My Sloth

Am I my own energy Source? 

Am I too lazy to play my part in achieving Peace?

Am I fulfilling my best potential?

Am I giving as much energy out as I receive from my Source?

How can I feel more connected to my Source and Purpose?

How can I break free from my sloth and transform the fruits of my labour from bitter to sweet?

black wrinkled dried apple hanging on a branch of an apple tree in an autumn or spring gra
Marble Surface

Sloth

What is Sloth?

Sloth is an inclination to laziness. It is a disinclination to action or work/labor. It can also be described as a spiritual apathy and inactivity.

One can be physically hardworking, but if he or she is lazy in engaging the mind heart soul and body in selfless thought, speech and behaviour then this spiritual sloth can cause all of his or her efforts in physical labor to go to waste.

 

It is important to ask ourselves- why do we work for that which we work for? Is the definition of 'success' that fuels our drive in our physical efforts defined by a 'selfish' or 'selfless' intention?

Why is Sloth Important?

Sloth is important because without its existence we would not truly grasp the meaning and importance of effort and hard work in pursuit of spiritual and physical success. And without grasping the importance of 'work' then how can we truly 'serve' our creator through acts of loving kindness and in the pursuit of Higher Truth? Without serving out Higher Purpose- how can we ever have a meaningful relationship with our Creator and with each other? Reflecting on the impact that our laziness and willing inactivity has on our potential as humanity for good, can enable us to become more willing to engage in acts of loving kindness and serving our Creator through helping others. This way we can transform our sloth into Higher Service and become a beacon of Light through righteousness unto others. 

How can my Sloth help me and others?

Life is up and down. What is up without down? How can we understand and appreciate our spiritual and physical ascent if we cannot descend? One cannot climb a mountain ( spiritual or physical) without movement. But how can we appreciate the importance of movement and change without experiencing and reflecting on our 'stasis' or laziness at certain times of our lives and the impact that this has on our lives? So sloth can in fact be transformed (through self reflecting on the negativity it can bring and its power to prevent us from achieving our true Higher potential and purpose)  into a wisdom that can then help to give us more strength to persevere in our hardships and struggles in life while we climb our spiritual ladders towards our Maker.

The depression and anxiety that is a result of our sloth, if understood and grasped, can be transformed into a fuel that drives our passion for hard work in ways of righteousness and Peace. Just Like Pain can teach us which areas we need to work on to heal; the infection within our souls that is a result of becoming 'static' in our spiritual ascension that results from being 'static' in our physical lives ( due to our sloth) - can in fact help guide us to reaching even Higher Heights, and dive even deeper into our Soul Purpose. 

The wisdom that lies hidden in our sloth can be transformed through acts of willing self-sacrifice of that which our selfish side desires for its own purpose, unto others who need it our help- seeking a purpose higher than our own ego-  when we learn to love others as ourselves and seek to treat others as we want to be treated. 

How does my Sloth affect my sense of well-being?

Sloth can provide a temporary brief lasting sense of pleasure when we seek the pleasures of this world instead of the hereafter, and instead of the Pleasure of our Creator Who created us. But these pleasures, are like a delusion- they do not last- and always come to an end, making us feel worse than before we engaged in the acts which brought on the pleasure. Sloth in the ways of Peace by engaging in good deeds, acts of loving kindness, then frees up our energy to use instead in ways of division, and disharmony- fuelled by our ego, greed, envy, lust and other selfish inclinations. Sloth all together leads to decay, wounds that are unable to heal and ultimately spiritual and physical decline to death. 

Our unwillingness to engage in work for our sustenance, provision and success (while acknowledging that our ability to do so is from our creator as Source) reduces our ability to fulfil our true potential as humanity, and has a great negative impact on our sense of emotional, physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing. The knowledge that we are able to strive, but refuse to do so because of our sloth, results in spiritual decline, even if it provides us with a brief temporary sense of false delusion and pleasure. 

Many of us who suffer from feelings of low self-esteem, anger, low mood, anxiety, guilt, shame, obsessive compulsive thoughts, and suicidal ideation- do so because we feel unable to express or reveal our inner Truth. The more lazy we are in our spiritual pursuit of Higher Truth, the more unable and unwilling we become in our efforts to reveal our true identity and strive for our True Purpose. Our Inner truth and essence becomes 'trapped' within a hard shell of garments that hide our shame. The reaction that our bodies have against this blockage of Inner Light and Truth, causes us to feel negative emotions that can weigh us down and further exacerbate our sloth, drowning us, and making us feel further detached from our energy Source. 

