Monday, May 16, 2011

Some 'Truths' Are More Poisonous Than Ignorance

1. Scattering truths
A man was in the marketplace
And he had the insight to
See into people’s errors and sins,
He was creating a great chaos
And trouble revealing people’s
Secrets and scandals, until
Finally, a dervish appeared
Amongst the crowd
And inquired,
“And just who are you?
And by what right do you
Scatter scandals about like
Some largess?”

“Because I am a servant of Truth,”
He replied.

“Nay, you are mistaken.
The task of real servants are
To reveal the nature of their Lord
To mankind.
But what are these secrets that
You disclose but mere weaknesses
And follies of men? These are
Ugly facts you reveal here!
Are you saying the Lord is ugly?
It is not Truth you serve,
It is calamity.
You lie.”

Whereupon, the man immediately perished.


I am not particularly fond of tabloids and scandal sheets. In fact I try to avoid them. Yet it appears to me that there is a considerable number of people out there who like them, since tabloid newspaper sales have always been pretty stable while serious broadsheets have seen their sales decline. The sad thing is when serious newspapers pander to the titillating scandals which populate the scandal mags. I guess it is purely a commercial reason as it generally boosts up circulation and thereby help preserve the editor in his position.

In the delicate lore of Islam there is a not-so delicate perspective in the holy scriptures which says that when you talk bad about someone behind his/her back, it's like eating the flesh of your kin. *Urghh...* That is definitely disgusting, and I guess that is the way the Divine wants people to carefully weigh what they say and share with people. Yet that is the most common error which people fall into, and it is ironic that some Muslims can fast and pray five times a day without fail but become a veritable gutter-mouth, repeating the sin and scandal of others for the titillating pleasure of the listener / reader.

As a sinner, you might say that I have a vested interest in propagating the belief that the mankind habit of spreading the stories of sin (especially personal vices) of another person is dead wrong. And you are right, I do. But, hey, this is not what I am saying. The Most Compassionate and the Most Merciful is the one expressing it. And when I think of the distraught and shame felt by not only the sinner, but his family and close friends when they read about their son/brother/daughter/niece/cousin or friend in the scandal pages..., well it doesn't leave a nice feeling in your gut, does it?

We cannot stop the newspapers from being sold, but I think we can stop buying them. Let us rest our soul from reading about Mr.X bonking his live-in maid. It is of no concern to us directly, and our life doesn't improve by us knowing such facts, assuming they are true to begin with. And really, some 'truths' are more poisonous than ignorance.

Well, if you do need one scandal today, then I will volunteer one - I am scandalously late for work... so I must run for now.

God bless you, sunshine.

Pax Taufiqa.

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