The Need for Balance

How can we become a successful human being?

Who wants to fail? Nobody right?

Man was destined to be successful, as in Surah At-Tin (95:4) Allah had affirmed that “Verily, We created man of the best stature (mould),” but then many will fall by the wayside. “We reduced him to the lowest of the low (verse 5). So how can we avoid failure?

In Surah At-Tin (95:6), it states that those who will succeed are “those who believe (in Islamic Monotheism) and do righteous deeds, then they shall have a reward without end (Paradise).”

Surah Al-Asr (103:3) further explain this fact; “Except those who believe (in Islamic Monotheism) and do righteous good deeds, and recommend one another to the truth (i.e. remind one another to perform all kinds of good deeds (Al-Ma’ruf) and abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds (Al-Munkar)), and recommend one another to patience (for the sufferings, harms, and injuries which one may encounter in Allah’s cause) “.

These verses conclude that failure can be avoided if we have the right spiritual values, take affirmative actions (do good deeds) , acquire proper knowledge -knowing what is right and what is wrong and also have patience (achievement of emotional pinnacle) in the things we do.

The environment is become complex and things are ever mercurial.  To be successful we need build our character from within and to move at the speed of balance.

Successful people lead balanced lives. They are principle centred foremost, they are energetic so they have hobbies, have family, friends, they are highly intellect and innovative, passionate, wise, good orators and so forth.

In one of my readings I came across a stimulating article regarding the Bushido code: The Eight Virtues of the Samurai (Justice, Courage, Benevolence, Politeness, Honesty, Honour, Loyalty and Self-Control). Interestingly these are Shariah-based traits.

Righteousness or justice is top of the list in a samurai’s ethics. They are principle centred. A samurai is essentially a man of action and courageous but must be doing what is right. Though Bushido deals with the profession of soldiering, it is equally concerned with non-martial behaviour. Politeness should be the expression of a benevolent regard for the feelings of others and would be in its highest form if politeness approaches love. Intellectual superiority is respected and the samurai must be benevolence or merciful, the highest attribute of the human soul.

The samurai warrior had dominated the Japanese government and society until the Meiji Restoration of 1868 which led to the abolition of the feudal system. By 1867, the public wearing of swords was outlawed and the warrior class was abolished. Nonetheless, what remains and of great significance is Bushido– “the way of the warrior”. This is the basic code of conduct for much of Japanese society and has helped Japan to be a successful nation again.  The samurai still exist in every Japanese but only without the sword.

Though it is good to have physical strength and fighting skills, we can overcome our adversaries peaceably, by relying on wits rather than weapons, on strategy over swords. You can still win through negotiation and alliance building rather than through brute force.

So I implore that every one of us must not only nurture our intelligence (IQ) but also our health and physique (PQ), emotional bearing (EQ) and last but not least our righteous spirits (SQ). We need to have balance.

By Ezamshah Ismail, Senior Teaching Fellow

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