November 2000: Page 1, 2, 3, 4

Submitters Perspective

Page 3


Cont'd on Page 2

to themselves, “this problem was caused by other people, or by social circumstances beyond my control and therefore it is up to other people or society to solve this problem for me. It is not really my personal problem.” The extent to which people will go psychologically to avoid assuming responsibility for personal problems, while always sad, is sometime ludicrous.

God mentions in the Holy Koran that we are responsible for our deeds and actions in this world and that we should not expect any intercession in the hereafter. This means that God wants us to be responsible for our problems in this world, and wants us to solve them by seeking His guidance and help.

Dedication to Truth and Reality

The third tool of discipline is dedication to truth and reality. This needs to be employed continuously if we wish to keep our lives healthy and our spirits growing. Truth is reality. The more clearly we see the reality of the world, the better equipped we are to deal with the world. Our view of reality is like a map with which we negotiate the terrain of life. If the map is true and accurate, we will know where we are and if we have decided where we want to go, we will know how to get there. If the map is false and inaccurate, we will be lost.

This is the truth from your Lord; do not harbor any doubt (2:147, 3:60)

They said, "O our people, we have heard a book that was revealed after Moses, and confirms the previous scriptures. It guides to the truth; to the right path. (46:30)


While this is obvious, most people choose to ignore it. They ignore it because our route to reality is not easy. First of all we have to make an effort. The more effort we make to appreciate and perceive reality, the larger and more accurate our map will be.

But many do not want to make this effort. Some stop making it by the end of adolescence. Their maps are small and sketchy, their view of the world narrow and misleading. By the end of the middle age, most people have given up the effort. They feel certain that their maps are complete and correct. Only a relatively fortunate few continue until the moment of death expanding the mystery of reality, ever enlarging and refining and redefining their understanding of the world and what is true.

We have given you the truth, but most of you hate the truth. (43:78)

The world itself is constantly changing. Our vantage point from which we view the world is rapidly changing. When we have children to care for, the world looks different from when we had none. When we are poor, the world looks different from when we are rich. We are daily bombarded with new information as to the nature of reality.

O people, God's promise is the truth; therefore, do not be distracted by this lowly life. Do not be diverted from God by mere illusions. (35:5)

In the Holy Koran, God wants us to seek His guidance to the right path or map.

Guide us in the right path; the path of those whom You have

blessed, not of those who have deserved wrath, nor the strayers. (1:7)

A practicing Muslim invokes God’s guidance many times daily. Our problem in the morning may not be the same as in the afternoon or evening or night. Accordingly God in His wisdom has asked us to seek His guidance to the right path through the Salat prayers—five times daily.


The fourth and final discipline is balancing. By this time it seems that the exercise of discipline is not only a demanding, but also a complex task requiring both flexibility and judgment. We should try to be completely honest. We must assume total responsibility for ourselves. We must be organized and efficient. To live wisely, we must daily delay gratification and keep an eye on the future.

Yet to live joyously, discipline itself, must be disciplined. The type of discipline required to discipline is what Dr. Peck calls balancing. For example, God mentions in the Holy Koran that we should not be excessive and extravagant while giving the due alms to the people (17:26). Thus God cautions us against extremism. Balancing is the discipline that gives us flexibility. Extraordinary flexibility and judgment is required for successful living in all spheres of our daily life.

…The best enlightment indeed is what God recommends for you… (4:58)

Amin Zayosh