Archive | March, 2010

First Love

23 Mar

Few days ago, as I was passing by my regular route towards office, I saw something intriguing which made me think of my past emotions towards what I feel towards my land. Among many signals that make me curse every time I see a red light in the heat of Lahore, is the one at China Chowk. Why that place is called that way, I really don’t know. Only thing Chinese is the Chinese language written on its main bus stop. Why it is written in the first place? I can only guess some important building in that area had been inaugurated by some Chinese higher ranking official who would have been ‘friend’ to our country. After all, there really are many places in Pakistan named due to our ‘friendship’ association like Qadaffi stadium, Faisal mosque etc etc. While there is nothing bad in it of course, I am really not sure how many times Col. Qadaffi came to his named stadium after that. Or even Pakistan for that matter.

Anyways! So I was talking about what I saw there. Apart from Chinese language bus stand, there is a model of fighter plane (probably Chinese made) in the middle of the chowk as a symbol of our national pride. Every place has its special monuments. Something for people to get inspired from. Some monuments of historic figures who are honored and remembered till ages to come in a way that their replica is created and fixed upon main streets for onlookers to look at them in awe and for pigeons to pee on them. When other powers conquer their civilizations conquer them, old heritages are destroyed so that their enemy do not find anything to inspire from. Whole civilizations in history have been crushed in order to be remembered only in stories, folklores and legends. When Mongols destroyed Baghdad, they destroyed its most cherished symbol of enlightenment i.e House of Wisdom. Legend says when books of this grand library were destroyed and drowned in river Tigris, water of the river went black for 6 days due to the ink of those books while horses of Mongol army crossed the river by going over those piles of books underneath. It could very well be that Tigris went black due to the sorrow this insult brought to Baghdad. While even enemies could have gained knowledge from this legendary Library, their motive was only one i.e destruction of their enemy in the most humiliated way by treating their most cherished symbol as a pavement. Indeed, every being except eternal being is finite. In Pakistan, such symbols and monuments are fighter jet planes and missiles. So, we do not have Jinnah’s monuments, but rather replicas of Shaheens and Mairajs. In many parts of the country they pose in alert positions as a symbol of glory and pride of our armed resources.

So coming back to this particular replica. It has always been there as long as I remember this place. However, on that particular day there was something new to it. I saw an old man coming near the fighter jet model and caressing its wings like a trainer patting horse’s back. After that he looked around and made a V sign with his fingers and waved it to all the crowd around him. He perhaps wanted to tell the world he feels proud. That we have best of forces and best of defenses and no one can touch us. After he made this declaration of superiority and victory, he made a salute to the model like he was saluting our whole armed forces and retreated back. While it can be argued that age had finally caught up with him and he had lost his marbles, I on the other hand thought I knew exactly how he felt.

In my early life, I used to be a die hard patriot. Quite a big one. Hell! While taking any oaths, I used to take oath on the name of Pakistan itself. I used to imagine taking parts in jihad for Kashmir and against kufars. Every person cherishes their first association. A child’s association with his mother is natural due to the fact that she is his/her first home. This association remains connected to the child as he grows old. She is his first source of nourishment and support. As child grows, he gets connected to other people and does not remain dependent on the mother. But no matter how many connections one make and no matter how much they passionate they become, the comfort which arms of the mother brings remains unique.

Every one cherishes their first home. The place where they open their eyes, spend their childhood, have first memories always leaves a mark on humans. The association is build emotionally, more than just the material connection of the place itself. But eventually, as people grow old into more materialistic world and things are prioritized in terms of profit and loss, the emotional connection get sidelined and materialistic decisions are made.

First born children of any family are lucky in a way. Every one loves them and care for them as they are the very first innocent little beings that come in arms of their elders who find them one of the most beautiful things they could ever see. First nephew, niece, sons, daughters: all are very special. We tend to look over their mistakes and love them none than less. With age however, mistakes grow bigger and there are even times when even mothers do not forgive some mistakes.

