Your thought is a tree rooted deep in the soil of tradition and whose branches grow in the power of continuity. My thought is a cloud moving in the space. It turns into drops which, as they fall, form a brook that sings its way into the sea. Then it rises as vapour into the sky. Your thought is a fortress that neither gale nor the lightning can shake. My thought is a tender leaf that sways in every direction and finds pleasure in its swaying. Your thought is an ancient dogma that cannot change you nor can you change it. My thought is new, and it tests me and I test it morn and eve.
You have your thought and I have mine.
Your thought allows you to believe in the unequal contest of the strong against the weak, and in the tricking of the simple by the subtle ones. My thought creates in me the desire to till the earth with my hoe, and harvest the crops with my sickle, and build my home with stones and mortar, and weave my raiment with woollen and linen threads. Your thought urges you to marry wealth and notability. Mine commends self-reliance. Your thought advocates fame and show. Mine counsels me and implores me to cast aside notoriety and treat it like a grain of sand cast upon the shore of eternity. Your thought instils in your heart arrogance and superiority. Mine plants within me love for peace and the desire for independence. Your thought begets dreams of palaces with furniture of sandalwood studded with jewels, and beds made of twisted silk threads. My thought speaks softly in my ears, “Be clean in body and spirit even if you have nowhere to lay your head.” Your thought makes you aspire to titles and offices. Mine exhorts me to humble service.
You have your thought and I have mine.
Your thought is social science, a religious and political dictionary. Mine is simple axiom. Your thought speaks of the beautiful woman, the ugly, the virtuous, the prostitute, the intelligent, and the stupid. Mine sees in every woman a mother, a sister, or a daughter of every man. The subjects of your thought are thieves, criminals, and assassins. Mine declares that thieves are the creatures of monopoly, criminals are the offspring of tyrants, and assassins are akin to the slain. Your thought describes laws, courts, judges, punishments. Mine explains that when man makes a law, he either violates it or obeys it. If there is a basic law, we are all one before it. He who disdains the mean is himself mean. He who vaunts his scorn of the sinful vaunts his disdain of all humanity. Your thought concerns the skilled, the artist, the intellectual, the philosopher, the priest. Mine speaks of the loving and the affectionate, the sincere, the honest, the forthright, the kindly, and the martyr. Your thought advocates Judaism, Brahmanism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam. In my thought there is only one universal religion, whose varied paths are but the fingers of the loving hand of the Supreme Being. In your thought there are the rich, the poor, and the beggared. My thought holds that there are no riches but life; that we are all beggars, and no benefactor exists save life herself.
You have your thought and I have mine.
According to your thought, the greatness of nations lies in their politics, their parties, their conferences, their alliances and treaties. But mine proclaims that the importance of nations lies in work – work in the field, work in the vineyards, work with the loom, work in the tannery, work in the quarry, work in the timberyard, work in the office and in the press. Your thought holds that the glory of the nations is in their heroes. It sings the praises of Rameses, Alexander, Caesar, Hannibal, and Napoleon. But mine claims that the real heroes are Confucius, Lao-Tse, Socrates, Plato, Abi Taleb, El Gazali, Jalal Ed-din-el Roumy, Copernicus, and Pasteur. Your thought sees power in armies, cannons, battleships, submarines, aeroplanes, and poison gas. But mine asserts that power lies in reason, resolution, and truth. No matter how long the tyrant endures, he will be the loser at the end. Your thought differentiates between pragmatist and idealist, between the part and the whole, between the mystic and materialist. Mine realizes that life is one and its weights, measures and tables do not coincide with your weights, measures and tables. He whom you suppose an idealist may be a practical man.
You have your thought and I have mine.
Your thought is interested in ruins and museums, mummies and petrified objects. But mine hovers in the ever-renewed haze and clouds. Your thought is enthroned on skulls. Since you take pride in it, you glorify it too. My thought wanders in the obscure and distant valleys. Your thought trumpets while you dance. Mine prefers the anguish of death to your music and dancing. Your thought is the thought of gossip and false pleasure. Mine is the thought of him who is lost in his own country, of the alien in his own nation, of the solitary among his kinfolk and friends.
