1. Reflect on the Signs of God’s Perfect Work
Reflect on the signs of God’s perfect work and be inspired to pursue excellence.
Reflect with your physical and spiritual eyes on the flawless sky, the spread out yet round earth, and the firm mountains, and then commemorate God and His perfect work. “Do they not look at the sky above them? How We have made it and adorned it, and there are no flaws in it? And the earth, We have spread it out, and set thereon mountains standing firm, and produced therein every kind of beautiful growth (in pairs). To be observed and commemorated by every devotee turning (to God).” (1)Qur’ān 50:6-8 [أَفَلَمْ يَنظُرُوا إِلَى السَّمَاء فَوْقَهُمْ كَيْفَ بَنَيْنَاهَا وَزَيَّنَّاهَا وَمَا لَهَا مِن فُرُوجٍ وَالْأَرْضَ مَدَدْنَاهَا وَأَلْقَيْنَا فِيهَا رَوَاسِيَ وَأَنبَتْنَا فِيهَا مِن كُلِّ زَوْجٍ بَهِيجٍ تَبْصِرَةً وَذِكْرَى لِكُلِّ عَبْدٍ مُّنِيبٍ]
Reflect on how a dead earth can be revived, a perfect parable to God’s ability to revive the spiritually dead soul and resurrect the dead. “Then contemplate (O man!) the memorials of God’s Mercy! How He gives life to the earth after its death: verily the same will give life to the men who are dead: For He has power over all things.” (2)Qur’ān 30:50 [فانظر إلى آثار رحمة الله كيف يحيي الأرض بعد موتها إن ذلك لمحيي الموتى وهو على كل شيء قدير]
Reflect on how the merging of the day and night is so perfect that one cannot tell when one or the other exactly begins and ends. “Have you not seen that God merges the night into the day and the day into the night?” (3)Qur’ān 31:29 [أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يُولِجُ اللَّيْلَ فِي النَّهَارِ وَيُولِجُ النَّهَارَ فِي اللَّيْلِ]
2. See and Ponder That Which is in Your Self
Look at your self, how it is perfected to function as intended. Do you hear the sound of your heart? Do you feel the flow of the blood in your veins? There is a complex system inside working by the Plan and Power of God, enabling you to exist and excel. It is all silent to you so that its “noise” does not bother you. Look at how your various physical, intellectual, and spiritual needs are all amazingly and strongly intertwined. God says: “In the earth are signs for those who are certain in their Faith. As also in your own selves: Will you not then see?” (4)Qur’ān 51:20-21 [وفي الأرض آيات للموقنين وفي أنفسكم أفلا تبصرون]
God is the only One Who can fully perfect anything and everything. (5)Qur’ān 27:88 “This is the handiwork of God Who has perfected everything that He created.” [صُنْعَ اللَّهِ الَّذِي أَتْقَنَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ] His work has been and will always be perfect while ours is never perfect and always in need for improvement. Unlike us, He doesn’t need any efforts, help, trial & error, learning, or training in order for His work to be perfect. He just says “be” and it “comes to be.” (6)Qur’ān 16:40 [إِنَّمَا قَوْلُنَا لِشَيْءٍ إِذَا أَرَدْنَاهُ أَن نَّقُولَ لَهُ كُن فَيَكُون] “Whenever We intend to do something, We just say, “Be,” and it comes to be.”
Some may wonder: But there are births with defects, diseases, evils, and what appears to be imperfection. Aren’t they flaws or faults in God’s creation? What makes something perfect is not necessarily its shape, color, size, or taste but its ability to adapt for its intended purpose.
Think of an English test where the student is given a faulty sentence. The intended purpose is to test the competency of the student in correcting the sentence. The content of the question is well prepared even though it is full of flaws. The latter are intentional, not accidental, nor are they the work of a non-qualified tester. God perfectly and justly makes His work fit for its intended use and purpose. He tests you for your own benefit giving you a chance to excel and earn your success in this life for the next, as the teacher does it for the student.
3. Excel in Harmony with God’s Perfect Plan
Part of the intended purpose of God’s Plan is to test us and so give us a golden chance to reach higher in this life for the next (Yassine, 2000b). “He Who has created death and life that He may test who amongst you is best in deeds” (7)Qur’ān 76:2 [الَّذِي خَلَقَ الْمَوْتَ وَالْحَيَاةَ لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ أَيُّكُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلًا وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْغَفُور] . Two words in the verse are worthy of special attention: Test and best. The word test provides answers to the difficult whys such as: Why am I sick? Why did I lose my job? Why is this or that happening to me, to my family, to us, to them, etc? The word best emphasizes the utmost importance of excelling.
The trials and tribulations of life are meant to test our faith in God that they are eventually all for our own benefit, and to test our patient perseverance in either overcoming them or coping with them (Yassine, 1996). They can be the direct consequence of our own actions in which case we should turn them into opportunities for improvement and purification from our wrongdoings. Or they can be great means to grow stronger. They are all meant to move us to next level in this life for the next.
God’s Plan has been to bring you to life to test you how best you will follow His guidance in serving your self and His creation. You did not come to this life by chance or for no reason, but you were brought to it with a Plan. Excelling in harmony with His Plan means to have your journey guided by God. It means to excel only at that which pleases Him.
If you have faith in God, then embark on a journey of excellence pursuit in harmony with His Plan. It is the only plan that is absolutely perfect. Your journey for achieving excellence will have the best possible results, guaranteed in this life and the next.
|↑1||Qur’ān 50:6-8 [أَفَلَمْ يَنظُرُوا إِلَى السَّمَاء فَوْقَهُمْ كَيْفَ بَنَيْنَاهَا وَزَيَّنَّاهَا وَمَا لَهَا مِن فُرُوجٍ وَالْأَرْضَ مَدَدْنَاهَا وَأَلْقَيْنَا فِيهَا رَوَاسِيَ وَأَنبَتْنَا فِيهَا مِن كُلِّ زَوْجٍ بَهِيجٍ تَبْصِرَةً وَذِكْرَى لِكُلِّ عَبْدٍ مُّنِيبٍ]|
|↑2||Qur’ān 30:50 [فانظر إلى آثار رحمة الله كيف يحيي الأرض بعد موتها إن ذلك لمحيي الموتى وهو على كل شيء قدير]|
|↑3||Qur’ān 31:29 [أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يُولِجُ اللَّيْلَ فِي النَّهَارِ وَيُولِجُ النَّهَارَ فِي اللَّيْلِ]|
|↑4||Qur’ān 51:20-21 [وفي الأرض آيات للموقنين وفي أنفسكم أفلا تبصرون]|
|↑5||Qur’ān 27:88 “This is the handiwork of God Who has perfected everything that He created.” [صُنْعَ اللَّهِ الَّذِي أَتْقَنَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ]|
|↑6||Qur’ān 16:40 [إِنَّمَا قَوْلُنَا لِشَيْءٍ إِذَا أَرَدْنَاهُ أَن نَّقُولَ لَهُ كُن فَيَكُون] “Whenever We intend to do something, We just say, “Be,” and it comes to be.”|
|↑7||Qur’ān 76:2 [الَّذِي خَلَقَ الْمَوْتَ وَالْحَيَاةَ لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ أَيُّكُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلًا وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْغَفُور]|