If Qualities Change Places, Their Natures Change
One quality... different places, one face. It is sometimes a demon, sometimes an angel, sometimes upright, sometimes wicked; some examples are these:
If an attribute which for the weak in the face of the strong is considered to be dignity, is found in the strong, it is pride and arrogance.
If an attribute which for the strong before the weak is considered to be humility, is found in the weak, it is abasement and hypocrisy.
In his office, a person of authority’s gravity is dignity, and his humility abasement. But in his house, his humility is modesty, and his gravity, arrogance.
Tolerance in someone speaking on his own account is patriotism, and self-sacrifice, a quality, a good deed.
But if the person is speaking on account of others, his tolerance is treachery, and self-sacrifice, an attribute, a wicked act.
In setting up the preliminaries reliance on God is laziness. But handing over to Him in the reaping the consequences is the reliance taught by the Shari’a.
Contentment with one’s lot in respect of the fruits of one’s labour is praiseworthy contentment, and strengthens the desire to work.
But sufficing with existent goods is not desirable contentment, but lack of aspiration. There are numerous other examples.
The Qur’an mentions absolute good works and taqwa. By its indefiniteness, it hints at the existence of degrees; its conciseness is a detailed explanation; its silence, an expansive word.
Both ‘Truth Will Prevail,’ and Its Consequences, Are Intended
Friend! One time, a questioner asked: “Since ‘truth will prevail’ is the truth, why have the infidel prevailed over the Muslim, and force over right?”
I replied: Consider these four points and your difficulty will be resolved. The first point is this. It is not necessary that every means of every truth is true.
Similarly, not every means of every falsehood has to be false. This result emerges: a means which is false prevails over a true means. In which case, a truth is overcome by a falsehood. It occurs temporarily and indirectly; not essentially or permanently.
However, finally, it is always still the truth’s. Force possesses a truth, there is an underlying meaning in its creation. The second point is this:
While it is obligatory that all attributes of all Muslims are Muslim, outwardly it is not always thus.