"The best thing for being sad," replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, "is to learn something. That's the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn."
Just a little while back, taking a recommendation, I searched for the 2006 movie, "The Secret".
You know what this reminded me of?
They say, one day when Moses was on his way to Sinai, an exuberantly wealthy man stopped him on his way. 'What do ye ask of me?' asked Moses.
'When you meet the generous Lord, ask Him to lessen my hordes, for I am now falling short of space to keep the bounties', replied the man.
Moses promised that he would ask the Lord as the man had sought.
He had hardly taken a few steps forward that he was again interrupted. This time by a decrepit wreck, poor man.
'What do ye require of me?' Moses asked.
'When you meet your Lord, ask Him why on earth He would deprive me of all the good things when I see Him flooding the world with them?' The man conveyed his grievance.
'I shall, just as you ask', Moses promised and continued on his way.
When Moses reached the Court, he presented the two petitions he had gathered on his way to the Lord. The Lord gave His word.
When Moses returned, he was met by the two men eagerly awaiting him.
'Now pray tell what did the Lord say to our requests', asked the rich man.
'The Lord has asked me to suggest you to cease being grateful for His bounties, and He shall stop showering them upon you.'
'Oh my!' cried the man. 'How can I ever think of not being grateful to the Lord, whose beneficence fills my world? My heart never skips a moment when its not flowing of gratitude for Him!'
'Thou shall not have of less then', Moses conveyed the Lord's word.
'Did you forget to ask your Lord of me?' Asked the poor man.
'No, no my friend,' Moses answered. 'The Lord has asked me to suggest you to be thankful to Him, and He shall begin granting you lavishly'.
'Are you crazy?' the man grunted angrily. 'Can't you see, what have I got to be thankful for? He never gives me anything and now asks me to be thankful for this misery He has imposed upon me. That can not be!'
'Thou can not have of more then', Moses gave the Lord's word.
Allah-humma, anta rabbi, laa ilaaha illaa Anta, 'alaika tawakkaltu wa anta rabbul 'arshil kariymi maashaa Allaahu kaana wa maLam yasha' lam yakuw-wa laa hawla wa laa quwwata illaa bil-Laahil 'Aliyyil 'Aziym. A'lamu annallaaha 'alaa kulli shay in qadiyruw-wa annallaaha qad ahaata bikulli shay in 'almaa.
Allah-humma inni a'uthu bika min sharri nafsiy wa min sharri kulli daabbatin, anta aakhithum bi naasiyatihaa inna rabiy 'alaa siraatim-mustaqiym.
"Oh Allah, You are my Lord. There is nothing worthy of worship except You. I place all of my trust and reliance in You and You are the Lord of the Noble Throne. Whatever Allah wishes takes place, and whatever He does not desire, does not occur, and there is no power and no strength except in Allah, The Exalted, The Mighty. I know that Allah is Powerful over all things and that Allah has knowledge of all things.
Oh Allah, I seek refuge in You from the evil of my nafs and from the evil of every creeping crawling creature. You are master over them. Verily, You are Lord of the Straight Path."
Ameen sum ameen
For all those suffering as the earth quakes shake their land, and the tsunami sinks it:
May Allah magnify your reward, make better your solace and forgive your deceased.
I still hadn't recovered from the distress that the realization of the state of affairs in my land that Mr. Shehbaz Bhatti's murder had brought with it all too starkly (and ah-just-so-yet-again!), when today the tv screen began flashing with the scenes from the bomb blast site in Nowshehra, a mosque where people had gathered together for the Friday congregation!
11 people had died. Many others injured.
So what is it really? THIS MUCH bloodshed! All in the name of ISLAM - The religion that names Peace?
I am going berserk trying to decipher who is killing whom? Who is the bad guy in the thriller, and who plays the good cop? Could anyone please inundate me?
