A spiritual comment and prayer to begin the day with Latifa Akay, director of education at Maslaha.
A spiritual comment and prayer to begin the day with Latifa Akay, director of education at Maslaha
Good morning. A few weeks ago I was having a discussion about ‘ego’ with some friends, and I was reminded of a quote that resonated with me in my teenage years, “Too many spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.”
We could talk about the many manifestations of ‘the ego’ and how it affects our intentions, actions and decisions all day.
In the Quran the ego is not described as good or bad, but it is said that left unregulated it can be a barrier to spiritual connection. Similar to other sentiments in the Abrahamic tradition, the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said “None of you has achieved faith until you love for your sister or brother what you love for yourself.” Ask yourself – how often do you truly want for other people what you want for yourself? That promotion at work, a new house, praise from someone you really admire. Managing our egos is undoubtedly something that takes work.
At the same time, for those who believe we are creations of the divine there is value in nurturing selfhood and self-love – particularly for those who are marginalised and oppressed. If you don’t celebrate yourself, who is going to?
Take the boxer Muhammad Ali. The same Muhammad Ali who said ‘I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was,’ was also the Muhammad Ali who always positioned himself as a creation working for God. In his words: “I have one bodyguard. He has no eyes though He sees. He has no ears though He hears. When He wishes to create a thing, He just orders it to be and it comes into existence. He’s my bodyguard. He’s your bodyguard. He’s the Supreme, the Wise.”
Oh creator today and every day, help us to nurture ourselves while being mindful of you, and of ourselves, as your creations. Ameen.