Respect (part 3 of 3)

By Aisha Stacey

In the previous articles about respect, we discussed how respect for each other, our environment and ourselves was inherent in the religion of Islam.  The concept of treating ourselves and everything around us with respect is not possible without complete submission to God, and without understanding how and why we surrender to His will.  God reminds us in Quran that our sole purpose in life is to worship Him.

“And I (God) created not the jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me (Alone).” (Quran 51:56)

Worshipping God does not spending  the entire day in one place praying, it does not mean that we neglect the life of this world in favour of a life of seclusion; what it means is that we fulfill our obligations towards God and attempt to have Him constantly on our minds and tongues.  The mundane tasks of life become worship when they are done to please our Creator.  When we fulfil our obligations such as to pray, fast, and give charity, it becomes worship when done with a sense of gratitude and humbleness.  God does not need us, for He is Self-sufficient and Omnipotent. We are the ones in need of Him.  He is the reason for our existence and He is the foundation on which we should build our lives.

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Respect (part 2 of 3)

By Aisha Stacey

 

In this new century punctuated by astounding technological advancement, and instant global communication it has become commonplace to hear people talk about respect, or lack of it.  One hears about respect for the environment, respect for other cultures and religions, respect for each other and the catch cry of the 21st century – self respect.  We lose respect for our politicians and governments, we gain respect for our sporting heroes and actors.  We try to respect our planet by turning off taps and unnecessary lights.  We complain bitterly about our lives and the lack of respect we feel at home and at work.  We live in a topsy- turvy world where we talk reverently of actors who give charity to drought ravaged countries while we throw food into garbage bins.  We shed tears over drug-addicted singers yet step over the homeless cluttering our streets.  We respect the learned men that warn us of global warming but we ignore the commandments of our Creator.  We understand the significance of respect but we are unable to attain it.  For many of us the essence is lost!

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Respect (1-3)

The condition of being honoured esteemed or well regarded.  This is the most commonly understood definition of respect.  In fact, the thesaurus goes on the describe respect as a courteous regard for peoples feelings and links respect to honour, kindness, obedience and tolerance.  So what is the role of respect in Islam?  Islam states that it is the responsibility of each individual to treat all of creation with respect, honour and dignity.  The most deserving of respect is the Creator Himself.  Respect begins with loving and obeying the commandments of God and from this respect flow all the manners and high standards of morality that are inherent in Islam.

“And whosoever obeys God and His Messenger, fears God, and keeps his duty (to Him), such are the successful ones.” (Quran 24:52)

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