 

When we doubt our true potential of serving that which is Higher than ourselves; that Higher Purpose which is beyond our own understanding, we become trapped within the confines of our limited perception of time and space, and our perception of 'reality' becomes reliant on our own understanding defined by our limited physical perceptions. This then limits our potential to achieve what we might have believed to be impossible. Where does this doubt come from? What fuels it? Is it our failures? our mistakes? our lack of faith in repentance? our lack of faith in a Creator and Higher Purpose? Is it because we feel too ashamed and unworthy of returning to our Source of Existence because of our previous evil ways? Is it because of our Ego and the way it entices us to believe that there is nothing higher or more worthy of worship than our selfish desires which delude us into a false and temporary perception of Reality? This false perception of reality makes us believe that there is nothing other than this worldly physical life and all its temporary pleasures, and convinces us that in order to succeed we must nurture our ego and chase after the brief worldly pleasures of this life, instead of the hereafter. It pusuades us that putting in effort in pursuit of ways of selflessness and active 'giving' to help others success is a waste of time and energy when we could instead use that time to enjoy ourselves by feeding our lusts, greed, desire for glory and fame, for achieve selfish worldly success for ourselves. It deceives us into relying on our own senses and logic and reason as our Source of life/truth/provision/sustenence rather than striving to show more gratitude to our Creator and Source of all of our blessings. It entices us to turn away from our Creator, through arrogance and disobedience; causing a blockage in our perceived direct relationship with our Maker and therefore the rest of creation. Without our direct relationship with our True Source of Life, while seeking Truth with a humble heart and engaging in acts of loving kindness and sacrifice -we become unable to be a pure vessel through which His Light and Love can flow into existence, and we deny the favours of our Lord by refusing to show gratitude for our blessings by engaging and participating willingly in the active worship of our Creator through ways of Peace and righteousness. Our ego results in us turning away from our Creator and then leads us to feeling as though we no longer have a real purpose in this world. Our Sloth against striving with our wealth and our lives (by each one of us using our unique gifts talents and blessings) in ways of Righteousness therefore results in our failure to achieve what we were put into this world for - to worship our Creator in Peace and Unity- from an Abrahamic perspective. 

How does my Sloth cause me harm?

When we get to eat from that which we did not earn with our own hands- does it taste as good as something we eat because of our own efforts? Our laziness to fully take part in our own success (despite our ability to do so) results in the 'fruit' that we eat tasting more 'bitter' than 'sweet.' How can we truly celebrate our success with others if we refuse to play our part in the group effort? When we sit back and let others do the dirty work while we just expect to share in their success stories- this is sloth, and is fuelled by our ego and arrogance. It results from our false perception that we are 'more worthy' than others and therefore exempt from striving both on an individual and community level for world Peace and Unity. And when our temporary existence comes to an end, we are faced with harsh self-judgement and bear witness against ourselves that in Truth and Reality, we do not deserve to taste the sweetness of our efforts, because without effort, the fruit is bitter and rots our insides. Our pain and suffering in the Hereafter is nothing other than a reflection of ( and payment for) our internal spiritual, and external physical efforts towards ways of Justice, Peace, Truth and Love in this world using what we have been granted of worldly blessings. 

Thos who work hard in this world with an intention directed towards pleasing their Creator- may suffer with hardship and a brief sense of 'suffering' in this world while they strive and give their maximum potential in his Ways of Peace and Unity, but knowing that their efforts are pleasing to their Creator ( if done with sincere pure hearts seeking His Pleasure) will relieve them of their suffering in both this world and the next, transforming their sorrows into inward and outward Joy and Pleasure that is Lasting and never ending. For when our efforts are directed toward and united with Higher Truth and Purpose, our Creator makes easy for us the ways of Righteousness, and grants into our hearts patience, Peace, and compassion- we become more able to let go of our anxieties, worries, fears, sorrows that wear us down and burden us- and this redeems us from being slaves of our selfish desires, we become able to Fly our of our cages that surround our hearts, clouding our vision, hearing and understanding. 

How does my Sloth cause harm unto others?

Whatever effort we put into causing harm to ourselves, causes harm to others, and whatever effort we put into causing harm to others causes harm to ourselves. This is because the harm that is caused to our own physical spiritual emotional and mental wellbeing, is then reflected unto others in our human relationships, and in our relationships with all creation in this universe that we share. We share the same space, in body mind and soul, even though what we may perceive as 'reality' is that we are separate. So for example, if someone chooses to be 'lazy' while playing in a football match as part of a team, his laziness will have an effect on the entire team. If one of our bodily parts stops functioning, then the whole body can suffer as a result- unless that part is either healed, or is cut off and replaced. 

How can I rise up above my Sloth or use it to transform Darkness into Light?

We all work in either ways that are pleasing to our Creator, or in ways that are displeasing to our Creator. So whatever we choose to think, say or do is an effort towards a way of spiritual ascent or spiritual descent on both and individual and humanity level. So sloth in one direction, can be seen as effort and work in another direction. Willingly putting effort into purifying our thought speech and behaviour so that we engage in thought speech and action that is driven by selfless desire, enables us to transform our sloth from something that is negative to something that is positive ( sloth against engaging in harmful thought speech and behaviour that causes disunity and division) . When we acknowledge that it is our intention that drives our efforts and helps to change the direction of our sails, we can channel our efforts towards our desired direction according to our knowledge, wisdom, understanding and love using our free will. But how can one direct their efforts towards seeking the pleasure of our creator without knowledge of what is Pleasing to Him? Can we rely on our own understanding to guide us? Maybe some of us feel they can- but we all know how easily distracted we can become through the temptations of this worldly life and its temporary pleasures. This is why our Creator ( through His Mercy) has sent down messengers and prophets with Scriptures to guide us out of our darkness into Light, and free us from the prison of enslavement to our ego- and commands us on what is Pleasing to Him, and what displeases Him. It is then unto us to use this knowledge, and either choose to obey or disobey His commandments. 

