New Age Islam
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Islamic Ideology ( 30 Apr 2015, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Selective Thinking




By Maulana Wahiduddin Khan for New Age Islam

01 May, 2015

The Quran tells us that God gave human beings something that He did not give any other creature—and that is ‘trust’. It is this ‘trust’ that has made man the most honourable of all creatures. By ‘trust’ is meant what is called ‘free-thinking’, or the capacity to think freely and to freely plan one’s actions. The proper fulfillment of this trust placed on man makes him deserving of Paradise, while failure to do so makes him deserving of Hell (33:72-73).

In reference to this trust, the above verse of the Quran makes mention of two phenomena—injustice and ignorance. Misuse of our God-given free-will quickly causes us to swerve from the path of justice. It also leads us to stray from the path of wisdom. It is this deviation that makes one deserving of Hell.

If you reflect on the matter seriously, you will realise that for our reform, it is enough if we do not stray from our inherent nature. If you exercise self-control and do not deviate from the path of nature, nature will itself become your guide.

Deviation from nature leads one to doom and destruction, while remaining firm on one’s nature makes one successful.

We are in this world as a test—and the test is to see if we opt for the right choice in every situation and save ourselves from a wrong choice. This question of right and wrong choice relates both to our thoughts and to our actions.

An example of opting for the right choice in terms of thought is that of the angels at the start of life. An example of making a wrong choice is seen in the conduct of Satan at the beginning of creation. When the angels were told to prostrate before man, they did so. In contrast, Satan did not agree to this. He expressed his opposition to man being given the charge of earth. This objection was an example of ‘selective thinking’. Iblis or Satan was the leader of the jinns. God had given the charge of the entire universe to the jinns. This was much more than what He had bestowed to man. However, Iblis overlooked this aspect and protested against man being given control of the earth.

This wrong way of thinking is seen throughout the whole of human history. More than 99% people are stuck in negative or ‘selective thinking’. They ignore the many things they have and make a big hue and cry of the things they don’t have and keep obsessing about them.

Muslims are no exception in this regard. Today, Muslims across the world have access to the best of opportunities, in the same way as other people have. But, in line with the law of nature, there are some things that Muslims (like others) have not been given. Muslims are constantly obsessed only about these things, while they completely ignore the many things that they have been given. As a result, all over the world, Muslims are stuck in a whirlpool of negative thinking. Because of this, they are they are bereft of gratitude—and gratitude is the highest form of worship for man.

The cause of this negative thinking of Muslims is that they ignore the many things that they have been given and obsess about the few things that they have not, making the latter the basis of their thinking. This is a very wrong thing to do. It is against divine principles. People who think in this way cannot hope to develop a positive personality. And being deprived of a positive personality means being deprived of God’s blessings.