Devotional — The almighty sees all

Published 12:26 pm Friday, February 25, 2022

The wise African sage Luqman advised his son to honor and obey his parents. The story then generalizes this theme when he tells his son that nothing, good or evil, is hidden from the Creator even if it was as tiny as a small mustard seed (Qur’an 31:16).

Those of us who are raising or have raised teenagers, have similarly warned our offspring —although in many instances, it seems our advice is unheeded. This lesson that we learned as youngsters, stays with us our entire lives and permeates our deeds.

No matter how small the good or evil that we do — for our parents and our interactions with others — it is seen by the Almighty and we are rewarded or punished for our actions.

The same idea is presented in Matthew 7:12, “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” It is also expressed in the familiar adage, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

With this normative belief pervading our cultural sensitivities, one would think that this guiding principle, “Do unto others,” would be evidenced in our human interactions. In most cases it is. But there have been instances in which the adage seems to conclude with the idea, “before they do unto you!”

A smile, a kind word or even making an effort to understand someone else’s point of view, is rewarded by The Almighty. Unfortunately, too often our individual concerns supersede this normative practice and some human interactions are marred by a harsh word or support for selfish initiatives.

This attitude plays itself out in our larger community. Historical practices of racial, social and economic partitioning attest to its influence in American society. During this Black History Month we only have to reflect on the human struggles, sacrifices and eventual collective cooperation in Prince Edward County to understand the positive and negative effects of “Doing unto others… .”

So, as we interact with one another, let us recognize the power of a smile, a kind word or supportive gesture. Each of us, in our own experiences have benefited from such positive relationships. Just as we try to instill ideals into the moral fiber of our children, we must continue to practice them ourselves. The Almighty rewards us for all the good that we do.

Qadir Abdus-Sabur, Ph.D. is an Imam at the Islamic Center of Prince Edward. His email address is qas1944@gmail.com.