So from an Abrahamic perspective, the way to transform darkness into light is to direct our efforts in the pursuit of Justice, Peace, and Unity, through Faith, charity, prayer, and acts of loving kindness by following His commandments- even if we do not yet understand the hidden wisdom of them. This is a test of faith- and the act of turning to our Creator in repentance, and seeking His Guidance while faithfully obeying HIs Commands with humble hearts- is what removes the clouding from our vision, hearing and hearts so that we become more 'able' to fulfil our True potentials with the ability to judge right from wrong in any given situation and make the right decision as to which way to direct our sails and efforts. 

Imagine if every single human being chose to seek Higher Truth together, putting aside their own agendas, putting aside their own selfish desires to gain profit from this worldly life? Imagine if we all helped each other no matter what our race, religion, label, background, sex, age, and put our energy and efforts into engaging in selfless acts of loving kindness and sacrifice through sharing our unique blessings, gifts and talents in creativity with others while seeking the pleasure of our Creator to Whom we belong, and to Whom we Return? Imagine if instead of using our free will to choose to spend effort and energy in pursueing more power, fame, honour, glory, wealth, and other vain temporary pleasures of this worldly life, we chose to spend that energy in gaining Higher Truth, wisdom, Knowledge, understanding, and purifying our hearts so that whichever we turn we See the Face of our Creator? 

The choice is ours. Do we choose to work towards Peace or Destruction? Do we choose to Worship our Source of Life ( Our Creator- Lord of The Worlds)  in our efforts, or do we choose to worship our own ego? 

Here are some things that might help;

1) Seeking the Guidance of our One God-  to Higher Truth- not associating with Him any other deity.

2)Repentance, while forgiving others that have wronged us

3) Engaging in regular prayer ( conversation/connection with God) and charity while seeking His Pleasure instead of our own selfish pleasure

4) Using our unique blessings, gifts and talents to show gratitude to our Creator by sharing them with others and in active service of humanity. Striving with our wealth and lives in His Cause ( Justice and Peace) while seeking nothing in return except His Pleasure

5) Praying that God helps us to fulfil our best potentials in our service and worship of Him

6) choosing to direct our thoughts away from anything that is driven or fuelled by selfish lust, ego, envy, greed, anger, sloth.. and instead focusing and meditating our minds on developing more of the The Beautiful Attributes of our Creator- integrity, truth, compassion, patience, love, justice, peace, respect, tolerance, humility, forgiveness, gratitude, sanctification/purity etc. Engaging in relationships and acts of loving kindness that help to enable us to develop these Attributes more and more. Avoiding relationships and eating or drinking substances that distract us from these Attributes.

7) Spending time during the day and night praising our Creator, Thanking Him, and Glorifying Him for our blessings. Remembering Him within our hearts minds and souls as much as possible while we engage in this physical world seeking His Pleasure- Acknowledging Him as our Source of Life and Energy, and allowing that to flow through us unto others so that we become vessels of His Light in this physical world and help others too to transform darkness to Light. 

8) seeking Knowledge wisdom and understanding from everyone and everything around us- we can be both students and teachers at the same time and see the Face of our Creator whichever direction we turn, by acknowledging that there is no Reality other than Him and by seeking the hidden wisdom that is in everything..

Here are some self- reflection questions that might help:

 

 

Scripture Quotes on Sloth.

The Ten Commandments ( Torah)

613 Commandments ( Torah) 

1The Lord spoke to Moses, saying:

2"See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah,

3and I have imbued him with the spirit of God, with wisdom, with insight, with knowledge, and with [talent for] all manner of craftsmanship

4to do master weaving, to work with gold, with silver, and with copper,

5with the craft of stones for setting and with the craft of wood, to do every [manner of] work.

6And, behold, with him I have placed Oholiab the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, and all the wise hearted into whose hearts I have instilled wisdom, and they shall make everything I have commanded you:

7The Tent of Meeting and the ark for the testimony, as well as the cover that [shall be] upon it, all the implements of the tent,

8the table and its implements, the pure menorah and all its implements, the altar of incense,

9the altar for the burnt offering and all its implements, the washstand and its base,

10the meshwork garments, the holy garments for Aaron the kohen, the garments of his sons [in which] to serve [as kohanim],

11the anointing oil and the incense for the Holy; in complete accordance with everything I have commanded you they shall do."

12The Lord spoke to Moses, saying:

13"And you, speak to the children of Israel and say: 'Only keep My Sabbaths! For it is a sign between Me and you for your generations, to know that I, the Lord, make you holy.

