64. The Orchard at the End of Time
….. O’ Most August Lord,
My cart is over laden with throw-away apples.
For on my way to Your Royal Court
I happened upon an apple orchard,
Such as which I have never seen before.
The trees and branches were bone bare,
And the ground overrun with fallen rotten fruit.
But when these sad apples saw me with my mare,
They greeted me and cried,
”Ya Saidi, ya Saidi! Leave us not here decaying and dying, worthless and purposeless. Pity us and take us too to the Fair Court of the Lord. Clean us and expel the worms that lie hidden and eating our core. Help us, ya Saidi, help us!"
…. O’ Most Merciful God,
This is how I now come before You,
With my cartload of bottom-barrel apples.
As how You have made me,
How can I ignore their plea?
…. O’ Most Loving King,
Would You have this servant done some other thing?
While others have left these apples behind,
I took them as mine,
For I knew to whom the orchard belongs to,
And read its name.
It was called, “The Orchard at the End of Time”!
THE MEANING OF THE STORY - It is the belief of the Sufis that I am acquainted with that before time began, all the saints were called to take their pick amongst humanity to be their followers and students (murid). The particular grandmaster (Grandshaykh) of this Sufi Order was the last to take his pick. And what was left were really the rejects. The students which no other masters desired to take on, the hopeless cases - Like my friends. And I guess, like me too. "Well, I will take this miserable lot!" said the grandmaster. And he did it out of love, pity and mercy. And he did it because he saw that this bunch of no-hopers belonged to the people at the end of time, who by their luck of birth are people destined to be the nation of the Prophet Muhammad. So he did it most of all because of his love for his master, Muhammad Habibullah, Mercy to all the Worlds. So we may be bottom-barrel apples, my friends, but everyone wants to be us.
ANOTHER APPLE STORY. Yesterday and today, the local media is overflowing with stories, commentaries and tributes to Steve Jobs, another apple of beautiful aspects. In today's Selamat Pagi Malaysia (Good Morning Malaysia) which is normally a dire television program full of safe and non-threatening stories about the country, its people and religion (especially Islam), there was a long tribute to the life and times of Steve Jobs. They even aired a segment of his speech at Stanford University's convocation in 2005 (Click here for the full 15 minutes video). This is nothing planned. There was no decision made somewhere by some ominous authority in Malaysia to recall Apple's co-founder's exemplary life and death. It was an instantaneous burst of love and affection for a man whose work transcended race, nationality and religion. A man who coaxed a large part of humanity to try and take a bite out of the creative apple.
Today, we are all apples.
wa min Allah at-taufiq.