Devotion and Knowledge
Al-Zumar (The Crowds) Sura 39: Verse 9
"Is one who does devotions throughout the night, prostrating himself and standing, cautious about the next world and hoping for the mercy of his Lord? Say: 'Are they equal, those who know and those who know not?'"
"Devotion" is undertaking the courteous acts of service outwardly and inwardly without slackening or shortcoming, being cautious because of the threatened chastisement and hoping for the promised reward.
Being pleased with an evil is a sin in itself. Every Muslim must realize that evils are displeasing to Allah. Out of his love for Allah, a Muslim must hate everything that is displeasing to his Lord. If he does not have this feeling, it is a clear sign that there is a shortcoming in his faith. In addition, he will be held accountable for his liking a sin even if he does not witness or perform that deed. Abu Dawud recorded the following hadith,
"If a sin is committed on the earth, the one who witnessed it and hated it is like one who was not present. And the one who was not present at the sin but is pleased with it is like one who was present [and did not repel it]." [Abu Dawud]
Continuous remembrance can replace supererogatory deeds, whether they be physical, monetary or both such as a supererogatory pilgrimage. This is clear from a hadith which Abu Hurayra transmitted. The poorest of the Emigrants [to Medina] came to the Messenger of God (peace be upon him) and said, 'O Messenger of God, the wealthy have taken the highest degrees and eternal happiness. They pray as we do and fast as we do, but they also have the advantage of wealth, which they use to go on the greater and the lesser pilgrimages and to combat.' The Messenger said, 'Shall I teach you something by which you can catch up with those who have surpassed you and surpass those who are behind you, something in which no one can better you, unless he does as you do?'
It is related that the Prophet, on him be peace, once omitted a verse from the part of the Quran he recited in the course of a ritual Prayer. As he was turning to leave, he said: 'What did I recite?' Nobody spoke, so he repeated the question to Ubayy ibn Kab, may God be pleased with him, who said: 'You recited such-and-such a Sura, omitting a particular verse. We are wondering whether it has been abrogated or taken out.' The Prophet, on him be peace, said: 'Good for you, Ubayy!' Then he turned to the others and said: 'What are we to make of people who come for their Prayers, line up in their rows behind their Prophet, but do not know what he is reciting to them from the Book of their Lord? That is just how the Children of Israel behaved, so God, Great and Glorious is He, spoke to their Prophet through inspiration, saying: "Tell your people: 'You present your bodies before Me and you offer Me your tongues, but you keep your hearts from Me. What you are doing is futile.'"' [Nas-Sahih]
The human mind works at its best when the surrounding environment is calm and settled. Likewise, it works at its best when the thinker's temperament is calm. When the human mind is beset with external or internal commotion, its powers become weak and it more easily falls prey to rashness and reckless passion.
It is a strategy of debate to get one's opponent angry, since once the opponent loses his or her composure his or her defeat is almost imminent, especially if one is able to keep one's cool and a smile on one's face.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) warns us that: "Anger is a burning ember in the human heart that is stoked up." [Musnad Ahmad]