14Therefore, keep the Sabbath, for it is a sacred thing for you. Those who desecrate it shall be put to death, for whoever performs work on it, that soul will be cut off from the midst of its people.

15Six days work may be done, but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of complete rest, holy to the Lord; whoever performs work on the Sabbath day shall be put to death.'

16Thus shall the children of Israel observe the Sabbath, to make the Sabbath throughout their generations as an everlasting covenant.

17Between Me and the children of Israel, it is forever a sign that [in] six days The Lord created the heaven and the earth, and on the seventh day He ceased and rested."

18When He had finished speaking with him on Mount Sinai, He gave Moses the two tablets of the testimony, stone tablets, written with the finger of God. (Exodus chapter 3)

 

Through laziness, the rafters sag; because of idle hands, the house leaks. Ecclestiastes 10:18

 

Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in forced labor. Proverbs 12:24

 

A sluggard’s appetite is never filled, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied. Proverbs 13:4

 

A lazy man does not roast his prey, But the precious possession of a man is diligence. In the way of righteousness is life, And in its pathway there is no death. Proverbs 12:27-28

 

A sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven people who answer discreetly. Proverbs 26:16

 

Laziness casts into a deep sleep, And an idle man will suffer hunger. He who keeps the commandment keeps his soul, But he who is careless of conduct will die. Proverbs 19:15-16

 

A sluggard buries his hand in the dish; he will not even bring it back to his mouth! Proverbs 19:24

 

How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? Proverbs 6:9 

 

Do you see a person wise in their own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for them. A sluggard says, “There’s a lion in the road, a fierce lion roaming the streets!” As a door turns on its hinges, so a sluggard turns on his bed. A sluggard buries his hand in the dish; he is too lazy to bring it back to his mouth. A sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven people who answer discreetly. Like one who grabs a stray dog by the ears is someone who rushes into a quarrel not their own. Like a maniac shooting flaming arrows of death. Proverbs 26:12-18

 

The craving of a sluggard will be the death of him, because his hands refuse to work. Proverbs 21:25

 

Ears that hear and eyes that see— the LORD has made them both. Do not love sleep or you will grow poor; stay awake and you will have food to spare.  Proverbs 20:12-13

 

Sluggards do not plow in season; so at harvest time they look but find nothing. Proverbs 20:4

 

Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth. Proverbs 10:4

 

She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her. Proverbs 31:26-29

 

The way of the sluggard is blocked with thorns, but the path of the upright is a highway. Proverbs 15:19

 

She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. Proverbs 31:15-18

 

The sluggard says, “There’s a lion outside!I’ll be killed in the public square!” Proverbs 22:13

 

Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to those who send him. Proverbs 10:26

 

I went past the field of a sluggard, past the vineyard of someone who has no sense; thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall was in ruins. I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw: A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man. Proverbs 24:30-33

 

“Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’

“His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. Mathew 25:24-28

 

1Ho! All who thirst, go to water, and whoever has no money, go, buy and eat, and go, buy without money and without a price, wine and milk.

2Why should you weigh out money without bread and your toil without satiety? Hearken to Me and eat what is good, and your soul shall delight in fatness.

3Incline your ear and come to Me, hearken and your soul shall live, and I will make for you an everlasting covenant, the dependable mercies of David.

4Behold, a witness to nations have I appointed him, a ruler and a commander of nations.

5Behold, a nation you do not know you shall call, and a nation that did not know you shall run to you, for the sake of the Lord your God and for the Holy One of Israel, for He glorified you.

6Seek the Lord when He is found, call Him when He is near.

7The wicked shall give up his way, and the man of iniquity his thoughts, and he shall return to the Lord, Who shall have mercy upon him, and to our God, for He will freely pardon.

8"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways," says the Lord.

9"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts [higher] than your thoughts.

10For, just as the rain and the snow fall from the heavens, and it does not return there, unless it has satiated the earth and fructified it and furthered its growth, and has given seed to the sower and bread to the eater,

11so shall be My word that emanates from My mouth; it shall not return to Me empty, unless it has done what I desire and has made prosperous the one to whom I sent it.

12For with joy shall you go forth, and with peace shall you be brought; the mountains and the hills shall burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field shall clap hands.

13Instead of the briar, a cypress shall rise, and instead of the nettle, a myrtle shall rise, and it shall be for the Lord as a name, as an everlasting sign, which shall not be discontinued.

Isaiah 55

 

1So says the Lord, "Keep justice and practice righteousness, for My salvation is near to come, and My benevolence to be revealed."

2Fortunate is the man who will do this and the person who will hold fast to it, he who keeps the Sabbath from profaning it and guards his hand from doing any evil.

3Now let not the foreigner who joined the Lord, say, "The Lord will surely separate me from His people," and let not the eunuch say, "Behold, I am a dry tree."

4For so says the Lord to the eunuchs who will keep My Sabbaths and will choose what I desire and hold fast to My covenant,

5"I will give them in My house and in My walls a place and a name, better than sons and daughters; an everlasting name I will give him, which will not be discontinued.