My association with my first home Pakistan kind of deteriorated as I grew bigger. For starters, things were not so holy about the land itself which I used to think. We were not the sweet soldiers of God and neither some chosen race which is destined for bringing harmony in the world. We are not fighting for some noble causes. We are just as materialistic as any other country which is doing things for their own interest. And we have made some mistakes for which we are currently facing horrible consequences.  My love for the land itself was effected by the way its people conducted itself. A home remains a home because you feel connected to its people. Otherwise it is just a house or a building I should say, made of bricks. Similar is the situation with Pakistan whose people are not connected to each other. It is a piece of land marked by boundaries on the globe and for reason of survival, people in it are somehow living together and surviving, bit by bit with out single identity or common thoughts/purposes. Whats more disturbing is the fact that every where we seem to be ruled by thieves. Plato said ‘one disadvantage of not being in politics is that your inferiors will rule you’. And we are ruled by incompetents, not worthy of being on the high chairs. Its not like we have some good choices and we are not choosing them.

Har shaakh peh ullu baidha hai

Anjam e gulistan kia ho ga

So why really we (including people like me) do not try to make it better? Answer is simple reason. We with age have gone too negative and too materialistic to think beyond profit and loss. We are more worried with making our indiviual homes in a better shape than to worry about society in general. We are so worried about sky high prices of oil and sugar that we can not focus on anything other than our belly or making plans on how to get out of here. Like birds who fly away from their old nests to make new ones for their own, like humans who move on from their first childhood memories and settle their own families away from their first home in order to make new memories for their own first borns, hard working pakistani class all the time considers making a materialistic decision and moves away. In such times, an old man who lingers on old emotions and acts in a way that seem dellusions would always look like someone who has lost his marbles.

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Event of Ghadir

9 Mar

It is related by Sa‘d bin Abi Waqas (رضي الله عنه): I heard Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) say: One who has me as his master has Ali as his master. And I heard him say (to Ali (رضي الله عنه)): You are in my place as Harun was in Musa’s place, but there is no prophet after me. And I also heard him say (on the occasion of the battle of Khaybar): Today I shall bestow the flag on the person who loves Allah and His Messenger (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) .”

Ibn Majah transmitted this sahih (sound) hadith in the preface (al-muqaddimah) to his Sunan (1:90 # 121)

Ibn Abi Asim, as-Sunnah (p.608 # 1386)

Mizzi, Tuhfat-ul-ashraf bi-marifat-il-atraf (3:203 # 3901)

Nasai reproduced it with slightly different words in Khasis amir-il-mu’minim Ali bin Abi Talib (pp. 32,33 #91).

“I heard him say: Indeed, he (‘Ali) is in my place as Harun was in Musa’s place, but there is no prophet after me. And I heard him say: Today I shall bestow the flag on the person who loves Allāh and His Messenger (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم), and Allāh and His Messenger (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) love him too. And I heard him say: One who has me as his master has ‘Ali as his master.”

Nasai narrated it with sound chain of trasmission in Khasais amir-il-mu’minim Ali bin Abi Talib (pp.33, 34, 88 # 10, 80)

Hindi related it in Kanz-ul-‘ummal (15:163 # 36496) through Amir bin Sa‘d with the addition of a few words.

Shashi narrated it through Amir bin Sa‘d bin Abi Waqas in al-Musnad (1:165, 166 # 106).

Ibn Asakir narrated it through Amir bin Sa‘d and Sa‘d bin Abi Waqas in Tarikh Dimashq al-kabir (45:88).

(This day, I have perfected your religion for you…[5:3]) was revealed, during the great day of Hajj (the Day of `Arafah, the ninth day of Dhul-Hijjah) `Umar cried. The Prophet said, `What makes you cry’ He said, `What made me cry is that our religion is being perfected for us.

Now it is perfect, nothing is perfect, but it is bound to deteriorate.’
Tafsir Ibne Kathir, Tafsir of Surah 5, Verse 3

Tabari, Fakhrudin Razi, Thalabi, Qurtabi, Suyyuti connects the phrase with Ghadeer. Which would make sense in line with Ibn e Khatir as well since event of Ghadir is at the time of hijjat ul wida. Almizan says the same.

Tafseer refferences:

1. Imam Fakhru’d-Din Razi – Tafsir-e-Kabir Mafatihu’l-Ghaib.

2. Imam Ahmad Tha’labi – Tafsir-e-Kashfu’l-Bayan.

3. Jalalu’d-Din Suyuti – Tafsir-e-Durru’l-Manthur.

4. Abu’l-Hasan Ali Bin Ahmad Wahidi Nishapuri – Asbabu’n-

Nuzul.

