Friday, December 10, 2010

Mika Mr. Big Heart, How to Recognise a Saint, and Being Saintly

Driving through a wealthy neighbourhood one day, Mika observed, “Wow, Papa, these houses are HUGE!

I am not poor. I am okay. But in my life, we have seen happy people living in a tiny house, and I have seen frustrated and sad souls surrounded by all the luxuries that this life can offer. I know of an elderly woman, who travels from one family home to another, with no fixed address or house to call her own, but who has the clarity of mind greater than someone half her age. She is beloved wherever she minds to stay.
Along that point, I said to Mika in response to his observation, “Mika, if you live in a small house but have a big heart, you are okay. On the other hand, if you live in a big house but have a small heart, you are in trouble.” He was quiet and thoughtful, so I asked him, “What about you, do you have a big heart?

Papa, I have the biggest heart!”, he responded excitedly.

I queried my son further, “And how come you have a big heart?

He turned to me and said with great serious-ity, “Because I never give up, Papa.

I was struck by Mika’s reply, as I anticipated his stock answer, which would be “Oh, because God and Nabi Muhammad is in my heart, Papa.” Mika’s words takes me back a couple of months ago when I bumped into Nun Tuck’s blog. The very first posting which I came across was one entitled “Saints are sinners who keep on trying.Click here to read this wonderful article.

You can be a bona fide saint or you can be plain old saintly. You can try to be a saint if you want, but I know of no saint who actually wants to be a saint. It is a 24/7 job with parallel responsibilities running along the different dimensions and pseudo-worlds. On top of that, as a de jure Saint, you have to deal with the appalling manners and constant bleating of sinners like me...
10. Blue Mosque
Someone has given me
Sinan’s building plans,
Though I know not
How to even build up a sweat.

Someone has given me
The key to Baghdad’s library,
Though I lie easily,
So whatever is learnt is easily forgotten.

Someone has brought me
To the attention of a Master,
Though when I was in school,
I was indifferent.

So why not be saintly, my friend? Just keep on trying and don't give up (on sinners like me).

Pax Taufiqa.

Footnote: ‘Blue Mosque’ is from Chapter 4, ‘The Eighteen Verses’. First picture is of Mika and his cousin, Aqil attending a thursday night God-remembering (Dzikr) function.

No comments: