is ignorance despite knowledge. This sort of ignorance can have many causes:

• Greed – too much greed blinds a person to many important matters

• Pugnacity

• Intense need

• Bad health

• Excessive fear

• Excessive love

• Excessive optimism

• Excessive pessimism

• Excessive insistence on anything

• Excessive desire

• Excessive lack of desire

• Hereditary tendencies

These are the twelve sources or circumstances which produce or promote ignorance.

(2) Besides ignorance, the second big source of sin is social contacts and companions. Man is a born imitator. He tends to do as others do, without weighing and considering the consequences of what he is doing. These social influences include the influence of parents and other relations, playmates, teachers, social institutions and customs.

One source of sin and sinning we have said is ignorance. But ignorance can be just ignorance, or it can be wrong knowledge, which makes it different from sheer ignorance. Wrong knowledge is invariably accepted as knowledge, and spurious generalisations as authentic principles.

Another source of sinning is bad habits. Knowing very well what truth is and that merit attaches to telling the truth, when the crucial moment arrives a person tends not to tell the truth. An addict makes up his mind not to drink any more. He knows all about drinking and not drinking. But when the party sits down to drink he allows himself to join in and cannot resist the temptation. At the slightest call his resolve not to drink is broken.

Sinning is also caused by habits of laziness and lack of organised hours of daily life. A person tends to take things easy. He is carefree. He has no inclination to work. When the time comes, he tends to make light of what he has to do. Time passes and he suddenly finds himself drinking. Once a sincere companion of the Holy Prophet(saw) was all but ready to go to the battlefield, but he made no preparation for it. He had persuaded himself that when the time came he would be able to join the party with ease. He continued to leave his preparations to the end. The result was he was left behind and could not join the army. Laziness, therefore, is often the cause of sin. Man is lazy and easy-going and is incapable of commanding himself to get up and go.

One source of sinning is lack of comparative judgment. Out of two alternative courses of action, a person cannot decide which is the better of the two. It also becomes a question for such people how different emotions are to be applied to different situations and is made by two parties, but how far does one go with one party and how far with the other? A man loves his wife but also his mother. Both have a similar title to love. This gives rise to difficult situations which are largely self-created. Similarly, many people become convinced of the truth of the Promised Messiah(as) but hesitate to join the fold. They say they owe allegiance to another saint whom they do not want to leave. These difficulties are due to an incapacity to judge.

Another source of sin is the many invisible influences which criss-cross one another in our lives. They exert a kind of hypnotic influence, unknown to the person affected. No argument is given nor is any appeal made, but the presence of influences which ideas generate is undeniable. This needs some explanation. Let a decent person live in close proximity to nine others not so decent, who nurse evil thought without any overt communication. He will soon begin to feel the evil influence. This reminds me of a Sikh student who had great affection for the Promised Messiah(as). On one occasion he sent a message to him – through Hadhrat Maulawi Nuruddin Sahib(ra) – that his mind was being affected by agnostic thinking. The Promised Messiah(as) suggested that this young man should change his seat in the classroom and sit away from his classmates who sat close to him. The change proved the cure for his agnosticism. No argument had passed between them, but unexpressed thoughts were being communicated in some mysterious way.

Thoughts are like waves and have a power of their own. The Holy Qur’an and the Holy Prophet(saw) endorse this. Animal life also bears out this point. For example, two cats confront each other in an imminent fight. After an exchange of the usual mutual threats and noises, one of them is found to lower its tail and leave as if worsted. There is no visible fight; yet there was some kind of a contact.

Animals communicate without words or signs. Let four or five lions be brought together. Before long, only the strongest of them will be left standing as the master of the scene. Others will have lowered their tails and slipped away. If meat is thrown to them, none will dare eat except the strongest; the rest will just stand by and watch as if paralysed with some secret fear.

Hypnosis: Under hypnosis too we can observe similar phenomena. I was once experimenting with hypnotic influences. I had some questions raised by agnostics which I wanted to answer experimentally. Our grandmother who was an amused spectator and was standing nearby, dismissed the whole idea. She thought animals could not be influenced. She said: Here is a sparrow. Catch it if you can. I took her at her word. As I gazed into the eyes of the sparrow, I went close to her. She did not move. But when I proceeded to catch her, my hand intervened between her eyes and mine. This broke the spell and she flew out of my hand.

One traveller writes: I saw a squirrel running mad. Round and round she went gravitating at the same spot from which she had started. When I went near the spot I saw a snake protruding out his neck. The two were eventually very close to each other. The snake was about to make a morsel of her. I too went closer. The snake was still intent on eating her up. I hit the snake and scared it away. It is obvious; the squirrel was aware of the presence of the snake and wanted him to run away, before she did.

Another traveller writes: In an African jungle I saw a bird fluttering for life. I looked closer and saw a snake looking intently into the eyes of the bird. I killed the snake but later I found the bird too had died, possibly out of the fear of being caught.

In England they performed another kind of experiment. Two insects of the same species were placed apart at a distance of five miles from each other. In course of time, they both found each other. Something intangible must have exerted its pull to join them together.

