riyada in arabic means "training" or "discipline". It was used by the arabs in relation to horse taming. Sufis refer to their discipline as "riyadat an-nafs": disciplining the soul / training the ego. Today, the word riyada has come to mean "sports". There is an Arabic proverb that says: "The purpose of sports (riyada) is not to win cups, but to discipline the soul". This blog is here to help me discipline my soul and train my body.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

The Sword of Freewill

Freewill is as the salt to piety,
Otherwise heaven itself were matter of compulsion.
In its revolutions reward and punishment were needless,
For tis freewill that has merit at the great reckoning.
If the whole world were framed to praise God,
There would be no merit in praising God.
Place a sword in his hand and remove his impotence,
To see if he turns out a warrior or a robber.

Because freewill is that wherewith "We honor Adam"[1]
...

- Rumi. The Mathnawi (Abridged), pg 224.


[1] Quran 17:72: And surely We have honored the children of Adam, and We carry them in the land and the sea, and We have given them of the good things, and We have made them to excel by an appropriate excellence over most of those whom We have created.





See The Work of Men

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