Relinquishing Materialism – The legacy of Sayeda Zainab
During this GAA lecture, brother Nabil Awan introduced the idea that materialism isn’t the accumulation of luxury/good quality items but rather it’s the illogical attachment to these. Many anecdotes were used but a couple most prevalent was the person who weeped/angry over a scratch on their phone or car.
These emotional imbalances to something perishable are the crux of Hub Al Dunya (love of this world).
Now it wasn’t proposed to abandon or hate this world but rather detach from the significance of material goods. Instead more focus on ‘refixing ourselves internally rather than superficially’. Whilst again there is no problem if someone has an expensive car but the focus of life shouldn’t be on acquiring such goods as source of “joy”.
One route towards ultimate joy is self contentment and this is prevalent when we are cleansed of spiritual diseases like tendency to be prideful, envious etc. Once this is negotiated we can ascend even further and closer to the divine.
An anecdote related to pride was used when asking why people don’t listen to signs/key instructions i.e. “don’t smoke here” “please put shoes here” “please put phone on airplane mode”
The reason given was ultimately pride where one has placed themself in an exclusive place where they don’t need to listen as they have ‘extenuating circumstances’. Ultimately this pride could lead to oppression of others as that cigarette smoke could be inhaled by vulnerable individual, that shoe could trip someone up and that phone could interfere with radar of plane etc
These ‘small things can lead to oppression of others and ourselves and these instructions were ‘man made’ so imagine the benefit of listening to Allah swt guidance.
The example of Sayeda Zainab was used as she left an ‘easier life’ with her husband to be alongside her brother (Imam of the time) as his cause was greater. He was fighting more than materialism, he was fighting the usurping and corruption of society, and Sayeda Zainab saw ‘real’ beauty in this.
She was the flag bearer of Islam after Kerbala. She spoke the language of the Holy Quran and was immersed in His Love.
So in conclusion, our role in life is to attach to the unperishable and this is made possible only after real self accounting and reflection
Sayeda Zainab did so and her legacy is positively remembered and eulogised but she wasn’t someone just to be celebrated but a clear and real example to us all.