Lord, I was born a gambling man
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job,” and so on. People rarely acknowledge a win on merit of the horse and jockey. However much people claim to be good friends, when instant money is at stake, everyone abandons years of trust and friendship in seconds, replacing it with bad thoughts and words about one another. (Gambling breeds animosity, hatred, anger, greed, suspicion, jealously, foul language—all sorts of bad behavior.)
The sinfulness of gambling definitely outweighs any benefit anyone may perceive. (Read more about the damaging social and financial effects of gambling from Abdullah Arik’s article titled “Gambling: You can’t lose if you don’t play,” Submitters Perspective September, 2011.)
In the Hereafter, no excuses will be accepted.
In conclusion of these lessons I learned about the evils of gambling, I’d like to encourage submitters to remember this.
1) We must watch our own behavior at all times. Sometimes we can become as preoccupied with this world or behave as badly as our worldly gambler counterparts—if not worse—when things don’t work out as planned. Being a submitter is a privilege to play by God’s rules—it’s not a right to play by our own rules.
2) God teaches every submitter through unique experiences. However, this does not mean that we can choose evil knowingly or blame God for the evil we experience because God does not advocate evil. For example, while I had to learn about the evils of gambling the hard way, I cannot blame God for it. I have to take full responsibility for my past and seek God’s forgiveness for it. I’ve learned from it, and I’ve also learned that it is important for submitters to realize that they must be very careful when passing judgment on other submitters who may be going through a specific test or adversity that God may use to make them better submitters.
Instead of condemnation and alienation, submitters should try and see the positive side of all things and use wisdom and compassion to help submitters who may be sincerely trying to deal with the situation they are in.
3) Lastly, there is an important lesson in why I chose the title for this article “Lord, I was born a gambling man.” It’s about never taking our Submission for granted.
Soon after my ‘gambling lessons’ in Las Vegas, the words of the song ‘Ramblin’ Man’ by the Allman Brothers Band began to play often in my head. The song starts with, “Lord, I was born a ramblin’ man, trying to make a living the best I can. When it’s time for leaving, I hope you’ll understand, that I was born a ramblin’ man.” The only difference is that in my mind, I was singing ‘gambling’ instead of rambling, as the two words sound similar.
Until God blessed us with a messenger in this era, few people probably knew the purpose of their lives on Earth. The truth is that for most of us, life was an aimless rambling before God guided us to go down the right track. Even now, our race may not be a smooth flat race but a rambling steeplechase where we have to overcome several obstacles Satan will try to place in our path.
But whereas in the song, the rambler’s expectation was to be forgiven for being born a rambler and not knowing the truth, it does not work the same way for submitters. We already know the rules in Quran, and we have to play the cards God lays out for us the best we can. We have to even out our “gamble” and win against the odds (most people will not make it, 12:103-106). When it’s time for leaving and we win (God willing), it is because we worshiped God alone and lived a righteous life. But if we lose, we will have no excuse. We just cannot tell God, “I hope you’ll understand that I was born a gambling man.”
Interesting connection between Las Vegas and the Hereafter
As per the Internet, it appears (currently) that the famous Las Vegas Strip where all the main gambling hotels and casinos are located, is not actually in Las Vegas but in a town adjoining it called “Paradise”, Clark Country, Nevada. Its ironic that one of the most renowned places for gambling on Earth is called Paradise! On the Day of Judgment, those who came to find paradise here and failed to make it to Heaven, will regret losing the biggest gamble of their lives. They will beg for the dice to be rolled just once more, but it will be too late, because all bets are now closed.
And for anyone who may wish to know (and hopefully loves the Allman Brothers Band like I do), two of their members, including Duane Allman, one of the greatest blues guitar players ever, died under the age of 40. They are now enjoying the best music of their lives in Paradise.
[2:82] As for those who believe, and lead a righteous life, they will be the dwellers of Paradise; they abide in it forever.
[19:60] Only those who repent, believe, and lead a righteous life will enter Paradise, without the least injustice.
[3:142] Do you expect to enter Paradise without GOD distinguishing those among you who strive, and without distinguishing those who are steadfast?
[11:108] As for the fortunate ones, they will be in Paradise. Eternally they abide therein, for as long as the heavens and the earth endure, in accordance with the will of your Lord―an everlasting reward.
[4:124] As for those who lead a righteous life, male or female, while believing, they enter Paradise; without the slightest injustice.
[26:85] "Make me one of the inheritors of the blissful Paradise.”
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