5. Muhammad Bin Jarir Tabari – Tafsiru’l-Kabir.

6. Hafiz Abu Nu’aim Ispahani – Ma Nazal Mina’l-Qur’an fi Ali and

It must be noted that this event is a accepted part in all sects of Islam and is not rejected by any. But the interpretation may be different. Even ppl like Ibn e Tamyyah also accept the authenticity of the event (in his Minhaju’s-Sunna. )

The apologist version of the event is that some companions were unhappy with Imam Ali a.s over an issue and when Prophet SAW heard of it he in order to clear the air said Ali a.s to be Maula whose one of translations if of ‘friend’. While at face of it claim may sound reasonable its absurd when one looks at the event itself. Ghadir is a place where Prophet SAW was coming after hijjat ul wida to medina and comes in the way. There were thousands others who were with him also going back to Medina. If Prophet SAW wanted to clear some differences with the companions he could have called them and Imam Ali a.s in a separate place in a closed tent and clear the issue. It is also fitting that if believers have some misconception between them than their common friend should not make an issue out of it and privately settle their differences. Stopping thousands of ppl and delivering the whole sermon for the issue of 3 to 4 people seems highly inappropriate so that claim itself is invalid. Moreover using a word like Maula who has other meanings like Master would be confusing ppl on such a large scale.

“It is narrated by Bara bin Azib (رضي الله عنه): We were on a journey with Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم). (On the way) we stayed at Ghadir Khum. There it was announced that the prayer was about to be offered. The space under two trees was cleaned for Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم). Then he offered the zuhr (noon) prayer, and, holding Ali’s hand, he said: Don’t you know that I am even nearer than the lives of the believers? They said: Why not! He said: Don’t you know that I am even nearer than the life of every believer? They said: Why not! The narrator says that he said while holding Ali’s hand: One who has me as his master has Ali as his master. O Allah! Befriend the one who befriends him (‘Ali) and be the enemy of one who is his enemy. The narrator says that after this Umar (bin al-Khattab met Ali a.s he said to him: O Ibn Abi Talib! Congratulations, you have become the master of every male and female believer, morning and evening (for ever).”
Ahmad bin Hambal related it from Bara bin Azib through two different chains of transmission in al-Musnad (4:281)
Ibn Abi Shaybah, al-Musannaf (12:78 # 12167)

Here it must be noted that Hazrat Umar clearly called him master of believers so the word can not be used to be interpreted as friend but master.

Another view is of the sufis who interpret that he only had become the roohani Imam after this hadith and politically caliph would have been chosen by Ijma so the saqeefah event is not a betrayal of this hadith. Claim would have been right if it would have been some other religion apart from Islam. In Islam the best man in the leader. There was no political leader at time of Prophet SAW. He was spiritual and political leader both. And so should be the sunnah after him for his successors. The successorship also is important in terms of religion since Quran tells that every nation will be called by the name of his Imam of that time

ne day We shall call together all human beings with their (respective) Imams: those who are given their record in their right hand will read it (with pleasure), and they will not be dealt with unjustly in the least.
( سورة الإسراء , Al-Isra, Chapter #17, Verse #71)

And Imam of Muslims will be the same as Caliph as I already said about the example of Prophet SAW

Albani mentions in Silsilat as-Sahiha:
.
For whosoever I am Mawla then Ali is his Mawla, O Allah befriend those who befriend Ali and be enemy of those who are enemy to Ali (Albani Says): This hadith has come from Zayd ibn Arqam, S’ad bin Abi Waqqas, Buraida bin Husayb, Ali bin Abi Talib, Abu Ayyub al Ansari, Bara bin Azib, Abdullah Ibn Abbas, Anas bin Malik, Abu Sa’eed and Abu Hurraira (Ridhwan Allahu Ajmain), The Hadith of Zayd bin Arqam comes with 5 (different) ways!…
.
[Volume No. 4, Page No. 330, Hadith Number 1750]
.
For whosoever I am Mawla then Ali is his Mawla, O Allah befriend those who befriend Ali and be enemy of those who are enemy to Ali…It is narrated by Ahmed (4/370), Ibn Hibban in his *SAHIH* (2205) Ibn Abi Asim (1367, 1368), Tabarani (4968) (Albani) said: The Isnad is Sahih on the *CRITERIA OF BUKHARI* Haythami said in Majma (9/104): This is narrated by Ahmed and (all) its narrators are those of *SAHIH* except for Fatr bin Khalifa who is “THIQA (reliable)”…. (also) For Whosoever I am Mawla, Ali is Mawla, This is narrated by Tirimdhi (2/298) “WHERE HE DECLARED IT HASSAN SAHIH”
.
(Albani) said (on next page): The Isnaad is **Sahih on the criteria of Shaykhayn (i.e. Bukhari and Muslim)** – [Page No. 331-332]

