Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Mikhail and Papa-ism - children, parents and the Divine Names of God

O' Thou enveloped in thy cloak...
O' Thou Enveloped In Thy Cloak. I had a late chat before going to sleep, and as I walk into the bedroom I could not even see Mikhail, hidden as he was, sleeping peacefully under the duvet blanket. The sight made me recall one of the earliest verse of the holy Quran, when the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) after seeing Gabrial (again) as an Angel sitting upon a throne that filled the entire horizon, ran home and asked that he be covered under the cover. But you know, God can be very persistent...

O thou enveloped in thy cloak,
Arise and warn!
Thy Lord magnify,
Thy raiment purify,
Pollution shun!
(Quran 74:4-5, Marmaduke Pickthall)

Papa-ism. Last night we went out for a drink, Mika and me. So yet again, the floodgate of Papa-Papa-Papa opened up... Papa, what is wrong with my computer? Papa, don't worry about it... Papa, I just want warm water... Papa, can I download a game? I am not hungry any more, can we pack this last three french fries? Papa... help me finish them!

On the way back I decided to see if I could stop this incessant Papa-ism and bet with Mikhail that he couldn't stop saying 'Papa' for the 5 minutes drive home. The bet was his pocket money for school. Every times he says 'Papa', he loses a day's pocket money. He lost his pocket money for today, tomorrow and Thursday. It is not that he didn't try -

Mika: No way... I am not going to say it.
Me: Say what?
Mika: Hahaha... you know...the 'P' word
Me: Oh yes. I forgot. What was that word again, Mika?
Mika: Hahahaha... I am not going to fall for that trick!
Me: What trick?
Mika: Ahaha... no way, Papa... I am not gonna say it!
(Epic Fail, as Mika would put it)

So Mikhail will go hungry in school, tough luck. But I told him to be nice to all his classmates (must be about 38 of them) and just scrounge a bite from each of them during recess period. He said that my suggestion was disgusting.

Dzikr. But to be honest here (and don't tell Mika this), I was somehow pleased that he failed to keep the 'P' word out of his conversation even for 5 minutes. What an interesting analogy we have here for Mankind and God, our Most Compassionate and Most Merciful Creator. I am pretty sure He would feel the same way too if his beloved servants (as we all are) cannot stop calling out His Name. Perhaps we ought to speak God's name as often as we can. But unlike the father to Mikhail, God will NEVER tire of listening to you saying his Divine Name (any of the revealed 99 names of God), Allah, Rahman... Rahim... Wadud... Qadir... Halim... Kareem... Razak. Muslims call this practice the 'dzikr'.

Go crazy in dzikr, sunshine. And you won't even risk losing your pocket money.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

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