The Humble River - "Thinking Blogger Award"

BismiAllahir Rahmanir Raheem

"You can find sometimes in rivers what you don't find in oceans."
- Arabic proverb

So I've been "tagged" as they say in the blog world. I'm not too sure how these things work, but as long as I'm not sitting here writing about my favourite food, colour, and beverage, it's all good. So thanks to the sister who has a kind opinion about me and my incoherent reflective thoughts, and who has left me with some food to digest. Mucho gracias amiga.

There's an appeal to this particular game of tag though. From what I've gathered, it is a way of expressing appreciation for another's thoughts, as articulated on blogs. I have a great appreciation for those who think intelligently. It demonstrates a wholeness in their character, at least in the blurred vision of a fellow human who can only comment on what I observe or experience.

Those who think outside the box, those who challenge the nonsensical ways of society, and those who go beyond whining while they build on profound concepts that already exist tend to impress me. And why not? God has blessed them with gifts, and I pray that we can all benefit from those gifts.

Just this afternoon, I was thinking about a discussion that my sister and I had years ago about praise. We were talking about Brother Dawud W. Ali, and I believe she mentioned then that there is hadith that says something to the effect that excessive praise of a person is like throwing sand in their eyes. It doesn't benefit a person, and it can unintentionally cause them harm. Praise has its place among humans; but if not delivered in the right dose and with a pinch of wisdom, it can breed a lot of diseases in the heart.

In my eyes, the most beautiful cloak that a woman can wear is made with threads of hayaa' (loosely translated as bashfulness) and compassion. And the beautifying cloak of a man, in my eyes, is made with threads of humility and generosity.

With that said, there aren't many blogs that I read. Hands down, I can easily select my favourite thought-inspiring blog, whose words, delivered with great finesse, often encourage me to delve deeper into my own ideas, by the grace of God. But I'm not going to name it.

Instead, I will extend an appreciation to anyone and everyone who challenges him/herself to think deeper, to go beyond the basics, to utilize the greatness of our minds, and to do this all with the intention of becoming better humans and tapping into the gifts that God has blessed humans with. As Shaykh Hamza Yusuf said in one lecture, Muslims today have held onto our belief in God but we have abandoned our intelligence in this belief. And non-Muslims have adopted our ancestors' ways of intelligent thinking and left the idea of faith. Glory be to God.

It's well past time for us to think, don't you think?

The pebble of appreciation lays comfortably in the riverbed of thought while the river itself continues to flow with peaceful elegance.

May the All Knowing guide us all to benefit from the rivers that may run through our lives, offering their wisdom in capsules of humble submission to the One deserving of all praise, ameen.


iMuslim said...

Excessive praise of a person is like throwing sand in their eyes. It doesn't benefit a person, and it can unintentionally cause them harm. Praise has its place among humans; but if not delivered in the right dose and with a pinch of wisdom, it can breed a lot of diseases in the heart.

I wholeheartedly agree with this. I suppose as with all things, balance is key. It would be no good to you if i constantly praised your efforts, but then never offered any criticism if/when it was required. At the same time, if all my comments were criticism, or if i remained completely silent, and gave no encouragement whatsoever, the danger may be that you would give up, even though we should only strive for Allah's sake, and He is always watching. :)

Anyway, your response to my tag only validates my decision to nominate you!

May Allah grant you humility, and allow you to be a means by which others are inspired to remember Him. Ameen.

Farzeen said...


I agree with what you said.. the whole idea of balance. I guess that's also why it is said that a friend who agrees with everything you say/do isn't a worthy friend.

Thanks for your du'a. Wa iyaki wa ameen!

On the topic of humility, someone e-mailed me an ayah and hadith. I'll share it for the benefit of anyone who may read these comments, insha'Allah.

"And give good news (O Muhammad) to the humble, whose hearts tremble at the mention of God; who endure adversity with patience, who establish regular prayer and spend in charity out of what we have given them."
- The Holy Quran, 22:34-35

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "God has revealed to me that you must be humble, so that no one oppresses another..."
-Sunan of Abu-Dawood, 2294

safiyyah said...

And of course, one must also guard against outward humility as riyaa.

Sumera said...

Excessive praise can cause huge ego's, so I agree with you Farzeen and iMuslim its all about balance.

Appreciation should be voiced, but done so in a manner that doesnt inflate or puff up another's sense of pride. :)

Farzeen said...

Assalaamu'alaykum sisters

Safiyyah: Thank you for the reminder.

Sumera: Ah, you're in this neck of the woods. Welcome. :) That's true. I was e-mailed this hadith not too long ago..."He who does not thank people, does not thank Allah".

Nada said...

Your piece was a lovely read. Especially the lines about the pebble and river :)
I had read in an article about the Sunnah of reacting to praise. It is to react with humility and recite a beautiful dua which in essence is "O Allah, You are the All-Knowing and to whom all Praise belongs, protect me from pride and make me better than what this person thinks I am!"

I couldnt find the original arabic and english version online. If you do, please put in on your blog for all to read :)

Farzeen said...

Wa 'alaykum assalaam wa rahmatu Allah Nada

Thank you for stopping by and for your kind words, oh and especially for the du'a. JazakAllah khayr. :)

I didn't find the du'a with the Arabic online either, but I don't think I tried hard enough yet. Insha'Allah if I do find it, I'll post it here. :)

"Do you think that you will enter the Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They encountered suffering and adversity and were so shaken in spirit that even the Apostle and those of faith who were with him cried: 'When (will come) the help of God?' Ah! Verily the help of God is (always) near!" [2:214]



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"Be mindful of God, and God will protect you. Be mindful of God, and you will find Him in front of you. If you ask, ask of God. If you seek help, seek help of God. Know that if the whole world were to gather together to benefit you with anything, it would benefit you only with something that God had already prescribed for you. And if the whole world were to gather together to harm you, it would harm you only with something that God has already prescribed for you. The pens have been lifted and the ink has dried."
--Prophet Muhammad [peace be upon him]