Cattle or Human?

(This article is based on the writings of Imam Sajjad – fourth divine guide from among the Ahlul Bayt.)

We remain within the bounds of humanity only so long as we acknowledge the uninterrupted kindness of the Creator and His manifest favors on us. Only so long as we are constantly aware that every moment we live is a gift from Him – to seek His nearness. Without this we are no better than cattle. The signs of the Creator surround and overwhelm us provided we have the inner eyes to see them. Unfortunately, we continue to be heedless and forgetful.

The Noble Qur’an says:

We have created for hell many of the jinn and humans: they have hearts with which they do not understand, they have eyes with which they do not see, they have ears with which they do not hear. They are like cattle; rather they are more astray. It is they who are the heedless. — Noble Qur’an, Surah Al Araf, 7:177-179

Imagine if the Creator had not given us the ability of thought – through which we seek Him, through which we attempt to gain nearness to Him – what would have been our state? But the gracious Creator has not withheld this ability from us. What then is our excuse?

Imam Sajjad says in his book of supplications:

Had He (the Creator) withheld from His servants the knowledge to praise Him for the uninterrupted kindnesses with which He has tried them and the manifest favors which He has lavished upon them, they would have moved about in His kindnesses without praising Him, and spread themselves out in His provision without thanking Him. — Imam Sajjad, Sahifa, Supplication 1

No in fact, we have been inspired to move forward on the path of His love:

Then He made them walk on the path of His desire, He sent them out on the way of His love. Then for each spirit He strikes a fixed term in life, for each He sets up a determined end; he walks toward it through the days of his span, he overtakes it through the years of his time.
Then, when he takes his final step and embraces the reckoning of his span. — Imam Sajjad, Sahifa, Supplication 1

In the same supplication, Imam Sajjad thanks the Creator for inspiring us with His guidance:

Praise belongs to God, for the true knowledge of Himself He has given to us, the thanksgiving He has inspired us to offer Him, the doors to knowing His Lordship He has opened for us, the sincerity towards Him in professing His Unity to which He has led us, and the deviation and doubt in His Command from which He has turned us aside.
— Imam Sajjad, Sahifa, Supplication 1

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