November 8, 2019 Wisdom - The Things That Never Change

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Knowledge / Wisdom / Understanding

[2:269] He bestows wisdom upon whomever He chooses, and whoever attains wisdom, has attained a great bounty. Only those who possess intelligence will take heed.

Proverbs 8: 10 Receive my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than pure gold. 11 For wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire compares with her. 

Proverbs 16:16 How much better to acquire wisdom than gold; to gain understanding is more desirable than silver.

What is wisdom?

[31:12] We have endowed Luqmãn with wisdom:

"You shall be appreciative of GOD." Whoever is appreciative is appreciative for his own good. As for those who turn unappreciative, GOD is in no need, Praiseworthy.

[31:13] Recall that Luqmãn said to his son, as he enlightened him, "O my son, do not set up any idols beside GOD; idolatry is a gross injustice.”

[31:16] "O my son, know that even something as tiny as a mustard seed, deep inside a rock, be it in the heavens or the earth, GOD will bring it. GOD is Sublime, Cognizant.

[31:17] "O my son, you shall observe the Contact Prayers (Salat).

You shall advocate righteousness and forbid evil,

and remain steadfast in the face of adversity. These are the most honorable traits.

[31:18] "You shall not treat the people with arrogance,

nor shall you roam the earth proudly. GOD does not like the arrogant showoffs.

[31:19] "Walk humbly and lower your voice—the ugliest voice is the donkey's voice.”

But there is one other key to wisdom:

If information was all we need six pack abs and millionaires 

[62:5] The example of those who were given the Torah then failed to uphold it is like the donkey carrying great works of literature. Miserable indeed is the example of people who rejected GOD's revelations. GOD does not guide the wicked people.

Knowledge without action is useless

Knowledge like wealth is a provision meaning that it is allocated strictly by God to His servants

[34:39] Say, "My Lord is the One who controls all provisions; He increases the provisions for whomever He chooses from among His servants, or reduces them. Anything you spend (in the cause of God), He will reward you for it; He is the Best Provider.”

We used to hoard stuff now many of us hoard knowledge - as if I just read one more book, listen to one more podcast, read one more article or tweet then I will be complete. It never ends are apatite for information is endless.

Hoarding in Arabic means the continuous pursuit for more things.

The only thing we should be continuously pursuing for our entire lives is righteousness and attempting to gain God’s favor because this is the only thing that will matter in the Hereafter

Like anything else - if we are unappreciative of the knowledge God gave us then He may take it back.

[17:85] They ask you about the revelation. Say, "The revelation comes from my Lord. The knowledge given to you is minute." [17:86] If we will, we can take back what we revealed to you, then you will find no protector against us.

We think that wisdom comes with knowing more, but the only thing that comes with knowing more is responsibility.

Knowledge is just like wealth the more we have the more we are responsible for

The Rich Believer is Better than the Poor Believer

[16:75] GOD cites the example of a slave who is owned, and is totally powerless, compared to one whom we blessed with good provisions, from which he gives to charity secretly and publicly. Are they equal? Praise be to GOD, most of them do not know.

[16:76] And GOD cites the example of two men: one is dumb, lacks the ability to do anything, is totally dependent on his master—whichever way he directs him, he cannot produce anything good. Is he equal to one who rules with justice, and is guided in the right path?

[58:11] O you who believe, if you are told, "Please make room," you shall make room for each other to sit. GOD will then make room for you. If you are asked to get up and move, get up and move. GOD raises those among you who believe, and those who acquire knowledge to higher ranks. GOD is fully Cognizant of everything you do.

What is the difference between one who has knowledge and doesn’t use it and one who doesn’t have knowledge - nothing in their actions but everything regarding their responsibility

We are each responsible for what we know

But God’s tests have nothing to do with what we know, it is about what we do with the knowledge that he has given to us. Knowing a lot and doing nothing is far worse than knowing nothing.

God doesn’t judge you by how much you know He judges you by what you do with the knowledge you have

Jesus parable of the talents Matthew 25:14–30

 

Difference between Wisdom and Understanding

Black box example

Like knowing who committed the murder compared to knowing what was the reason the person committed the murder

[21:78] And David and Solomon, when they once ruled with regard to someone's crop that was destroyed by another's sheep. We witnessed their judgment.

[21:79] We granted Solomon the correct understanding, though we endowed both of them with wisdom and knowledge….

 

21

79

1

فَفَهَّمْنَاهَا

Then we gave understanding and appreciation of it

fafahhamnāhā

ف ه م

21

79

2

سُلَيْمَانَ

(to) Solomon,

sulaymāna

س ل م

21

79

3

وَكُلًّا

but (to) each

wakullan

ك ل ل

21

79

4

آتَيْنَا

we gave

ātaynā

ا ت ي

21

79

5

حُكْمًا

judgement / authority / wisdom

uk'man

ح ك م

21

79

6

وَعِلْمًا

and knowledge.

waʿil'man

ع ل م

ف ه م = to give true understanding and appreciation of something / richness in understanding

Different than ع ق ل which also means understanding 

ح ك م = wisdom; knowledge; quality judgement; authority  = equates knowing and doing  

 

Wisdom = knowing how the world really works

Understanding = why the world works the way it does

Difference between blindly following and faith

If we know and have verified that the book is beyond a doubt from God, then we trust in God’s commandments and His words.

