Please Note: The views expressed in this blog are my personal views and understanding. These views do not represent Islam. Since, I am a Muslim, all the views expressed are seen through the lens of Islam as I see it. It may or may not coincide with Islamic teachings due to my personal shortcomings. This is a Muslim's blog, not a website teaching Islam. Everything good that is written is from Allah, every mistake below is from my own self.  TaqabbAllahu Minni wa minkum wa astaghfiruAllah, All comments are welcome.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Why does it take a suffering person to understand the pain of others ?

Salam Alaikum

I am sorry I did not post anything for a while on this blog. I am going to kinda blast a bunch of posts if time allows me. Being in the office and having no work to do is more boring than being jobless hehehe. But, this place does not give me the peace of mind to write on my blog because I am always wondering if my boss will drop in himself or send an email with some work, which never seems to happen. So, I am taking this chance to try and post a couple of entries in my lonely blog and I hope I can do justice to my humble thoughts.

Recently, I got an eMail which I got several times from many different people before. The eMail is about a person born without hands and feet due to some unknown medical condition it says , (although I think the medical condition is not unknown but thats not of consequence to what I have to say). The person born without limbs, did not lose hope but he grew up with great faith and strength. He went to school, got a degree. Volunteered for various organizations and now even gives inspirational talks in educational and religious events, although I am not sure he must also be an evangelist, calling people to Christianity.

Apart from this event, I have seen various other times in my own life as well as through people, media and news, that people who have suffered or are suffering seem to understand the pain and suffering of others better than those who never saw suffering. It must be human nature, unless we feel what it is to sleep on a cold pavement, we never realize how hard it is for a homeless child to sleep on a winter morning in the street with nothing to cover himself except rags and waste paper. Parents become philanthropic and charity oriented when they lose their child to some calamity or disease and start spending their money in charity organizations. Children do the same when they lose their parents to some tragedy. Organizations do the same, and there is always some 'trigger' event which changes the life of a person or sometimes a whole community or nation. Many people revert to Islam after a tragedy in their life or in the life of someone close to them. So, this 'trigger' plays a vital role in the functioning of this world as it is today. Suppose those people had not suffered those tragedies, they would live like 'normal' people, minding their own business, dreaming of a better home, better car, better bank balance and a better retirement. Rarely would anyone think about that homeless child or the cancer patients who need charity hospitals. After all, its some of the cancer victims (direct or indirect victims) which donate largely to the cancer foundations. Almost the same thing applies to various other religious, social, educational or charity organizations.

All the above was from a secular perspective which even an atheist will understand by basic human psychology and anthropological concepts. But, as a Muslim what do you make of it ?

The atheists argue that if there is a God, how come He made some poor, some blind, some lepers and some crippled ? How come God is not just and kind to make everyone same and equal, so they argue, that there is no god !

(( after thought ~ ~ ~
I love atheists to some extent because, they have already accepted half the shahadah hehehe, they already proclaim "La Ilaha.\ There is none worthy of worship". Because, most of the atheists are not blind sheep but rather reach this conclusion by their understanding and human intelligence, and the next step in this proper evolution will be accepting the second half of the shahadah "il Allah \ except Allah" which inshAllah will happen if they continue their search for truth with the same unbiased and open-minded scientific human intelligence, because Islam is not theory but practical. Islam can be demonstrated, debated, felt, touched and experimented to show its effectiveness. Islam does not ask people to 'have faith' rather 'contemplate and attain that faith', the Quran calls humankind to use their God-given faculty of intelligence, to ponder over Allah's creation, use science, art, logic, or math in every human science there is the unignorable truth that there is a creator, this world is not random and not without a ruler. Great scientists have greater faith behind a creator because they understand the intricacies of this creation and can never even assume for a second that it was all randomly caused, rather it has to be a master-design of a master-creator. . . . after thought ~ ~ ~ ))

As a Muslim, we are aware of a much deeper understanding of this world and its purpose. We have all the parts of this puzzle and where to place them, we also know the parts which are missing, which are unaccessible in this world to humankind and we do not 'manufacture' those unaccessible puzzle pieces to suit or purpose, rather we leave those puzzle spaces unfilled, till they become accessible to us.

Allah gives birth to each child out of His divine plan. The crippled you see today, he has a great role to play in Allah's plan than you can imagine. Allah could wet the eyes of His slaves just by having them see that crippled and thus realize the great blessings of Allah upon them. The crippled is punished ? Nah ! This world is just a fraction of a second compared to the ever lasting paradise, the crippled when he gets his reward from Allah tomorrow for being so patient, that crippled would feel like he was crippled just as much time it takes for you to blink your eyes compared to the everlasting paradise he gets. Would I mind being crippled for 1 second in return for an everlasting paradise ? To give an example from this world, would you mind being crippled for one day, in return for a million dollars in cash the next day? hehehe any sensible person would not mind sitting on the bed for 24 hrs, if he could get a million dollars the next day. As a Muslim we know, all what we get is a test, all what we lose is a test again. So, keeping in mind how only those who suffer tend to give back to this world, can you see how a plan is in work ? If Allah wished, He could make us all equal , same color, race, and strength. But, that will be in paradise. Here diversity is a test, and may Allah give us the understanding and wisdom to grasp His plan and His message for us. Lets see what Allah says about loss in His last book for mankind... "And We will most certainly try you with somewhat of fear and hunger and loss of property and lives and fruits; and give good news to the patient" (Noble Qur'an, 2:155).

Although, the above plan is the one working in mankind, should even the Muslims be so unconcerned about others unless we suffer ourselves? Lets see what Islam teaches about this concept. In one hadith the prophet (peace and mercy of Allah be upon him) said something similar to..., Muslims Ummah is like one body, if one part feels the pain, the whole body suffers with fever. In other words a homeless child in Sudan should be a cause of worry to an Arab sheikh in Dubai, or the fact that Muslim women are being oppressed in Chechnya or Palestine as you can see in the image on the left, should boil the blood of Muslim youth in India or Malaysia. When our finger hurts, we do not ignore it, rather treat it well so that the illness does not spread to other parts of the body, each part of this Ummah is a part of this body, how can we ignore a part, how can the right hand be comfortable when the right foot is being amputated? The prophet (peace and mercy of Allah be upon him) also said something similar to..., All Muslims are like the teeth of a comb, uniform, equal and a family in Islam.

I shall post some Ayah of the Quran and leave you to ponder upon them...

"And in their wealth there is acknowledge right for the needy and destitute." (51:12)

"And whoever saves a life it is as though he had saved the lives of all mankind." (5:32)

"O mankind, we have created you from a male and female." In other words, all human beings are brothers. They all are the descendants from one father and one mother.

This division of the human race is neither meant for one nation to take pride in its superiority over others nor for one nation to treat another with contempt. "Indeed, the noblest among you before Allah are the most heedful of you" (49:13)

So, next time you see a blind, a crippled, a destitute or a homeless child. Thank Allah for what He gave you, and don't wait till calamity strikes you to soften your heart, rather start today. Sharing gives so much peace to your heart, not even a mountain of gold can give, and this is medically astonishing phenomenon, try once its worth it :)

Allahu Alim, May Allah guide and bless us all.

PS: I am sorry I did not paste the exact translation and reference number of the texts from the hadith, but I hope the meanings have not changed, if you find something objectionable you are welcome to comment so that I may correct things. All mistakes are unintentional insyAllah.