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Showing posts from May, 2016

The Thing Called "Free Will"

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"Man may be chained outside, but is always free inside".

Every story, fact or fiction, attempts to portray its characters' inner self- their conflicts, thoughts, intentions. Why though? Would not visible actions be sufficient, without having to delve into a character?

Nope. A story without the inner self is merely a chronicle. And people do not just care about actions- they are attracted by the motives behind them. A plot without motives may be shaped intricately, but it will always be an empty husk.

A human's will is not a consequence, or deterministic. It can be moved and swayed, but it will always have a freedom that can never be vanquished. That is why a writer shouldn't focus too much on what creates motives, since that would undermine the soul's freedom.

The key in character development and epiphanies is not in the events that happen around him, but the feelings and thoughts he experiences. While this may seem as an unnecessary differentiation…

Regret & Repentance

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(Firstly, I am not an ulama, ie, a scholar of Islam, yet this article contains points pertaining to Aqeedah (practical faith). If any point or implication here contradicts the orthodox ulamas' view, please take their opinions over mine)

Humans sin and err. Thus, we should feel guilt and regret for our mistakes, so that we try to make up for and not repeat them. However, these very feelings often pin us down and erode our self-esteem. So what is the way of Islam? There are two commands- apparently opposing, but not so as will be seen later. 
The first one is repentance. In His Mercy and recognition of humanity's inclination to sin, Allah forgives our slip-ups on three conditions: 1) Leave the sin now 2) Pledge not to repeat it 3) Feel hatred towards it. In sum, treat the sin as the scourge.

The second command comes from a Hadith, where the Prophet (SAW) states: "Do not say 'If only i had done X', but rather, 'Allah decrees as He wishes'". In other w…