Connecting is the basis of prayer. Actually the word solath means connecting. We connect with Allah when we pray. We as human being are in constant need to connect. In fact, we can quite easily go crazy if we are left without connection to other human beings. That is perhaps why solitary confinement and imprisonment is so wounding because it takes us away from connection with either others or the outside world.
Human beings in our progress through life attempt to make this act of connecting ever easier. In the days of old connection was difficult beyond the tribe and so the connection with the community or tribe was basic and provided for us our security. We looked at another tribe with caution because we did not have any connection with them. Connection gives us a sense of calm and security, and connection gives us the intimacy too. That is why we befriend those with whom we can connect and we shun those with whom we cannot connect. For example someone who is overly critical is seen as difficult to connect and so most of us would shun that person. Even those who are critically minded don't really like those who would criticize them. We feel that sense of security with those with whom we can connect without the attendant anxiety of being criticized or put down.
Our Islam provides that opportunity to connect at least five times a day through the medium of our five daily prayers. It therefore is not strange that Islam, in the wisdom it embodies, expounds such a prescient concept that is so basic to our being. It is strange though that while we love to connect with others like us and know that this connection gives us a sense of flow, calm and security, we don't seem to attempt in any urgency to connect with God, when this inbuilt opportunity is there available and advocated in so many echoes in Islam.
Connection is the true basis of keeping our real self or the "piece of God" that we have within us thriving rather than allowing our false self - the ego- deceive us. And indeed the ego does its job so assiduously by dividing us, not connecting us. We can all clearly see what is happening – that the sad emergence of this negative division in our societies – Maldives too being a case in point -- is the doings of the ego that is our false self.
Our true self wants us to connect, but the false self wants to divide us for it to show us that self-important side of us that tempts us to go astray. It is thus not surprising that any social condition that separate us makes us increasingly arrogant; it comes from the urging of the ego. Behaviors that make us feel better than the other person are examples of such urging. The latest in everything is what the ego wants for in that lies seed of arrogance within us and envy of others from outside of us. In fact all our attempts to jump onto the bandwagon of the material world’s capitalist model are the ways we are deceived into this path - the draw of the glitter of the world; into the thinking that this is the way to go, and so it is no mystery then that self-importance makes us feel good in the short run.
Yes, that sense of our superiority can only be temporary - as long as our materialistic acquisitions last or our position of power in society lasts. This flimsy tether can be easily severed by a simple twist of nature and then we are, in no time at all, back to our position of insecurity.
We can indeed say no to our ego if we want; it can be very easy or as tough as hell. Our mind can make that decision and it will when we can be convinced that the ego is playing with us. Let's truly attempt to connect in sincerity! Don’t be deceived by monetarity, instead espouse morality. Just as our wonderful religion of Islam implores us! That is our way to our national salvage and so even to global safety.