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Black Church News in Virginia

The Ink of the Scholar: The Natural Phenomenon for Advancing Life

By Imam Vernon Fareed

Careful study of life and death will unearth something about the factors that cause the human being to make progress. Once we become conscious of the result of death we fight against it to sustain life. This becomes a constant battle for us as long as we remain in this world. The trials, difficulty and suffering that man faces often becomes the motivating factor for him to fight for an improved situation. The point being, that in a strange way “death promotes new life.” It is a scientific fact that within our bodies old cells are constantly dying and being replaced with new ones. This natural cycle of death and life is a sign of how we make progress.

No matter how many times this cycle repeats itself, it will ultimately end in death, because nothing in creation is forever. However, if we look at this phenomenon in a strictly physical sense we will miss the greater lesson. We must examine this within the context of man’s social life, and when this is done it will help us to overcome set-backs, failures, etc. There will never be a time in our lives when we won’t experience loss and disappointment, but the great lesson in nature says that we can’t accept to just lie down and die – we have to keep fighting for life and productivity.

Philosophers say that the ups and downs in man’s life are synonymous to the sweet and bitter respectively, and the bitter experiences in life help us to appreciate the sweetness! According to Imam W. Deen Mohammed (raa), “one serves the other and the two regulate the whole so that man’s life is continuous.” In the context that I am speaking from death stimulates life and gives the human being the impetus that we sometimes need to live again. We can get so down on ourselves due to failed efforts, until we have no will to get up!
The signs are all around us that say “though the sun sets today it will rise again tomorrow.”

This is to be taken figuratively and literally, and it means that the rational and moral light of man’s creation has to rise up out of our bodies. When we observe the sun rising we see that it continues to do so until it reaches its apex, and then proceeds with its decline. Just as the sun rises to higher and higher levels, humans should understand that there are higher levels that can be obtained in their lives if they keep striving upright. It is equally important for man to understand that there are limits to what he can achieve before his sun (son) starts setting. If he is true to himself, he acknowledges that he is not and cannot be God! He must acknowledge that he is a part of creation and that there is a Creator.

The human being is no more than a microcosm of the great big macrocosm and as such he should study this relationship. We have to be conscious of our environment and of the signs that are all around us. So it’s important for human beings to have a plan for advancing their lives, despite the bumpy roads and challenges that they will face along the way. The details for devising such a plan are all around us in the natural environment, and they are also within us. Be like the sun and rise again, and keep rising until you reach the height of your limitations!

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