6And the foreigners who join with the Lord to serve Him and to love the name of the Lord, to be His servants, everyone who observes the Sabbath from profaning it and who holds fast to My covenant.

7I will bring them to My holy mount, and I will cause them to rejoice in My house of prayer, their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be acceptable upon My altar, for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.

8So says the Lord God, Who gathers in the dispersed of Israel, I will yet gather others to him, together with his gathered ones.

9All the beasts of the field, come to devour all the beasts in the forest.

10His lookouts are all blind, they do not know, dumb dogs who cannot bark; they lie slumbering, loving to slumber.

11And the dogs are of greedy disposition, they know not satiety; and they are shepherds who know not to understand; they all turned to their way, each one to his gain, every last one.

12"Come, I will take wine, and let us guzzle old wine, and tomorrow shall be like this, [but] greater [and] much more.

Isaiah 56

 

1The righteous man has perished, but no one takes it to heart, and men of kindness are taken away, with no one understanding that because of the evil the righteous man has been taken away.

2He shall come in peace; they shall rest in their resting- place, whoever walks in his uprightness.

3And you, draw near hither, children of sorcery; children who commit adultery, and played the whore.

4On whom will you [rely to] enjoy yourselves; against whom do you open your mouth wide; against whom do you stick out your tongue? Are you not children of transgression, seed of falsehood?

5You who inflame yourselves among the terebinths, under every green tree, who slaughter the children in the valleys, under the clefts of the rocks.

6Of the smooth [stones] of the valley is your portion; they, they are your lot; to them too you have poured out libations, offered up sacrifices; in the face of these shall I relent?

7On a high and lofty mountain you placed your couch; there too you went to slaughter sacrifices.

8And behind the door and the doorpost you have directed your thoughts, for while with Me, you uncovered [us] and went up, you widened your couch and made for yourself [a covenant] with them; you loved their couch, you chose a place.

9And you brought a gift to the king with oil, and you increased your perfumes; and you sent your ambassadors far off, and you humbled them to the grave.

10With the length of your way you became wearied; you did not say, "Despair." The power of your hand you found; therefore, you were not stricken ill.

11And whom did you dread and fear, that you failed, and you did not remember Me; you did not lay [Me] to your heart. Indeed, I am silent and from everlasting, but you do not fear Me.

12I tell your righteousness and your deeds, and they shall not avail you.

13When you cry out, let your collections save you; wind shall carry all of them off, a breath shall take them, but he who trusts in Me shall inherit the land and shall inherit My holy mount.

14And he shall say, "Pave, pave, clear the way; remove the obstacles from the way of My people."

15For so said the High and Exalted One, Who dwells to eternity, and His name is Holy, "With the lofty and the holy ones I dwell, and with the crushed and humble in spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the crushed.

16For I will not contend forever, neither will I be wroth to eternity, when a spirit from before Me humbles itself, and souls [which] I have made.

17For the iniquity of his thievery I became wroth, and I smote him, I hid Myself and became wroth, for he went rebelliously in the way of his heart.

18I saw his ways and I will heal him, and I will lead him and requite with consolations him and his mourners.

19[I] create the speech of the lips; peace, peace to the far and to the near," says the Lord, "and I will heal him."

20But the wicked are like the turbulent sea, for it cannot rest, and its waters cast up mud and dirt.

21"There is no peace," says my God, "for the wicked.

Isaiah 57

 

1Call with a [full] throat, do not spare, like a shofar raise your voice, and relate to My people their transgression, and to the house of Jacob their sins.

2Yet they seek Me daily and they wish to know My ways, like a nation that performed righteousness and did not forsake the ordinance of its God: they ask Me ordinances of righteousness; they desire nearness to God.

3"Why have we fasted, and You did not see; we have afflicted our soul and You do not know?" Behold, on the day of your fast you pursue business, and [from] all your debtors you exact [payment].

4Behold, for quarrel and strife you fast, and to strike with a fist of wickedness. Do not fast like this day, to make your voice heard on high.

5Will such be the fast I will choose, a day of man's afflicting his soul? Is it to bend his head like a fishhook and spread out sackcloth and ashes? Will you call this a fast and an acceptable day to the Lord?

6Is this not the fast I will choose? To undo the fetters of wickedness, to untie the bands of perverseness, and to let out the oppressed free, and all perverseness you shall eliminate.

7Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and moaning poor you shall bring home; when you see a naked one, you shall clothe him, and from your flesh you shall not hide.

8Then your light shall break forth as the dawn, and your healing shall quickly sprout, and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall gather you in.

9Then you shall call and the Lord shall answer, you shall cry and He shall say, "Here I am," if you remove perverseness from your midst, putting forth the finger and speaking wickedness.

10And you draw out your soul to the hungry, and an afflicted soul you sate, then your light shall shine in the darkness, and your darkness shall be like noon.

11And the Lord shall always lead you, and He shall satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; and you shall be like a well-watered garden and like a spring of water whose water does not fail.