Difference between a directive and a suggestion

If you trust the source you don’t need to know the reasons

For instance you go to the doctor or mechanic and they give you a prescription - if you trust them that they have done the research and are the expert in the field then you do not need to know the science behind why they prescribed the medication they gave you, and also you will eventually see first hand the benefits it has after you put it in action.

 

How can we find wisdom? 

Jeff Bezos - focus on what never changes

Jeff Bezos founded Amazon in 1994. Currently I believe his net worth is over 100 billion dollars. But while Amazon is undeniably a tech company, the business was built on this old-school premise: Focus on the things that don't change.

Here's Bezos: 

"I very frequently get the question: "What's going to change in the next 10 years?" And that is a very interesting question; it's a very common one. I almost never get the question: "What's not going to change in the next 10 years?" And I submit to you that that second question is actually the more important of the two -- because you can build a business strategy around the things that are stable in time. ...

[I]n our retail business, we know that customers want low prices, and I know that's going to be true 10 years from now. They want fast delivery; they want vast selection. It's impossible to imagine a future 10 years from now where a customer comes up and says:

"Jeff, I love Amazon; I just wish the prices were a little higher." "I love Amazon; I just wish you'd deliver a little more slowly."

Impossible. And so the effort we put into those things, spinning those things up, we know the energy we put into it today will still be paying off dividends for our customers 10 years from now. When you have something that you know is true, even over the long term, you can afford to put a lot of energy into it."

https://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/20-years-ago-jeff-bezos-said-this-1-thing-separates-people-who-achieve-lasting-success-from-those-who-dont.html

 

The Quran focuses on the things in life that never change.

That is why the Quran is just as applicable today as it was 1400 years ago and it will be hundreds of years into the future. These are timeless wisdom.

[9:70] Have they not learned anything from the previous generations; the people of Noah, Ad, Thamud, the people of Abraham, the dwellers of Midyan, and the evildoers (of Sodom and Gomorrah)? Their messengers went to them with clear proofs. GOD never wronged them; they are the ones who wronged their own souls.

People are struggling and they turn to God,

God blesses them then they turn arrogant and suffer the consequences of their actions

Then the later generations turn back to God for redemption

God redeems them and bless them only to have the next generation turn back to being unappreciative

[7:94] Whenever we sent a prophet to any community, we afflicted its people with adversity and hardship, that they may implore. [7:95] Then we substituted peace and prosperity in place of that hardship. But alas, they turned heedless and said, "It was our parents who experienced that hardship before prosperity." Consequently, we punished them suddenly when they least expected.

[6:34] Messengers before you have been rejected, and they steadfastly persevered in the face of rejection. They were persecuted until our victory came to them. Such is GOD's system that will never change. The history of My messengers thus sets the precedents for you.

[35:43] They resorted to arrogance on earth, and evil scheming, and the evil schemes only backfire on those who scheme them. Should they then expect anything but the fate of those who did the same things in the past? You will find that GOD's system is never changeable; you will find that GOD's system is immutable. [35:44] Have they not roamed the earth and noted the consequences for those who preceded them? They were even stronger than they. Nothing can be hidden from GOD in the heavens, nor on earth. He is Omniscient, Omnipotent.

[48:23] Such is GOD's system throughout history, and you will find that GOD's system is unchangeable.

 

The more the world changes the more we find comfort in the things that never change

[6:130] O you jinns and humans, did you not receive messengers from among you, who narrated to you My revelations, and warned you about the meeting of this day? They will say, "We bear witness against ourselves." They were totally preoccupied with the worldly life, and they will bear witness against themselves that they were disbelievers. [6:131] This is to show that your Lord never annihilates any community unjustly, while its people are unaware. [6:132] Everyone will attain a rank commensurate with their deeds. Your Lord is never unaware of anything they do. [6:133] Your Lord is the Rich One; possessor of all mercy. If He wills, He can remove you, and substitute whomever He wills in your place, just as He produced you from the progeny of other people. [6:134] What is promised to you will come to pass, and you can never evade it. [6:135] Say, "O my people, do your best, and so will I. You will surely find out who the ultimate victors are." Certainly, the wicked will never succeed.

[31:12] We have endowed Luqmãn with wisdom:

"You shall be appreciative of GOD." Whoever is appreciative is appreciative for his own good. As for those who turn unappreciative, GOD is in no need, Praiseworthy.

[31:13] Recall that Luqmãn said to his son, as he enlightened him, "O my son, do not set up any idols beside GOD; idolatry is a gross injustice.”

[31:16] "O my son, know that even something as tiny as a mustard seed, deep inside a rock, be it in the heavens or the earth, GOD will bring it. GOD is Sublime, Cognizant.

[31:17] "O my son, you shall observe the Contact Prayers (Salat).

You shall advocate righteousness and forbid evil,

and remain steadfast in the face of adversity. These are the most honorable traits.

[31:18] "You shall not treat the people with arrogance,

nor shall you roam the earth proudly. GOD does not like the arrogant showoffs.

[31:19] "Walk humbly and lower your voice—the ugliest voice is the donkey's voice.”

 

Conclusion

[44:0] In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful [44:1] H. M. [44:2] And this enlightening scripture. [44:3] We have sent it down in a blessed night, for we are to warn. [44:4] In it (the scripture), every matter of wisdom is clarified.

[2:269] He bestows wisdom upon whomever He chooses, and whoever attains wisdom, has attained a great bounty. Only those who possess intelligence will take heed.