Cringing I try to push back this numbing pain and try to focus on these chips once again... No, no interpretations. Just plain, simple FACTS.
Facts without any leanings of fiction so as to not stray away from logic!
This time I wont let my personal biases interfere: enough of it, THANK YOU!
Hmm.... So where do I start from? .... Mr. Shehbaz Bhatti?
Here goes my attempts at trying to understand the picture...
Regarding Mr. Shehbaz Bhatti:
A fellow human being. CHECK
A fellow countryman . CHECK
A responsible member of the society. CHECK
A person brave enough to speak his mind. CHECK
So what went wrong between him and the 'claiming' devotees of the Prophet that made him lose his life and put them on a sure track to Jannah?
Lets try to understand through this image of the pamphlet they dropped at the killing site
(sourced from web)
Since its not a wholesome shot of the script, the readable words are:
"In the Islamic law, a blasphemer of the Prophet ..... Either you will remain alive, or us ..... And one Christian infidel Shehbaz Bhatti ..... And now by the grace and glory of Allah ...."
I do not have to state my religious leanings to those who have been frequenting this space. As for others, before you go ahead with labeling me as yet another, in vogue, religion-basher, I am a proud adherent of "lā elaha ella Allahu, Muhammad ur-rasul Allah".
I am a proud bearer of my identity as a Muslim, and as a believer .... until of course, I come across these self appointed arbitrators of the echelons of faith and belief (and everything that falls in between).
The much in-trend zealous concept of Jihad, having a loose interpretation of bloodshed of the infidels makes me check back with the Scripture I follow. Is it really the faith they are trying to implement, or the absolute lack of it, I wonder.
So, as I begin wondering, lets get back to FACTS...
FACTS, Once Again
The over-hyped blasphemy Law is a MAN MADE LAW! CHECK
Criticizing the law, by any means, through any definition under the sun, DOES NOT amount to blasphemy. CHECK
Without going to Law, killing someone on the charge of such auto-sentenced blasphemy, in person; is MURDER. CHECK
Anyone, with the slightest regard for the teachings of the Prophet can not call a gang of serial killers as Fida'yaan-e Muhammed! CHECK
I reach here and the excruciating heart ache begins to take the better of me.
Why am I saying all this?
Does it matter anyway?
Does anything matter at all?
I dont carry a sub-machine and dont kill people in cold blood, so does this make me an inferior Muslim?
I listen to all that fast-track JJJ (Jannah-ensuring jingoist jargon) of the AK47, and I am left stupefied. Whatever happened to the God's word:
And fight in the path of God with those who are fighting with you and do not transgress, God loves not those who transgress.(2:190)
DO NOT TRANSGRESS!
O, we, the holy warriors of the Lord,
Do we even understand what is meant by transgress?
Do we have even an inkling of what is described as limits?
Why cant we answer an argument by an argument?
Why cant we listen to a dissent of opinion before setting out on a barge of lamentation of a perpetually endangered Islam in the Islamic Republic that is this land?
Why do all them uber-believers opt for Jihad Bis-saif (Jihad of the sowrd) over Jihad Bil-nafs (Jihad with the self), whereas its the latter that is more preferred?
You want to know the reason?
Here join me for the facts...
FACTS, Yet Again
Taming the self is a far more unpublicized, and much more difficult job than pushing the trigger of a gun. CHECK
Everyone looks for a shorter route to success. CHECK
Firing squads amid short cuts to Jannah always lead astray. DOUBLE CHECK
Wa Allahu Alam.
PS: In the dark ages Europe, the clergy declared those opting for physical cleanliness, as infidels. In today's Pakistan, the self-proclaimed "fida'yaan" declare those defying the hypocritical practices, as infidels.
And if My servants ask thee about Me - behold, I am near; I respond to the call of him who calls, whenever he calls unto Me: let them, then, respond unto Me, and believe in Me, so that they might follow the right way.