An American biologist built an ant-house and sealed it carefully from the outside. After a while, whole colonies of ants were found sticking to the outside of a wall of the ant-house. On closer examination, it was discovered that the ants were sticking on the outside of the wall exactly on the spot where another colony of ants had collected inside. The experiment was repeated in another house, with the same result.

From these examples it is obvious that even at the animal level waves of some kind shoot out which are more mental than physical. Their impact on intercommunication and mutual relations is undeniable. They do affect our modes of behaviour. It is said that whenever the Holy Prophet(saw) mixed with groups of people, he would invoke God’s forgiveness and protection seventy times, not that he was afraid of physical contagion, though it is true Prophets love to be clean and that was one reason why he sought God’s protection, but the other and the more important reason was that he cared for people who were clean in their own right but were likely to be affected by unclean thoughts and their evil influence.

Sin-Infected Conditions

To combat sin it is necessary to be able to identify sin-infected conditions. I would, therefore, give an account of such conditions so that their identification should become easy. Among them are the following:

1. A person looks upon sin with horror but now and then finds himself inclined towards it.

2. He still hates sin but is unable always to resist the temptation and falls for sin.

3. He does not hate sin but no more does he relish a life of sin. The result is that he commits a sinful action occasionally, without really liking or disliking sin.

4. He relishes sin but not without shame. If he sins, he sins in secret. If he refrains from sin, he does so because of past habit or because of social custom.

5. At this stage, he sinks much lower. Past habit and social custom cease to be adequate restraints. He is now ready to indulge in and enjoy a sinful life.

6. At this stage, he is not only sinful and evil, but also encourages others to be evil and sinful like him.

7. At this last and lowest stage, he becomes a profile of Satan, propagation of evil becomes his daily concern.

In comparison with sin-infected conditions, we have the following good conditions listed below in an ascending order:

1. To do good for the sake of reward.

2. To choose good as a commandment of God.

3. To do good for the sake of good and to consider virtue to be its own reward.

4. To do good as a natural habit.

5. To enjoy doing good.

6. To propagate good in the world.

7. To become an embodiment of good and to treat its dissemination as one’s single unalloyed aim in life like the angels. There are higher grades of goodness like prophethood; but they are a gift of God and cannot be attained by mere effort.

I have explained above that human actions may be good both morally and spiritually. When human actions pertain to other human beings, they are called moral. When they pertain to God, they are called spiritual. This means that from the practical point of view, they are subject to the same practices and rules, the same exercises and the same general principles. Moral and spiritual ailments, therefore, can be classed and treated together. I do not feel the necessity of elaborating this treatment any further. Others have already done this, including Sufis. So I would not like to add to whatever little I have said on the subject. The practical side of sin, however, remains important. This has to be studied in the light of the teachings of Islam.

The Islamic treatment of sin is unique – it is part of its perfect teaching. Islam does not start treating sin after it has been committed. It turns more to prevention than cure. It raises the question: What can be done to prevent sin? There is no doubt that this is the rational approach, which contains the key to the treatment of sin. When a piece of cloth has become dirty, it needs more effort to clean it. It is best to see that we do not let it become dirty. This indeed is the main difference between Islamic and other teachings. Unlike other religions, Islam does not merely tell us what to do after a person has become sin-infected, it also tells us what is to be done when sin has not yet appeared and what may be done to prevent it appearing.

It is to be regretted that despite the fact the Holy Qur’an has invited our attention to this subject and many Muslim saints have done the same, Muslims as a people have not given as much attention to this aspect as they should have. They have ignored the important fact that the foundations of sin are laid long before a person becomes an adult. Sin is not a sudden phenomenon. When a person suddenly takes to a life of sin, it is usually forgotten that it is not a sudden change from good to evil. It is not now that the adult has become bad. The seeds of badness were sown long ago. Only, the seed that was sown when he was a child has sprouted forth and becomes a tree. If the potentiality of sin was not there, where did sin come from when the erstwhile child attained puberty? Seeds of sin are indeed sown long before puberty. Muslim scholars have also pointed this out. The fact of the matter is that the seed of sin is sown soon after birth and sometimes even before birth.

When doctors of religion start worrying about the bad morals of an adult, the adult is already in the firm grip of Satan. I am not so pessimistic as to think that when a man becomes adult, he has already acquired every possible evil that he can. What I mean is that the inclination and the power to do evil have taken root. I have already said that the basic dispositions of matter out of which morals are born, are limited. If these dispositions somehow go wrong in childhood, outwardly the child would seem to be sinless and harmless, but in reality he would have acquired all the power and all the means to commit sinful actions.

Now ponder a little. Where does sin come from? Does it come from parents? No, certainly not. But we know that sometimes certain dispositions run in the family from generation to generation. The same habits, the same dispositions, the same skills keep emerging. You cannot make a people courageous overnight whose courage has been dead over many generations. When such people go to the battlefield they are certain to let you down. In any case, they will fail to show the degree and quality of courage which a seasoned force of fighting experience extending over many generations is able to do. True, there are remedies for defects and deviations, but hereditary traits acquired through generations of habit and training are hard to correct.