I had previously mentioned Ibn e Tamyah acceptance of the event in general as well. But even with that he did try to show his bughz e Ali a.s by totally denying the second part of the hadith about enemy of Ali a.s being enemy of Prophet and Allah and raising concerns about the Maula part. Albani says about it on page 344:

As I saw Ibn Taymiyah considering the Hadith as doubtful in its first half and untrue in its second, I have had to write down these pages and prove that the Hadith is authentic. In my conception, the reason beyond such exaggeration of Ibn Taymiyah was that he used to be hasty in deciding the inauthenticity of some Hadiths before studying them!

Salsalatal-AHadith al-Sahihah , Nasirudin Albani, Page 344

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عن زيد بن أرقم رضي الله عنه، قال: استشهد علي الناس، فقال: أنشد الله رجلا سمع النبي صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم يقول: اللهم! من كنت مولاه فعلي مولاه، اللهم! وال من والاه، وعاد من عاداه. قال: فقام ستة عشر رجلا، فشهدوا

Translation:“Zayd bin Arqam (RA) has narrated that ‘Alī (RA), asking people to bear witness, said: I make you swear if anyone of you heard the Prophet (SAW) say: O Allāh! One who has me as his master has ‘Alī as his master. O Allāh! Befriend him who befriends him (‘Alī) and be his enemy who is his (‘Alī’s) enemy. So on this occasion sixteen men stood up and bore witness.”

References

►Ahmad bin Hambal narrated it in al-Musnad (5:370)
►Tabarānī, al-Mu‘jam-ul-kabīr (5:171 # 4985)
►Ibn Kathīr, al-Bidāyah wan-nihāyah (5:461) and Muhib Tabarī in ar-Riyād-un-nadrah fī manāqib-il-‘ashrah (3:127), and Dhakhā’ir-ul-‘uqbā fī manāqib dhaw-il-qurbā (pp.125, 126).
►Haythamī has said in Majma‘-uz-zawā’id (9:106) that those who concealed the facts lost their eyesight.

عن زيد بن أرقم رضي الله عنه، قال: لما رجع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم من حجة الوداع، ونزل غدير خم، أمر بدوحات فقمن، فقال: كأني قد دعيت فأجبت، إني قد تركت فيكم الثقلين، أحدهما أكبر من الآخر: كتاب الله تعالى، وعترتي، فانظروا كيف تخلفوني فيهما، فإنهما لن يتفرقا حتى يردا علي الحوض. ثم قال: إن الله عز وجل مولاي، وأنا مولى كل مؤمن. ثم أخذ بيد علي رضي الله عنه، فقال: من كنت مولاه فهذا وليه، اللهم! وال من والاه، وعاد من عاداه

Translation:“It is narrated by Zayd bin Arqam (RA): When Allāh’s Messenger (SAW) was returning after the Hajjat-ul-wadā‘, he stayed at Ghadīr Khum. He commanded that a canopy should be put up and so it was done. Then he said: It seems as if I am about to breathe my last which I shall accept. Indeed, I am leaving two important things in your midst which exceed each other in importance:One (is) Allāh’s Book and the other (is) my progeny. Now it is to be seen how do you treat both of them after me and they will not be separated from each other, and they will appear before me at the Fountain of kawthar. Then added: Surely Allāh (SWT) is my Master and I am the master of every believer. Then, holding ‘Alī’s hand, he said: One who has me as his master has this (‘Alī) as his guardian. O Allāh! Befriend him who befriends him (‘Alī) and be the enemy of one who is his enemy.”

