Needed, a mixture of opposites | The Sunday Guardian | May 15, 2011 | Page 15
A true believer has one very special quality: he is able to develop a personality that is a blend of opposites. This quality in a believer is outlined in the Quran in the chapter entitled Al-Fath (Victory).
The relevant verse is as follows: "Muhammad is the Messenger of God. Those who are with him are firm and unyielding towards those who deny the truth, but compassionate towards one another." (48:29)
A believer is compelled to live among different kinds of people.
Some are good people, by associating with whom one can receive great benefits in terms of spirituality and positivity; but at the same time there are others who are bad, and continuing to associate with them will be harmful to one's morality and spirituality.
The existence of these opposite kinds of characters, both bad and good, which can be found in every society — perhaps without exception — may prove to be a harmful phenomenon.
This is a test for a true believer. He must pass in this test.
He must be mature enough not to yield to those who obviously have a bad character and at the same time he must be so well-inclined towards those having a good character as to learn from them and receive from them good advice for the betterment of his life.
Social life in this world is like living in a bush where there are beautiful flowers side by side with harmful thorns.
You have to be cautious enough to be able to pluck the flowers without becoming entangled with the thorns.
This is a bit like tightrope walking, which requires great skill if one is not to overbalance. Without this skill, no one can achieve his higher goals.