“Like gravity, karma is so basic we often don't even notice it.” ― Sakyong Mipham
Have you heard of the saying, ‘what goes around comes around’? Well….that saying refers to ‘karma’ which in simple English means ‘action and reaction’. It is a principle of retributive justice.
What I understand karma to be is, if we commit a bad deed, then that bad deed will be inflicted upon us later. Similarly, if we do a good deed then we will be repaid in kind. The question is, do we believe in karma? Does it truly exist?
A friend of mine and I were talking about karma one day. We were reminiscing about the good ol’ times when we were young and carefree. Things were a lot simpler back then when we had less responsibility. I do believe that, it was also due of the lack of responsibilities that I managed to get myself into so many mischief.
When we were small, my sisters and I were very, very, naughty. Ok! I was the naughtiest of the three but still, being sisters, we stuck together. Once upon a time ago, every time when we visited our grandparents’ house, the moment we entered into the house, one of us would make a bee line towards the fridge and open the fridge door to see what kind food was available for us to gobble up. Throughout the entire visit, we would take turns in opening the fridge every 5 minutes until it was time to go home. Every time we did that, my grandfather would be yelling from the kitchen, asking us girls to leave his fridge alone. He kept saying that one day the fridge door will come off its hinges. We drove him mad with the fridge opening act! Of course we didn’t believe him at that time. It was impossible! The fridge was made of steel hence it was sturdy. The door would not come off. Simple as that.
But, lo and behold! One fine day, in one of our usual weekly visit, I happened to be the first one to open the fridge. Guess what? The door came off its hinges! I stood rooted to the ground, reeling in shock, still holding on to the fridge door. Since there was a loud thumping sound when the door hit the floor, everyone came running to see what had happened and there I was, caught in the act, still holding the evidence!
My grandfather threw a fit and called us all ‘spawns of satan’! hahahahaha…actually that was not the first time he had called us that!
Sometimes when I think about karma, I shudder at the thought that my kids would be as naughty as I was! I am hoping that God will not take into account that period of my life since I was under the maturity age hence not hold me responsible for my actions.
Now, I am older and hopefully much wiser, I am aware that my actions towards others will affect me in the future. The word ‘karma’ is commonly used in hindu terminology but in Islam, karma is referred to as ‘kifara’, which means ‘you reap what you sow’.
“Evil (sins and disobedience of Allah, etc.) has appeared on land and sea because of what the hands of men have earned (by oppression and evil deeds, etc.), that Allah may make them taste a part of that which they have done, in order that they may return (by repenting to Allah, and begging His Pardon).
Surah Ar-Rum 30:41
It is very clear from the above verse that if a person is given retribution by God Al Mighty, then it as sign for that person to repent and return back to His Ways.
Our actions will not only leave an impact on others but also it can leave a mark on our hearts. Actions include verbal and physical conduct. What we say or do is actually reflective of the state of our hearts.
Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), say:
"Actions are according to intentions, and everyone will get what was intended. Whoever migrates with an intention for Allah and His messenger, the migration will be for the sake of Allah and his Messenger. And whoever migrates for worldly gain or to marry a woman, then his migration will be for the sake of whatever he migrated for."
Reported by Bukhari & Muslim
“Abu Huraira also related that the Messenger of Allah (s) said:
The servant speaks words, the consequences of which he does not realize, and for which he is sent down into the depths of the Fire further than the distance between the east and the west”
Sahih Al Bukhari
“The servant says something that he thinks is harmless, and for which he will be plunged into the depths of the Fire as far as seventy autumns.”
Reported by Tirmidhi.
To me, the bottom line is, whether it’s ‘karma’ or ‘kifara’, the underlying message is the same ie do unto others as you would have them do to you. If you want your future to be good whether it’s pertaining to family, work or friends or even own self, it is better to start investing in goodness so that you can harvest excellence.
A bad seed will only produce unhealthy or even stunted tree but a good seed will ensure that the tree grows big and healthy, with many wonderful branches…..
On the authority of ibn Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with both of them): On the authority of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s blessing and peace be upon him) from among the sayings that he related from His Lord (glorified and exalted be He) is that He said, “Verily, Allah recorded the good deeds and the evil deeds. Then He clarified how [that recording should occur:] whoever decided to do a good deed but he did not do it, Allah records it with Him as a complete good deed. And if he decided to do it and actually did it, Allah records it with Him as ten good deeds up to seven hundred up to many times over. If he decided to do an evil deed but he did not do it, Allah records it with Him as one complete good deed. If he decided to do it and he actually did it, Allah records it as one evil deed.” (Recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim)
“Whoever brings a good deed shall have ten times the like thereof” (Surah al-Anaam:160)