12And [those coming] from you shall build ancient ruins, foundations of generations you shall erect, and you shall be called the repairer of the breaches, restorer of the paths, to dwell in.

13If you restrain your foot because of the Sabbath, from performing your affairs on My holy day, and you call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord honored, and you honor it by not doing your wonted ways, by not pursuing your affairs and speaking words.

14Then, you shall delight with the Lord, and I will cause you to ride on the high places of the land, and I will give you to eat the heritage of Jacob your father, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken

Isaiah 58

 

1Behold, the hand of the Lord is not too short to save, neither is His ear too heavy to hear.

2But your iniquities were separating between you and between your God, and your sins have caused [Him] to hide [His] face from you that He not hear.

3For your hands were defiled with blood and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken falsehood, your tongue mutters injustice.

4No one calls sincerely, and no one is judged faithfully; trusting in vanity and speaking lies, conceiving injustice and begetting wickedness.

5They hatched vipers' eggs, and they weave spider webs; whoever eats of their eggs shall die, and what hatches, emerges a viper.

6Their webs shall not become a garment, neither shall they cover themselves with their deeds; their deeds are works of wickedness, and there is a deed of violence in their hands.

7Their feet run to evil, and they hasten to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of wickedness; robbery and ruin are in their paths.

8The way of peace they do not know, and there is no justice in their paths; they have made themselves crooked paths; whoever goes on it knows no peace.

9Therefore, justice is far from us, and righteousness does not overtake us; we hope for light and behold there is darkness, for brightness, but we walk in gloom.

10We tap a wall like blind men, and like those who have no eyes we tap; we have stumbled at midday like in the darkness of night; [we are] in dark places like the dead.

11We all growl like bears, and like doves we moan; we hope for justice but there is none, for salvation [but] it has distanced itself from us.

12For our transgressions against You are many, and our sins have testified against us, for our transgressions are with us, and our iniquities-we know them.

13Rebelling and denying the Lord, and drawing away from following our God, speaking oppression and perverseness, sprouting and giving forth from the heart words of falsehood.

14And justice has turned away backward, and righteousness stands from afar, for truth has stumbled in the street, and straightforwardness cannot come.

15And truth is lacking, and he who turns away from evil is considered mad, and the Lord saw and was displeased for there is no justice.

16And He saw that there was no man, and He was astounded for there was no intercessor, and His armsaved for Him, and His righteousness, that supported Him.

17And He donned righteousness like a coat of mail, and a helmet of salvation is upon His head, and He donned garments of vengeance as His attire, and He was clad with zeal as a cloak.

18According to their deeds, accordingly He shall repay, fury to His adversaries, recompense to His enemies; to the islands He shall pay recompense.

19And from the west they shall fear the name of the Lord, and from the rising of the sun, His glory, for distress shall come like a river; the spirit of the Lord is wondrous in it.

20And a redeemer shall come to Zion, and to those who repent of transgression in Jacob, says the Lord.

21"As for Me, this is My covenant with them," says the Lord. "My spirit, which is upon you and My words that I have placed in your mouth, shall not move from your mouth or from the mouth of your seed and from the mouth of your seed's seed," said the Lord, "from now and to eternity.

Isaiah 59

 

1Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has shone upon you.

2For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and a gross darkness the kingdoms, and the Lord shall shine upon you, and His glory shall appear over you.

3And nations shall go by your light and kings by the brilliance of your shine.

4Lift up your eyes all around and see, they all have gathered, they have come to you; your sons shall come from afar, and your daughters shall be raised on [their] side.

5Then you shall see and be radiant, and your heart shall be startled and become enlarged, for the abundance of the west shall be turned over to you, the wealth of the nations that will come to you.

6A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah, all of them shall come from Sheba; gold and frankincense they shall carry, and the praises of the Lord they shall report.

7All the sheep of Kedar shall be gathered to you, the rams of Nebaioth shall serve you; they shall be offered up with acceptance upon My altar, and I will glorify My glorious house.

8Who are these that fly like a cloud and like doves to their cotes?

9For the isles will hope for Me, and the ships of Tarshish [as] in the beginning, to bring your sons from afar, their silver and their gold with them, in the name of the Lord your God and for the Holy One of Israel, for He has glorified you.

10And foreigners shall build your walls, and their kings shall serve you, for in My wrath I struck you, and in My grace have I had mercy on you.

11And they shall open your gates always; day and night they shall not be closed, to bring to you the wealth of the nations and their kings in procession.

12For the nation and the kingdom that shall not serve you shall perish, and the nations shall be destroyed.

13The glory of the Lebanon shall come to you, box trees, firs, and cypresses together, to glorify the place of My sanctuary, and the place of My feet I will honor.

14And the children of your oppressors shall go to you bent over, and those who despised you shall prostrate themselves at the soles of your feet, and they shall call you 'the city of the Lord, Zion of the Holy One of Israel.'

15Instead of your being forsaken and hated without a passerby, I will make you an everlasting pride, the joy of every generation.

