Sunday, November 6, 2011

Abraham, Ismail and Jiminy Cricket - Having a weakness for God is not weakness

16. Strong = Weak
I am as strong as I
Am weak, helplessly
In wonder of my Lord
And my Master.

I am the flame of hell,
I am the river of heaven,
I am both,
And really,
I am nothing at all.

There is an old saying that the chain is only as strong as its weakest point. And I think what is applicable for chains are applicable to people. We are really as smart as we are stupid. And our strength is only as strong as our Achilles heel, whatever that may be - It may be our attachments, it could be our temper, impatience, laziness, or perhaps our pride.

That is for the ordinary people like us. It is different for Saints, and for Prophets it is incomparably different. No, they are also bound by the same rule - that man is only as strong as his weakest point (and woman too). But for these gentlemen, their weakness is God. God would say, do 'A', and the Prophets would do 'A'. Then God would instruct them to do 'B', and without (much) questioning they would proceed to do 'B'. Thus how do you contemplate the reaction of the Prophet Abraham, when he was directed by God to sacrifice his son, Ismail (who would later become a Prophet on his on accord, like his brother Isaac). Abraham set to do as he was told, but not without great turmoil in his heart. Seeing the father that way, little Ismail said, "Walk in front, father, and I shall follow you, lest you become affected by the sight of me that you would not be able to sacrifice me and thereby disobey God." Well, I guess you know how the story ends, in the 11th hour God rescinded His command, and told Abraham to put the dagger away. I think an animal was sacrificed instead. 

If our weakness is God, then surely we are as strong as our weakest point - ergo, God. And I think that is a fine thing to achieve. For then you would be one of those who keep getting whispers from who knows where, admonishing you - Look at the beggar, don't you want to help him? You have not called your auntie of late, why not call her? Do you really need to change your cellphone? Didn't your friend's father recently pass away, maybe you can donate some money to them? These businessmen are corrupt, do you want to associate yourself with the likes of them? Yes, some people call this whisper as their conscience. But I would like to think of them as divine guidance. We hear it all the time, don't we, sunshine? The question now is whether we follow it.

May this Day bring you guidance and the strength to follow it, whether you call it a divine guidance, a conscience, or that little fella named Jiminy Cricket.

wa min Allah at-taufiq.

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