References:

►Nasā’ī, as-Sunan-ul-kubrā (5:45, 130 # 8148, 8464)

►Hākim narrated it in al-Mustadrak (3:109 # 4576)

►Tabarānī, al-Mu‘jam-ul-kabīr (5:166 # 4969)

►Nasā’ī related it with a sou und chain of authorities in Khasā’is amīr-il-mu’minīn ‘Alī bin Abī Tālib (pp.84, 85 # 76)

عن البراء بن عازب رضي الله عنه، قال: كنا مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم في سفر، فنزلنا بغدير خم، فنودي فينا: الصلاة جامعة، وكسح لرسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم تحت شجرتين، فصلى الظهر وأخذ بيد علي رضي الله عنه، فقال: ألستم تعلمون أنى أولى بالمؤمنين من أنفسهم؟ قالوا: بلى. قال: ألستم تعلمون أنى أولى بكل مؤمن من نفسه؟ قالوا: بلى. قال: فأخذ بيد علي رضي الله عنه، فقال: من كنت مولاه فعلي مولاه، اللهم! وال من والاه، وعاد من عاداه. قال: فلقيه عمر رضي الله عنه بعد ذلك، فقال له: هنيئا يا ابن أبي طالب! أصبحت وأمسيت مولى كل مؤمن ومؤمنة

Translation:“It is narrated by Barā’ bin ‘Āzib (RA): We were on a journey with Allāh’s Messenger (SAW). (On the way) we stayed at Ghadīr Khum. There it was announced that the prayer was about to be offered. The space under two trees was cleaned for Allāh’s Messenger (SAW). Then he offered the zuhr (noon) prayer, and, holding ‘Alī’s hand, he said: Don’t you know that I am even nearer than the lives of the believers? They said: Why not! He said: Don’t you know that I am even nearer than the life of every believer? They said: Why not! The narrator says that he said while holding ‘Alī’s hand: One who has me as his master has ‘Alī as his master. O Allāh! Befriend the one who befriends him (‘Alī) and be the enemy of one who is his enemy. The narrator says that after this ‘Umar (bin al-Khattāb (RA)) met ‘Alī (RA) and said to him: O Ibn Abī Tālib! Congratulations, you have become the master of every male and female believer, morning and evening (for ever).”

References

►Ahmad bin Hambal related it from Barā’ bin ‘Āzib through two different chains of transmission in al-Musnad (4:281)
►Ibn Abī Shaybah, al-Musannaf (12:78 # 12167)
►Ibn Kathīr in al-Bidāyah wan-nihāyah (4:169; 5:464)
►Ibn ‘Asākir, Tārīkh Dimashq al-kabīr (5:167, 168)
► Ibn Athīr, Asad-ul-ghābah (4:103)
► Dhahabī has said in Siyar a‘lām-in-nubalā’ (2:623, 624)

عن سعيد بن وهب وعن زيد بن يثيع رضي الله عنهما، قالا: نشد علي رضي الله عنه الناس في الرحبة من سمع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم يقول يوم غدير خم إلا قام. قال: فقام من قبل سعيد ستة ومن قبل زيد ستة، فشهدوا أنهم سمعوا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم يقول لعلي رضي الله عنه يوم غدير خم: أليس الله أولى بالمؤمنين؟ قالوا: بلى. قال: اللهم! من كنت مولاه فعلي مولاه، اللهم! وال من والاه، وعاد من عاداه

‘Sa‘īd bin Wahb and Zayd bin Yuthay‘ رضي الله عنهما)) narrate that ‘Alī (RA) made people swear in an open plain and asked anyone to stand up who had heard the Prophet (SAW) say something on the day of Ghadīr Khum. The narrator says: Six (men) from Sa‘īd’s side and six from Zayd’s side stood up and bore witness that they had heard the Prophet (SAW) say about ‘Alī (RA) on the day of Ghadīr Khum: Is Allāh not nearer than the lives of the believers? The people said: Why not! Then he said: O Allāh! One who has me as his master has ‘Alī as his master. O Allāh! Be you his friend who befriends him (‘Alī), and be his enemy who is his (‘Alī’s) enemy.”