16And you shall suck the milk of nations and the breast of kings you shall suck, and you shall know that I am the Lord, your Savior, and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.

17Instead of the copper I will bring gold, and instead of the iron I will bring silver, and instead of the wood, copper, and instead of the stones, iron, and I will make your officers peace and your rulers righteousness.

18Violence shall no longer be heard in your land, neither robbery nor destruction within your borders, and you shall call salvation your walls and your gates praise.

19You shall no longer have the sun for light by day, and for brightness, the moon shall not give you light, but the Lord shall be to you for an everlasting light, and your God for your glory.

20Your sun shall no longer set, neither shall your moon be gathered in, for the Lord shall be to you for an everlasting light, and the days of your mourning shall be completed.

21And your people, all of them righteous, shall inherit the land forever, a scion of My planting, the work of My hands in which I will glory.

22The smallest shall become a thousand and the least a mighty nation; I am the Lord, in its time I will hasten it

Isaiah 60

 

1The spirit of the Lord God was upon me, since the Lord anointed me to bring tidings to the humble, He sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to declare freedom for the captives, and for the prisoners to free from captivity.

2To declare a year of acceptance for the Lord and a day of vengeance for our God, to console all mourners.

3To place for the mourners of Zion, to give them glory instead of ashes, oil of joy instead of mourning, a mantle of praise instead of a feeble spirit, and they shall be called the elms of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, with which to glory.

4And they shall build the ruins of old, the desolations of the first ones they shall erect; and they shall renew ruined cities, desolations of all generations.

5And strangers shall stand and pasture your sheep, and foreigners shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.

6And you shall be called the priests of the Lord; 'servants of our God' shall be said of you; the possessions of the nations you shall eat, and with their glory you shall succeed [them].

7Instead of your shame, which was twofold, and your disgrace, which they would bemoan as their lot; therefore, in their land they shall inherit twofold; they shall have everlasting joy.

8For I am the Lord, Who loves justice, hates robbery in a burnt offering; and I gave their wage in truth, and an everlasting covenant I will make for them.

9And their seed shall be known among the nations, and their offspring among the peoples; all who see them shall recognize them that they are seed that the Lord blessed.

10I will rejoice with the Lord; my soul shall exult with my God, for He has attired me with garments of salvation, with a robe of righteousness He has enwrapped me; like a bridegroom, who, priestlike, dons garments of glory, and like a bride, who adorns herself with her jewelry.

11For, like the earth, which gives forth its plants, and like a garden that causes its seeds to grow, so shall the Lord God cause righteousness and praise to grow opposite all the nations

Isaiah 61

 

1For the sake of Zion, I will not be silent, and for the sake of Jerusalem I will not rest, until her righteousness comes out like brilliance, and her salvation burns like a torch.

2And nations shall see your righteousness, and all kings your glory, and you shall be called a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall pronounce.

3And you shall be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord and a kingly diadem in the hand of your God.

4No longer shall "forsaken" be said of you, and "desolate" shall no longer be said of your land, for you shall be called "My desire is in her," and your land, "inhabited," for the Lord desires you, and your land shall be inhabited.

5As a young man lives with a virgin, so shall your children live in you, and the rejoicing of a bridegroom over a bride shall your God rejoice over you.

6On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen; all day and all night, they shall never be silent; those who remind the Lord, be not silent.

7And give Him no rest, until He establishes and until He makes Jerusalem a praise in the land.

8The Lord swore by His right hand and by the arm of His strength; I will no longer give your grain to your enemies, and foreigners shall no longer drink your wine for which you have toiled.

9But its gatherers shall eat it and they shall praise the Lord, and its gatherers shall drink it in My holy courts.

10Pass, pass through the portals, clear the way of the people, pave, pave the highway, clear it of stones, lift up a banner over the peoples.

11Behold, the Lord announced to the end of the earth, "Say to the daughter of Zion, 'Behold your salvation has come.' " Behold His reward is with Him, and His wage is before Him.

12And they shall call them the holy people, those redeemed by the Lord, and you shall be called, "sought, a city not forsaken.

Isaiah 62

 

 

And they said, "Arise, and let us go up against them, for we have seen the land, and behold, it is very good; and you are silent, do not be lazy to go and enter to possess the land

Judges 18:9

 

