“Every criminal, miser, abuser, scoffer, embezzler, and hateful person does what he or she does because of a diseased heart. If hearts were sound, these actions would no longer be a reality. So if we want to change our world, we do not begin by rectifying the outward. Instead, we must change the condition of our inward. Everything we see happening outside of us is in reality coming from the unseen world within. It is from the unseen world that the phenomenal world emerges, and it is from the unseen realm of our hearts that all actions spring.
The well-known civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. said that in order for people to condemn injustice, they must go through four stages. The first stage is that people must ascertain that indeed injustices are being perpetrated. In his case, it was injustices against African Americans in the United States. The second stage is to negotiate, that is, approach the oppressor and demand justice. If the oppressor refuses, King said that the third stage is self-purification, which starts with the question: “Are we ourselves wrongdoers? Are we ourselves oppressors?” The fourth stage, then, is to take action after true self-examination, after removing one’s own wrongs before demanding justice from others.”
– Signs, Symptoms, and Cures of the Spiritual Diseases of the Heart, translation and commentary of Imam Mawlud’s Matharat al-Qulub by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf
One painful reality that we can see now is Trump being elected as a leader by its own people.
Even our homes will be a more peaceful and harmonious place if each one of us plays a part in subduing our own egos (nafs).
Our journey is one that is inward. It is neither about the place nor the people, it is one’s state.