what endures in an ephemeral world?

what endures in an ephemeral world?

In general, there is a big difference between traditional commentaries, which deal with the literal meaning of the Quran, and Sufi commentaries, which note the inner meaning of the verses. However, this difference is less when it comes to the question of values.

Take for example the verse which states that “goods and children are only adornments of life here below. The enduring and beneficial are better with your Lord for recompense, better for hope.” (Al-Kahf 18:46). Verse which should also be read in conjunction with this one: “God increases the guidance of those who follow the right path, and the enduring and beneficial have with your Lord a better reward and a better destination. » (Maryam 19:76)

Concerning the first verse, traditional and Sufi commentators insist on the fact that life here is ephemeral, and that it is vain for those who have understanding to take pride in their possessions and their children.

Acts carried out out of religious obligation, or out of love of the divine?

“The lasting and beneficial” cited in these two verses are the good works which persist, after any act done freely, for the sake of “face of God”. Traditional Muslims will explain these acts by religious obligations, invocations, charitable actions and the liberation of slaves; while Sufis such as Ruzbahan Baqli Al Shirazi will add that these acts are carried out by “continuous love of the divine”.

What we can detect, in fact, behind these “sustainable and beneficial”are values: love, giving, generosity, solidarity, assistance to the destitute, liberation from oppression and injustice… Added to this is also the intention – since the works are in the intentions – and the intention “ lasting and beneficial » is the face of God, or to do good for good's sake.

Do these verses tell us that humanity's challenge lies in values? Yesterday, a person who called himself on Instagram “Ashamed to be human” (Ashamed to Be Human), asked: “How do you cope with all the hatred and apathy in the world? » For me, the answer was clear: by taking up, every day, the challenge of humanity.

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