And when Abraham said, “My Lord, show me how You give life to the dead.” He said, “Have you not believed?” He said, “Yes, but to put my heart at ease.” He said, “Take four birds, and incline them to yourself, then place a part on each hill, then call to them; and they will come rushing to you. And know that God is Powerful and Wise.” The parable of those who spend their wealth in God’s way is that of a grain that produces seven spikes; in each spike is a hundred grains. God multiplies for whom He wills. God is Bounteous and Knowing. Those who spend their wealth in the way of God, and then do not follow up what they spent with reminders of their generosity or with insults, will have their reward with their Lord—they have nothing to fear, nor shall they grieve. Kind words and forgiveness are better than charity followed by insults. God is Rich and Clement. O you who believe! Do not nullify your charitable deeds with reminders and hurtful words, like him who spends his wealth to be seen by the people, and does not believe in God and the Last Day. His likeness is that of a smooth rock covered with soil: a downpour strikes it, and leaves it bare—they gain nothing from their efforts. God does not guide the disbelieving people. And the parable of those who spend their wealth seeking God’s approval, and to strengthen their souls, is that of a garden on a hillside. If heavy rain falls on it, its produce is doubled; and if no heavy rain falls, then dew is enough. God is seeing of everything you do. Would anyone of you like to have a garden of palms and vines, under which rivers flow—with all kinds of fruit in it for him, and old age has stricken him, and he has weak children—then a tornado with fire batters it, and it burns down? Thus God makes clear the signs for you, so that you may reflect. O you who believe! Give of the good things you have earned, and from what We have produced for you from the earth. And do not pick the inferior things to give away, when you yourselves would not accept it except with eyes closed. And know that God is Sufficient and Praiseworthy. Satan promises you poverty, and urges you to immorality; but God promises you forgiveness from Himself, and grace. God is Embracing and Knowing. He gives wisdom to whomever He wills. Whoever is given wisdom has been given much good. But none pays heed except those with insight. Whatever charity you give, or a pledge you fulfill, God knows it. The wrongdoers have no helpers. If you give charity openly, that is good. But if you keep it secret, and give it to the needy in private, that is better for you. It will atone for some of your misdeeds. God is cognizant of what you do. Their guidance is not your responsibility, but God guides whom He wills. Any charity you give is for your own good. Any charity you give shall be for the sake of God. Any charity you give will be repaid to you in full, and you will not be wronged. It is for the poor; those who are restrained in the way of God, and unable to travel in the land. The unaware would think them rich, due to their dignity. You will recognize them by their features. They do not ask from people insistently. Whatever charity you give, God is aware of it. Those who spend their wealth by night and day, privately and publicly, will receive their reward from their Lord. They have nothing to fear, nor shall they grieve. Those who swallow usury will not rise, except as someone driven mad by Satan's touch. That is because they say, “Commerce is like usury.” But God has permitted commerce, and has forbidden usury. Whoever, on receiving advice from his Lord, refrains, may keep his past earnings, and his case rests with God. But whoever resumes—these are the dwellers of the Fire, wherein they will abide forever. God condemns usury, and He blesses charities. God does not love any sinful ingrate. Those who believe, and do good deeds, and pray regularly, and give charity—they will have their reward with their Lord; they will have no fear, nor shall they grieve. O you who believe! Fear God, and forgo what remains of usury, if you are believers. If you do not, then take notice of a war by God and His Messenger. But if you repent, you may keep your capital, neither wronging, nor being wronged. But if he is in hardship, then deferment until a time of ease. But to remit it as charity is better for you, if you only knew. And guard yourselves against a Day when you will be returned to God; then each soul will be rewarded fully for what it has earned, and they will not be wronged.

Quran 2:260-281

 

But the pious are amidst gardens and springs. Receiving what their Lord has given them. They were virtuous before that. They used to sleep a little at night. And at dawn, they would pray for pardon. And in their wealth, there was a share for the beggar and the deprived. Quran 51:15-19

 

I did not create the jinn and the humans except to worship Me. I need no livelihood from them, nor do I need them to feed Me. God is the Provider, the One with Power, the Strong. Quran 51:56-58

 

In the name of God, the Gracious, the Merciful.

 

O you Enwrapped one. Stay up the night, except a little. For half of it, or reduce it a little. Or add to it; and chant the Quran rhythmically. We are about to give you a heavy message. The vigil of night is more effective, and better suited for recitation. In the daytime, you have lengthy work to do. So remember the Name of your Lord, and devote yourself to Him wholeheartedly. Lord of the East and the West. There is no god but He, so take Him as a Trustee. And endure patiently what they say, and withdraw from them politely. And leave Me to those who deny the truth, those of luxury, and give them a brief respite. With Us are shackles, and a Fierce Fire. And food that chokes, and a painful punishment. On the Day when the earth and the mountains tremble, and the mountains become heaps of sand. We have sent to you a messenger, a witness over you, as We sent to Pharaoh a messenger. But Pharaoh defied the Messenger, so We seized him with a terrible seizing. So how will you, if you persist in unbelief, save yourself from a Day which will turn the children gray-haired? The heaven will shatter thereby. His promise is always fulfilled. This is a reminder. So whoever wills, let him take a path to his Lord. Your Lord knows that you stay up nearly two-thirds of the night, or half of it, or one-third of it, along with a group of those with you. God designed the night and the day. He knows that you are unable to sustain it, so He has pardoned you. So read of the Quran what is possible for you. He knows that some of you may be ill; and others travelling through the land, seeking God’s bounty; and others fighting in God’s cause. So read of it what is possible for you, and observe the prayers, and give regular charity, and lend God a generous loan. Whatever good you advance for yourselves, you will find it with God, better and generously rewarded. And seek God’s forgiveness, for God is Forgiving and Merciful. Quran 73

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