In yesterday’s meditation we discussed how blessed our soul is through the barakat of Bismillah ar-Rahman ar-Raheem. In today’s meditation, we will look to examine exactly how valuable our soul is.
We live in an age where everything has a price. If we want to buy a car or a house, we can tangibly see what we are purchasing and how much we are paying for this purchase. However, the deep philosophical questions that we must ask ourself is how valuable are those intangible items that we cannot see or touch? Just because we cannot put a price on them, are they worthless or priceless?
In this meditation, we will attempt to explain how Allah (SWT) tells us to value the most intangible of all, our soul.
When we look to fiqh, we see that in every transaction, there are four key components that need to be in place for something to be bought and sold.
These are Al-Bakeh (the seller), Al-Mushtil (the buyer) Sin’na (what is being sold) and what is being exchanged.
When we look at the 111th ayat of Surah at-Taubah, Allah (SWT) say:
“innal lahaa ashtara minal mumineena anfosahum wa amwalahum be anna lahomul jannata yoqaateloona fi sabillahe waadan alaihe haqqan fit tauraate wal injeele wal quraan. wa man ufaa be ahdehi minal laahe fastabshero be baekomul lazee ba yaa tum behi wa zaaleka ho wal fauzul azeem”
(Allah hath purchased of the believers their persons and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the garden (of Paradise): they fight in His cause and slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him in truth, through the Law, the Gospel, and the Qur’an: and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah. then rejoice in the bargain which ye have concluded: that is the achievement supreme).
When we look at the ayat in depth, we see how all of the four components of a transaction are evident in this ayat.
Firstly, we have al-Mushtil, the buyer. Allah (SWT) begins this ayat by saying ‘innal lahaa ashtara’. Throughout the Quran Majid, Allah (SWT) tells us of many things which he commands the angels to do, on his behalf. In this ayat, however, Allah (SWT) says that this is something that he will personally do, which emphasises its importance and value to Allah (SWT).
Secondly, we have al-Bakeh (the seller). Allah (SWT) then says ‘minal mumineena’. In this ayat, Allah (SWT) is saying that he is personally buying from ‘minal mumineena.’ This phrase is important as it does not mean all mumineen, but only those that have reached the highest level that Allah (SWT) sees worthy of buying from.
Thirdly, we have Sin’na (what is being purchased). Allah (SWT) then says ‘anfosahum wa amwalahum.’ Allah (SWT) is purchasing our souls and our goods, the good deeds that we have performed.
Lastly, we have what Allah (SWT) will give us in exchange for this purchase, ‘anna lahomul jannata.’
Finally, Allah (SWT) reiterates that we should rejoice in this bargain, this trade, that we have concluded, as it the highest achievement, for we have sold the best part of us, to the best buyer (Allah SWT), for the best price (jannah).
When we begin to truly understand this ayat, we see that our soul is truly the most valuable possession we have. It is something that Allah (SWT) is offering to give us jannah for, why should we sell it for anything less?
We live in a world of temptation where are there many things that we chase and are willing to give our soul for. Allah (SWT) says in this ayat that our soul is so valuable that we should not sell it for anything less than janaah.
When we look towards the events on the Day of Ashura, we see how tens of thousands were willing to sell their soul for a temporary victory. We saw how both Ubaydallah ibn Ziyad (LA) and Shimr (LA) both left the court of Yazid (LA) saying that they had lost both in this world and the next. We saw how they had sold their soul for such a small price in this world (a love of gold and a lust for power) and that price was not paid by Yazid (LA).
On the other hand, we see how 72 people who were on the side of truth and were of ‘minal mumineen’ had sold their soul for the true cause of Allah (SWT), who had guaranteed them Jannah and would not break his word.
The events of Karbala teach us to be amongst the ‘minal mumineen’ whose soul is worth more than if all of the oceans were turned to gold or the mountains turned to diamonds.
Amirul Mumineen (AS) teaches us how to be amongst ‘minal mumineen’. Ali (AS) says that there are three types of people.
Firstly, there are those dominated by the base desires. We can compare animals to them, but we cannot compare them to animals, as they are below animals in that respect.
Secondly, we have people who go from one place to another, flirting with the truth. These are the masses who just follow and are, ultimately, ruled by ignorance, convenience and fear.
Thirdly, we have the few who are committed to the deen. Within this minority group, we have another three groups.
The first of these groups are committed in principle but overcome by desires, which means their actions do not match their intentions as they are too caught up in pursuing the dunya.
The second of these groups are committed to the truth and do some actions towards it, but only so far and stop when it comes to actually taking a stand.
The final group are committed to the truth and put everything on the line for the truth, even sacrificing everything that they have. These are the ‘minal mumineen’ who the shohoda of Karbala are amongst.
As those who remember Imam Hussein (AS) and are inspired by the shohoda of Karbala, it is imperative that we remember that they understood the true value of their soul and, only by knowing this value, were they able to stand with Imam Hussein (AS) and with the deen of Allah (SWT), the ultimate owner of their souls.
May these days of Muharrum help us to understand the true value of our soul, as we hear the sad lament of those who truly understood theirs, so that we do not sell it for less than it is worth, which Allah (SWT) promises us is jannah. Aamin.