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Sage Advice… Reminiscing Childhood Memories

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All of us ‘grown-ups’ probably share some interesting stories from childhood. How many times have we heard someone say ‘my father used to say’, or ‘my grandfather always told me’, or ‘my mother was right when she said so”?

So, to lighten things up things a bit, I thought it would be to nice to share some of those very special sayings, and perhaps talk about how those sage sayings affected our lives. I will start with a couple that my father used to stress… he would make all of us, his children, repeat the following such that it is permanently inscribed in our hearts and in our memories:

“When wealth is lost, nothing is lost
When health is lost, something is lost
When character is lost, everything is lost”

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“Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Until good is better and better is best”

I never really thought much about these growing up, but now I can see the treasure chest of wisdom in these simplistic words. The first one puts life in perspective, reminds my siblings and I, that wealth is inconsequential in the ‘real’ sense, that health is more important (a person would give up his entire wealth to cure himself of a disease), and that character is really what defines a man. And really, without good character, your wealth will not help you much, your wealth cannot control your health, and as a wealthy man without a good character, you will have a hard time keeping sincere friends or a happy family. Then what becomes the point of wealth?

As for the second one, you see, I never realized until now that a measure of the ‘best’ is defined by the character of a person. That seeking that ‘best’ at the expense of the character would render this ‘achievement’ useless. So, maintaining one’s good character, we seek to improve ourselves, as humans, as humble servants of God, as citizens of our nations; until we can be the best in whatever we are striving in.

It’s your turn…

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The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Abu Reem is one of the founders of MuslimMatters, Inc. His identity is shaped by his religion (Islam), place of birth (Pakistan), and nationality (American). By education, he is a ChemE, topped off with an MBA from Wharton. He has been involved with Texas Dawah, Clear Lake Islamic Center and MSA. His interests include politics, cricket, and media interactions. Career-wise, Abu Reem is in management in the oil & gas industry (but one who still appreciates the "green revolution").

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. ibnabeeomar

    March 22, 2007 at 10:34 AM

    only idiots learn from their own mistakes, smart people learn from others mistakes :)

  2. Omer

    March 22, 2007 at 10:58 AM

    my dad always says there are 3 people in this world

    “some people who learn from their own mistakes,
    some people who learn from others mistakes
    and some people who never learn at all, so don’t be this last category of people”

  3. Manas Shaikh

    March 22, 2007 at 11:46 AM

    I’ll try to translate

    1. Sits eight on a cot
    It breaks not
    Sits one jerk
    It’ll break, Mark!

    2. When good people sit
    Nine on a tea leaf fit.

    3. The a man can be judged by what he does when his own interest is at stake.

  4. tahsinthree

    March 28, 2007 at 5:00 PM

    Don’t trouble Trouble
    Until Trouble troubles you
    For if you trouble Trouble
    Trouble will trouble you

    It takes two to fight and one to make up

    Love is a baby’s hand around your little finger

    Freedom isn’t free
    You’ve got to pay the price
    You’ve got to sacrifice
    For your liberty

    No one can make you feel inferior without your consent

    What color is God’s skin?
    I say, what color is God’s skin?
    It is red, it is yellow, it is white, it is black, it is brown.
    Every man is the same in the Good Lord’s eyes!

    Gossip, gossip
    Evil thing
    If you can’t say something nice
    Don’t talk at all
    is my advice!

    Treat others like you would like to be treated

  5. Abu Muhammad

    June 26, 2007 at 10:27 PM

    If we’re doing something dangerous my mum always used to say:

    “That moment can never be grasped ”

    That’s a very literal translation.

    Explanation: Your driving with your mate and he puts his foot down. You tell him to slow down incase you have an accident. He says he’ll be able to stop in time.

    Then you say” That moment can never be grasped “.

    That split second control can evade you. So don’t be foolish.

  6. Amad

    June 27, 2007 at 5:34 PM

    Thats pretty cool Abu Muhammad… I like that!

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