Similarly, sin is also rooted in greed, aggression, fear, love and excess of desire. Now ponder a little. These desires and inclinations are planted in childhood. The child is a great learner. He begins to learn as soon as he is born. His first acquisitions seem harmless enough. Sometimes he shows streaks which could become sins later on. But the parents ignore them saying he is but a child. They forget that it is in childhood that the seed is sown and impressions become deep. A person who begins to steal as an adult could have been saved from this nefarious practice if he had been checked and taught self-control when he was a child. He need not have become a thief as an adult. Similarly, a person goes to the battlefield as a soldier, but on facing the enemy, he recoils and runs away. How cowardly, exclaim the people around him. But the fault is not his. As a child he had been told tales of cowardice. It is these tales which have made him afraid at the sight of the enemy.

The same is the case with aggression and pugnacity. Parental control is lax and these emotions are allowed an unbridled play. The result is that when the child grows up, he becomes the quarrelling type who would fight on the slightest pretext.

Sin is invariably rooted in lack of will-power. Lack of will-power is not a natural defect. It has its causes. How is it that a person continues throughout life making and breaking resolutions? He keeps doing this because of lack of will-power. Remember, it is in childhood and in childhood alone that this emotional sickness takes hold. Nobody notices it at the time, but a habit is being built then which it will not be easy to break later on; otherwise, there is no reason why an understanding adult should wish to give up something and not be able to do it. It means he has been trained badly as a child. Otherwise it should be quite enough to tell him that such and such a thing is good and ought to be chosen and pursued and such and such a thing is bad and is not worthy of pursuit. On just being told, one should be able to choose the right course.

How can the young child be protected from this early sickness? The first thing is to keep pure the thoughts and emotions which sway the parents, for parental thoughts and emotions also play their part in shaping the character of the child even at the prenatal stage. The door to evil thoughts must be closed particularly while we are preparing to receive the child. What can we do except, as far as possible, to keep our thoughts always pure and clean? If you desire to do your unborn children any good, then your own thoughts must also be pure. Islam has a recipe for situations like this. This recipe is that when husband and wife consort together, they should supplicate:

“Shield us, O Allah, against Satan, and keep Satan away from whatever Thou mightest bestow upon us.”

This supplication is not a magic incantation, nor is it a charm. It is not necessary either that its Arabic version must be employed. The substance of the prayer is that we say to God: O Allah, sin is a filthy thing, save us from it; and also safeguard our children against it. This prayer and this thought will act as a wall between the unborn child and the influences of Satan. The Holy Prophet(saw) has assured that the child born after this prayer will be free from Satanic influences.

Many people say that they have used this prayer but the result has not been as expected. Let me tell them that addressing the prayer like a magic formula or a charm is not enough. I am quite sure that many who complain use the prayer only as a charm. Secondly, this prayer does not cover all the subsequent delinquencies of which man is capable. Many learn evil habits after birth. Only the inheritable delinquencies are covered by this prayer.

After acquiring the disposition to sin at the parental stage, a child begins to develop sinful dispositions in his early childhood. Islam has expounded this great truth and has laid down that the training of the child should begin not only at birth, but long before birth. I almost think that the Holy Prophet(saw) would have gone even further back. He would have laid down that the training of the child should begin while the child is still in his mother’s womb. But not many people would have been prepared to undertake the care of the unborn child during this delicate period. Therefore, the Holy Prophet(saw) laid down that the training should begin at birth. The first thing is to recite the Adhan (Call to prayer) in the child’s ear at its birth. Nobody should think that this is just a piece of magic incantation. Both the words and the meaning of Adhan find their way to the mind of the child. Moreover, it is a reminder to the parents that they are responsible for the life of the newly born. The training of that life is now their responsibility. It begins from its birth. Besides the Adhan, the Holy Prophet(saw) has laid down, that children should be taught good manners from their childhood. He is reported to have given the following advice to Hadhrat Imam Hassan(ra), his own grandchild, when he was having his meal. The Holy Prophet(saw) said to him:

“Eat with your right hand and from that which is in front of you.”

Hadhrat Imam Hassan(ra) was only about two and a half years at the time. In our country, if a child begins to manipulate the whole dish and starts taking big mouthfuls, not minding the clean clothes of whosoever sits on either side, the parents only enjoy the scene and say nothing to the child. At the most they administer a mild rebuke or two. Their aim is not really to teach the child or to prevent him or her from wrongdoing. The casual rebuke is not seriously meant. There is another episode from the life of the Holy Prophet(saw). A basket of dates had arrived to be distributed among the poor. Imam Hassan was very young at the time. He picked up a date and put it in his mouth. As soon as the Holy Prophet(saw) noticed this, he put his finger in the child’s mouth and pulled out the date. What he meant was that a Prophet(saw)’s grandchild was not to eat what belonged to others, that he was supposed to make his own living when he grew up and not be a burden on others.

In short, childhood training is very important. What he becomes as a child, he will become as an adult. No wonder the Holy Prophet(saw) has said:

“Every child is born true to nature. It is his parents who make of him a Jew or a Christian or a Magian.”

Readers are invited to read the full transcript of this enlightening discourse, available at: www.alislam.org/books/seekers

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