References:

► Ahmd bin Hambal related it in al-Musnad (1:118)
► Ibn Abī Shaybah, al-Musannaf (12:67 # 12140)
► Tabarānī, al-Mu‘jam-ul-awsat (3:69, 134 # 2130, 2275), al-Mu‘jam-us-saghīr (1:65) ► Diyā’ Maqdisī, al-Ahādīth-ul-mukhtārah (2:105, 106 # 480)
► Abū Nu‘aym, Hilyat-ul-awliyā’ wa tabaqāt-ul-asfiyā’ (5:26)
► Ibn ‘Asākir, Tārīkh Dimashq al-kabīr (45:160)
► Hindī in Kanz-ul-‘ummāl (13:157 # 36485).

►Nasā’ī narrated it with sound (sahīh) chain of authorities in Khasā’is amīr-il-mu’minīn ‘Alī bin Abī Tālib (pp.90, 100 # 84, 95).

►Haythamī said in Majma‘-uz-zawā’id (9:107,108) that Tabarānī’s chain of authorities is hasan (fair).

From Saad bin Abi Waqqas with 3 (different) ways, the first one is narrated from Abdur Rahman Ibn Sabit and from him in the Marfu form… It is narrated by Ibn Majah (121), (Albani) said: The Isnad is **SAHIH** the second is narrated through Abdul Wahid bin Aimin from his father, this is narrated by Nasai in Khasais (16), The Isnad of it is **SAHIH** and the narrators of it are **all reliable** plus they are Narrators of Bukhari except for Aimin the father of Abdul Wahid who is **THIQA** as mentioned in Taqrib – [Page No. 335] Silsila Sahih

The Hadith: For Whosoever I am Mawla, Ali is Mawla, This is narrated by Tirmidhi and Nasai in Khasais, It has come with TOO MANY WAYS. There are many Asaneed of it which are Sahih and Hassan [Fath ul Bari, Sharah Sahih Bukhari, Volume No. 7, Page No. 74]

Some liars have faked a tradition to Hassan Muthana a.s that he denounced the idea that Ghadir event means the vicegrancy of Ali a.s.This tradition is present in Thabaqaat Ibn e Saad:

wla of someone, Ali is his Mawla?’”

He (Al Hasan) replied, “By Allah, if he meant by that Amirate and rulership, he would have been more explicit to you in expressing that, just as he was explicit to you about the Salah, Zakat and Hajj to the House. He would have said to you, ‘Oh people! This is your leader after me.’ The Messenger of Allah gave the best good counsel to the people (i.e. clear in meaning).”

( Al-Tabaqat Al-Kubra, Volume 5)

First ravi of the hadith:

Fazil Bin Marzooq. Ibn e Jauzi counts him in his book Zuafa wal Matrookeen as dhaeef and also mentions Ibn e Habban considered him Munkiar al Hadith. (Zuafa wal Matrookeen, Page 9)

Imam Nasai considered him weak. So did Uthman Warimi. ( Mizan Al Aitadal Fi Naqdi Rijjal, Dhahabi, Pg 440)

Ibn e Abi Hatim was of the view that report can not be discussed upon if it consists him.

Second Ravi:

Shababa Bin Sawar Fazari. Ibn e Abi Hatim was of the view that report can not be discussed upon if it consists him. Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal said he belonged to murjayya. ( Mizan Al Aitadal Fi Naqdi Rijjal, Dhahabi, Pg 390)

Moreover his meeting with Fazil Bin Marzooq is not proven

—————–

Iltamas e dua
Salam!
Xain Gardezi

———————-

Other articles on Ghadir with more references and view points:
http://www26.brinkster.com/sdolshah1/eog.html
http://www.al-islam.org/ghadir/
http://www.al-islam.org/40ahadithghadir/
http://www.al-islam.org/short/ghadir.htm (orientalists view about Ghadir)
http://www.answering-ansar.org/answers/imamate/en/index.php
http://www.al-islam.org/peshawar/8.4.html

The will to believe

9 Mar

Hi,

It seems I am finally set to do what I had always intended to, the moment I started using internet regularly i.e blogging. It took me many years but here I am.

