Sunday, July 22, 2012

Verily We Have Honoured the Children of Adam - High Adab of the al-Quran 17:70

Heedless to the Sign, I became lost as stars in the night sky
turn into blackholes and could not guide me any longer.
UNHAPPINESS. I think unhappiness comes from forgetfulness. Or perhaps forgetfulness is not the right word here, I think heedlessness is better. Yup. That's right.

As Muslims, ostensibly we are suppose to follow God's Words manifest in the holy scriptures of the al-Quran and the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad(pbuh). And living in a Muslim majority country as is Malaysia, I see the faithful crowd, flocking to the mosques and suraus (small mosques) for prayers, sermons and the breaking of fast. Particularly, this month being the holy month of Ramadhan.

HEEDLESS. But sometimes I think we are heedless. Heedless to the very basic truths proclaimed in the al-Quran. I am not suggesting that Malaysians are particularly heedless, nor indeed Muslims. I think the illness is global. A particular verse comes to mind and this is it -

Verily we have honoured the Children of Adam. We carry them on the land and the sea, and have made provision of good things for them, and have preferred them above many of those whom We created with a marked preferment. (Quran 17:70, Marmaduke Pickthall)

GOD MOST AWESOME. God has made it clear that is is not my kind alone He has honoured and given special preferment. It is not merely the Muslims and the Believers amongst mankind. Oh no. He has honoured the Children of Adam, and therefore the entire nation of humanity is honoured. Honoured in a manner which we cannot comprehend. Honoured in a degree that we shall never understand. Becomes when God honours and grants preferment to anything or anyone, God does not do it in halves. He does it His way, completely unique and far better than the most secret and ambitious hopes that we entertain in the well of our soul.

Among the reeds of the riverbank I found a turtle, and the turtle
said, "O' mortal, how honoured are you!"

THE PATH LESS EASY. It is easy to see honour in those familiar and dear to us. But the honour granted by God is not only to such people. God has also honoured those whom we distrust or are at least 'strange' to us. Those whom we think 'different' from us. Whether it is because of a different religion, a different skin colour or perhaps nationality and ideology. Such people are also blessed. Yet, when we think that 'those others' have stolen our rights, have trampled upon our sensitive morality, or done 'no good', we forget that they too are the Children of Adam. We are thinking in our heads, "What a dishonorable lot! Useless and stupid. Really an evil horde." 

How easy it is to be heedless. It is sad, because when God says that He has honoured the Children of Adam, it is also an invitation for us to honour 'the others'. And in doing so, we honour God's own oath, and not merely to honour those who according to our perception deserves such honours, but ESPECIALLY those who appear less honourable to us. The weak, the sinners, the impoverished and the foolish. After all, who are we to say who deserves to be honoured and who doesn't in the eyes of God?

HIGH ADAB. Admittedly, this is not an easy task. This is not just Adab (courtly courtesies), this is High Adab. May we be guided by those best authorised to teach High Adab... Because, come on... let's face it. We are so utterly hopeless, only the best guide will do to get us out of this spiritual rut. Hehehe.

Have a good fasting day, sunshine. Otherwise, have a lovely day, nonetheless.

One Mawlana, three Shaykhs and a streetfighter.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way


Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday (22nd)!!
You have the finest Birthday gifts! A treasured memory from Shaykh Raja when he said: “Thank you for your writings,” and a ‘thank you’ from others in the comments on The Buddhist Blog (a few Older Posts back). Of course, we all Thank You! Excerpts:

James Ure…
@Taufiq...I appreciate your compassion and understanding of the cultural and historic significance of these statues to Buddhists and the world. … I lived among Muslims in Africa for two years and they were some of the nicest, most compassionate people I've met. … I appreciate your efforts and those of Muslims like you to fight this extremism. As well as showing the world the true nature of Islam. Thank-you for your kindness and may you go in peace. 1:26 PM

Dave said...
I can concur with you James. … And it is very nice to hear from Taufiq. Not because he is apologizing for the errors of some Muslims he doesn't know and for whom he isn't responsible, but just because it always good to see inter-religious and intercultural between everyday people. And with someone from Malaysia no less. 4:46 PM

Milky Tea said...

Dear Anony,

You are much too kind. My birthday was wonderful with a mixed berry meringue surprise!

I don't know anything about Shaykh Raja, only outlines. But that is enough for the likes of me!

But thank you for the follow up comments from the Buddhist Blog. I didn't know there was any!

Thank you kindly for your happy wishes. May your happy wish greet my happy wish in the Happy Place... with God.


Anonymous said...

Yo bro, wonderful post. Catch up tomorrow