Spheres of influence

Truly, it is a blessing to be a nobody, to have no influence on the would around you. It is a blessing to live in a little house, to live within your means. Truly, it is a blessing to be responsible for your family alone, and move in small circles, and wander on unknown.

The ego of man may petition him: “Rise up! Be someone!” The greed of man may say: “Fill your pockets with gold!” The ego may demand authority, power, reputation, prestige. The ego may petition him: “You were put on this earth to lead!”

Man’s ego is best tamed. God preserve us from actualised narcissism, through which we trample all others. Really, I am an extrovert trapped in the body of an introvert, for indeed my own self-absorption and conceit is real. May God preserve you from my egomania too.

By nature, man is ignorant, unjust, arrogant. Glory be to the One with power over all things that we were made nobodies, with little influence, living within our means. I wonder if those who have amassed vast power, eye-watering wealth, stupendous followings, unnumbered enemies, now wish they were nobodies too. I wonder if their ascendancy to the pinnacles of power and influence really brought them the freedom they sought, or if they wish now they had been content to be a peasant unknown.

Strive to be the best at whatever you do. Work to affect positive change in your circles. But put away, “I am, I am, I am.” Replace it with, “Allah, Allah, Allah.” Remember the One that created you, who put you on this earth, who assigned you your abilities and laid out the earth before you. Remember that it is He who has power over all things, and that you are merely a servant, tarrying for a little while, then forgotten, remembered only by the earth as it reabsorbs you.

Be content with the immense blessings you have been bestowed with, too numerous to compute. Be glad that you did not amass vast wealth that you will be asked about. Be grateful that you were not given power over life and death. Be pleased that tens, hundreds, thousands, millions, billions do not look on at you in admiration, praising you beyond your due, taking you as their leader or guide, hanging on your every word; be pleased that you will not be interrogated for each follower, supporter, groupie, admirer, loyalist, critic, enemy… that you will only be asked about the few you wronged, oppressed or took advantage of… and may Allah have mercy on you for that.

O Allah, purify our hearts and raise from us a generation that will orientate their lives around You, instead of the self-serving ego. O Allah, raise a generation better than us.

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