But its hardly any thing to rejoice as my very first blog is not about some fairy tale. It is instead about a tragedy which has yet again in my life have triggered the old question in my mind. How some people will find the will to believe considering their circumstances? And if they chose not to believe, how can they be held responsible?

Through out my life, I have had mood swings about the belief system like a confused 12 year old who is uncertain about his concrete thoughts. At times, I have been hardcore believer, at times sceptic in every sense of its word and at times lost and bamboozled. Most of the times, I do not reflect my sceptic thoughts openly and mostly people confuse me with hardcore believer to the extent of being conservative (which I may as well be most of the times). I suppose my mind was most clear when I had been to Syria in the shrine of Bibi Zainab a.s where I thought if there is some God, He must be residing here.

But ideally God can not be confined to a place. Faith is carried by the person with in his heart and is irrelevant to the location in which the body resides. For all humans, faith and belief is somewhat relative. What strikes me as spiritual may not be the case with other person. Reasons for that can vary from emotional roots to strict brain washing. But every person likes to connect himself with something to achieve one fundamental objective every one cherishes i.e hope. No one can possibly deny that like some kind of connection whether spiritual or profitable which leads them to believe they have the back up for their failures. A theist needs to connect to God in order to hope his prayers may get answers. An atheist also is not free from the desire of hope and always has hope consciously or non consciously that he will get some kind of help from those connected to him in time of need. This feeling of hope is due to the fact that humans as individuals are weak. Either they need to rely on supernatural power or people to fulfil the needs. Ibn e Khaldun says, ‘Through co­operation, the needs of a number of persons, many times greater than their own (number), can be satisfied’. Survival of human being is dependant on cooperation with the society. While this cooperation benefits in a way, it also has drawbacks that humans tend to grow more weaknesses, every time they associate themselves with the new connection emotionally. But that is relative. Sometimes our connections make us strive to do more, while at other times it may create weakness which may result in an act that naturally may harm us. But because of our emotional connection, we will do so none than less. Again, hope plays a part. We hope that our action may benefit our emotional connection of the person/belief to which we are connected to. This idea gives a beneficial idea of altruism. But sometimes humans are shaken when hope perishes like thousand pieces of glass.

Two days ago, I got the news of my not-so-distant cousin’s tragic story. Just a day after he got a son, the time where normally people are arguing over what name shall be given to the child, the time when people usually send flowers, call you from all the way from the other parts of the world, congratulate you and the time where usually you get to see the faces of those people whom you normally do not see as they hug you with a broad smile (or in my family’s case, give you some notes with Jinnah’s photo on it), he got undoubtedly the worst shock any man can get.

He lost his son. In a time of one day.

I can only imagine what went through his mind. But I will fail miserably. Regarding the case of his wife, I do not even want to imagine what thoughts might be drifting to her minds right now, provided she is able to think after this tragedy. Nine months. Nine freakin months. This is the time normally one waits taking utmost care for the person who has not even come into this world. Special diet plans, extra care of walking during later months, buying different stuff all the time, arguing over kid’s room colour, checking books for child care, getting tips from nanis and dadis, cutting your personnel budget in order to get the best for the coming dude, do insurance plans and every thing else happens during this time. God only knows how the mother counts the deadline of delivery during this period. May be secretly smiling to herself, talking to baby inside her. Not to mention feeling labour pains when it finally happens.

All that. For nothing. One day. And all lost. What ever ‘hopes’ one has, gone in blink of an eye. How can a person who suffer such loss ‘hope’ after it? From where can such persons find the ‘will’ to believe? Or have faith. Its true that life does not stop for anything and eventually every one moves. But move on to what? The next hope? Why would any one hope if hopes are crushed so mercilessly?

I am reminded of course of Ali Asghar a.s in Karbala. It is natural to me think of him any time I hear a loss of young child. The faith of mothers of Karbala never shook even after they lost every thing. I can only hope the faith is not disturbed here as well. The emblem of faith is the belief ‘we came from God and to him we will return’. While it takes only 10 seconds to merely say these words, it takes a lot more effort to actually believe in it in every sense of the word. Why God would test the belief in such a way that a person finds hard to have the ‘will’ to believe? THAT I do not know. I can only hope that God has stored something better in return for this. But that again is of course ‘hope’.