Devotional: Prophetic models of conduct
Published 10:07 am Thursday, October 19, 2023
Reading scripture reminds us of important human characteristics. These qualities were visible in the lives of all of God’s Prophets and they serve as examples for human interaction and personal development.
Unfortunately, our preoccupation with material possessions sometimes blinds us to potential human qualities that could result in harmonious interactions. These standards, when internalized, could lead to equity and justice for all. Consider, for example, the interplay between faith in God and using that spiritual insight to engage in activities that benefit humanity.
In the Book of James 2:24 we find, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” A second scriptural reference is found in Qur’an 103. It says, “Verily Man is in loss, except such as have Faith and do righteous deeds, and encourage one another to be honest and patient.”
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Taken together, these verses remind us that people of faith are required to work cooperatively for the well-being of all humanity. They must inspire honesty in their interactions and patience in their undertakings.
Stories of prophets are interspersed with examples for us to follow. In the face of extreme difficulty, they continued to persevere in their Divine mission; always honest and patient. The consequences of such determination ultimately result in success. How can we employ these characteristics in our lives?
First, we should understand that faith in the Almighty must be our foundation. We acknowledge that He is in complete control of our lives. When good befalls us, it is the result of His blessings; and if misfortune comes our way, it is because He has permitted it. With this understanding, we are able to engage confidently in any human activity.
A second, and sometimes less recognized characteristic of faith, is that our Creator is guiding others as well. When we undertake a cooperative activity, we must remember who is ultimately in control and be assured of a positive outcome. This aspect of faith requires that we encourage one another to be honest. Support truth even if it is against ourselves. If we do not speak to truth, lies and deception spread ubiquitously. This destroys family and community life as well as our society as a whole.
Finally, we should encourage one another to be patient. Positive changes do not always meet our timetable, but with the help of The Almighty, they are always right on time!
Qadir Abdus-Sabur, Ph.D. is an Imam at the Islamic Center of Prince Edward. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.