Establishing A Proper Balance
By Imam W. Deen Mohammed
With the Name Allah (In the Name of God), the Gracious, the Compassionate.
It is beautiful that God revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings upon him) the balanced way of life. In the language of the scripture, "Allah has embraced and reached everything in His Wisdom and in His mercy." It can be said another way, that God embraces everything in wisdom and in mercy or with wisdom and with mercy. That is a balance. If there is all mercy and no wisdom, there is no balance. If there is all wisdom and no mercy, there is no balance. All justice and no mercy invites cruelty. All mercy and no wisdom invites a sick and cruel permissiveness.
"Sick permissiveness!" What do I mean when I say sick permissiveness? I mean allowing and giving freedom to everything; nothing forbidden, overly tolerant. Too often we hear adults say, "Oh, don't be so hard on the little children. They are persons; he's a person; she's a person." Because those persons are children, that is why we should be hard on them in certain instances and set limitations for them to prevent them from becoming "little" monsters and later "big" monsters.
This sick psychology which came to birth in the last decade or two manifested itself into attitudes, groups and movements that crippled and held down many weak and vulnerable people. We only have to look back at the 1960's to remember the three-hour movie of the year, Woodstock," which showed people exercising the height of permissiveness at the "Woodstock" music rock festival. We don't have to go as far as "Woodstock" or "Jesus Christ, Superstar" to see sick-permissiveness. We can look at our own children who exhibit the height of selfishness, insensitivity and disrespect for those around them.
Various movements and grouping of people indicates that there is. a new search for something meaningful and fulfilling.
With so much doubt, ambiguity and development of individual ideas about God, it is no surprise that distorted interpretations of love and beauty have crept into the consciousness of people. Preachers and lay-people seemingly have become obsessed with love for beauty and the idea of love itself. Many of them either never knew or have forgotten that God cannot be and is not all "sweetness." He cannot be love and beauty only; He must be firm and just, also. That is balance.
We have experienced within the last decade a spiritual upsurge in the Western society from people who were intensely moved by the spirit of beauty and love. Those people were called "flower children" by observers, many of whom were press affiliated. Total freedom was the motto of the "flower children." In what they felt was the spirit of love and beauty, they abandoned all parental restrictions, societal limitations and tradition. Rebellion or going against the established order was the road they took. They created living communes, shared men and women, compromised principles, among other things. Many of these "flower children" ended up in mental hospitals, drug centers, and in morgues around the country leaving distressed families, friends and ministers to discover why. No balance.
The scripture teaches that God instructs man and woman so that they will know how to instruct their children. It the true teachings of God are accepted and followed, the children will grow up with strength as well as beauty and love. Their instructions will not be one-sided, but will have the proper balance. Those who fail to establish and accept a proper balance should be reminded that in their failure, they reject God who will slay and destroy nations in their persistence in being disobedient to His laws. To adopt the "sick psychology" is to accept imbalance. You feel like you are right; you think you are right; you look beautiful; you sound beautiful, but you may be diseased with death—the death of permissiveness. The society has come into the kind of silly mind where they believe a "thing ain't right unless it's beautiful, in and out. Everything must be - all love, no punishment in it. If there is punishment in it, there is something negative in it. It has to be all positive." We do not see that justice is beautiful. Justice can be painful, but justice can also be beautiful.
The Holy Quran teaches us that in wisdom and mercy, Allah embraces all things. We cannot separate justice from compassion and mercy. Justice is sometimes given with a strong hand. God has embraced everything in His wisdom and in His mercy. God has shown us how to see His love. He tells us in scripture to look at ourselves and nature. He tells us to look at the love parents have for their children. God always points to His works to show us of Himself. You are God's creation. Your spirit and heart are His creations, parents and children His works, and love is His creation. If you will observe the love that parents have for their children, you will get an idea of God's love.
Among parents today you will find some respecting moral excellence and the need to gauge emotions and sentiments. The pressures brought on by fast city life demand that we keep a sober outlook and maintain some safe margin of balance in our lives.
Your brother in service to Allah, Wallace D. Muhammad