Sunday, December 2, 2012

Race, Nationality and History - in the River of Time all come together at the Station of the Lover of the Beloved

This Thing Called Love!
I cannot tell you how it tastes,
This thing called love,
I can go on and on and on explaining,
But the thing is utterly mystifying.

But as love range from one station to another,
It gains speed and it gains a different nature,
For love, that starts its journey with exclusivity,
Between you and the Beloved, later transforms itself 
Between you and the Nation of the Beloved,
Finally coming to rest in the station of the Lover of the Beloved,
Where people of all walks of life, race and religion come together,
Beneath the all-encompassing banner of Muhammad,
Mercy to all nations, Mercy to all the worlds

Independence Day of Tanah Melayu
History defines you. It befuddles me. It worries me even, this thing called race and nationality. I worry that people pine too much for race and national identity, to the exclusion of other races and nationalities. But truth be told, there is a place for seeking to understand and explore your people's history, whether you are a Malay, a Chinese, an Anglo-saxon, a Slav, an Indian, an Eskimo... etc. After all, you are what your history makes you to be. You may like to think yourself as an enlightened world citizen. But the reality of the language you speak, the food you eat, the music you listen to, the books you read, the friends you keep and the family you are  born in, defines specifically who you are - a British Punjabi, a Malaysian Indian, an Australian Aborigine, an American Anglo-Saxon, an Argentinian Arab, a Japanese, a Chinese, a British Jew, an Australian Korean, a Baltic Slav, a German Turk.

History of Hate. But history can divide people. Why, not too long ago, my people feared the Japanese soldiers tramping down the village lane. Not too long ago, the Red Indian nations of North America were annihilated, the remnants herded into unwanted infertile lands. Not too long ago, the Anglo-Saxon and Slav nations of the world ranged in a terrible war against Germany, Italy and Japan. So much blood. So much suffering. How can we forget all that hate?

In the River of Time. But I have forgotten. Or rather, someone forgot to teach me to hate. And despite the continuing litany of hate and violence the world over, I refuse to give up our common humanity. For this is the signal command and message of the Lover (God) of the Beloved (Prophet Muhammad, s.a.w.s.) at this station of my thoughts and emotion. I am of the Nation of Muhammad, but I cannot be one, if I was not also one of the Nation of Adam. For this is the lesson of Muhammadan traditions, to respect and love all, and to see the different strains and colours of humanity flowing back in the River of Time to the cradle of mankind, to Adam and Eve.

After all, we are of one God, are we not? And if caught alone in the blazing desert, who will we ask for help if not from another man or woman that we chance to meet, another brother and sister united in the worship of God, however he or she may call unto Him.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

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