Nice to meet you everyone. I am Karam Kim Eunsu. Following the previous lecture, we’ll take a look at good personalities recommended by Islam. Last time, we covered briefly the Islamic character, the patience. Patience is called “Sabr” in Arabic, and there are three kinds of patience, as Islamic scholars say. Patience to do good deeds or to perform worship, and patience to abstain from evil deeds and lastly patience to endure destiny which Allah already has written. Let me explain them one by one. Firstly, the patience to perform worship. Worship means “all kinds of words or actions that God is pleased with and delights in” In Islam there are obligatory acts of worship. For example, the prayer(salah). The prayer should be performed in specific time, five times a day. And we find some difficulties in prayers, it’s not like resting at home or playing games. For instance, the Fajr prayer starts at about 3, 4 or 5 a.m in the morning. Waking up in the middle of the night for the prayer is not easy thing at all. Moreover, before prayer, Muslims should do ‘Wudu’. Wudu(ablution) means certain actions of washing hands, feet and face with water. Especially In winter, we do Wudu with cold water, and it may be difficult to put up with its coldness. Nevertheless, Muslims must be patient because it is Allah’s commandment and it is our duty to do it. So waking up early in the morning and doing Wudu or fasting during Ramadan definately needs patience, or “sabr,” so that we abstain from drinking or eating on a scorching days in summer. So Islam emphasizes this first kind of patience. The second kind of patience is patience to stay away from evil deeds. For example, all men have an instinctive love for women, and for looking at beauty of women. But Muslims should not fulfill these kinds of desire for women except through marriage. We have to lower our gazes and it is not allowed to enjoy the beauty of foreign women, which needs patience. And we have some regulations about food. For example, we should not eat pork and eat only halal meat that is slaughtered in a designated way. It is never easy to follow all of these rules without breaking any of them. We must have patience for that. Know that when Judgment Day comes near, practicing the religion of Islam is as difficult as holding a hot charcoal with bare hands. In this reason we might need more patience these days.
Last kinds of patience is to endure destiny. We do our best to achieve certain goal we want, but sometimes we are not happy with the results, even though we had tried our best. In this case we should be patient. Because we Muslims believe that what Allah has prepared for us in our lives is good for us, even though we do not comprehend all of its wisdom right away. Therefore, true Muslims show patience for such trials. And there are two reasons for calamities. I mean, there are two reasons why Allah gives us trials. God gives us trials, firstly because to forgive our sins through those trials, and secondly to raise our stages in the Paradise if we are patient in the trials. Because trial befalls us to have our sins forgiven, we must deal with this trial by positive thoughts, like “If I endure well, Allah will forgive my sins and increase my level in the Paradise” So the Quran says Verily, along with every hardship is relief We will taste the sweetness after our patience with trials, not being irritated nor getting angry, and endure the destiny of Allah. Next character that we will cover after the character of patience is “generosity”. In Arabic it is called “Karam”. And for your information, my name is Karam. To be generous means to overcome the inherent stinginess in one’s inner self until we help others in need. The Qur’an says “Human inner selves are swayed by greed” In order to overcome this greed that exists in ourselves, Islam has legislated various measures. For example, what is called “Zakat” The obligatory donation we must pay is called Zakat. Zakah is donation of certain proportion of wealth to charitable cause for others in need. And there is also what is called “Sadaqah” It’s supererogatory donation, and it differs from “obligatory” Zakah, because Sadaqah is paid “voluntarily” The Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him) says that Sadaqah does not reduce our possessions at all. In other words, if you spend 100 dollars for the needy, 100 dollars will go out of your bank account, but in the future you must get bigger reward for your spending by some means or other. So, according to the Quran, the reward can be manifold up to 700 times. The reward for who spends for Allah’s sake is like seven ears of corn, and each ear has a hundred grains. In this way, by donating Zakah and Sadaqah, we often practice and develop the character of generosity. The next recommended character in Islam is bravery. It is called “Shajaa’ah” in Arabic. The exemplary case for courage is the Prophet Muhammad. One night when muslims were in Madinah, they heard a very scary sound. So people in Madinah were terrified. After a while, residents in Madinah gathered together and decided to go to the place where the sound came from. In their way, they saw the Messenger Muhammad was coming back riding a horse. In other words, as soon as that sound was heard, the Messenger Muhammad set out. He was going there first, to see what the sound is, and where the sound comes from, without fear. Muhammad was a courageous man.
And when he was in battle field, he didn’t cowardly retreat when encountering enemies. Now the last recommended character of Islam to be discussed in this lecture is mercy or “Rahmah” Mercy means the feeling of compassion for those who are lacking and needy, and willing to help them. The Prophet Muhammad said that those who do not show mercy will not receive mercy. The reason for this saying was that the Prophet met a nomad man who said “I have 10 sons and daughters, but I have never kissed my sons or daughters.” He replied that to kiss a child is from feeling of mercy, and unless you show mercy, you will not receive mercy So feeling of compassion for someone who needs help, whether he is a child or an elderly person, and being kind to them is from one’s mercy. To be merciful toward animals is also strongly encouraged in Islam. For example, there was a thirsty dog sticking his tongue out from the thirst and he was taking a rough breath. A prostitute saw this dog and drew water from well and watered him. The prostitute entered the Paradise for her very action. We get to know from this example that the mercy is very important Islamic character. We’ve discussed various character so far. In the coming lectures we will study together about Islamic manners. So please look forward to the next lecture. Thank you