Writen Ishrat Iqbal Warsi
Translate : prof Imran Malik
Yesterday night while I was preparing to sleep on the roof of my house, my four-year old daughter Jaiza Ali walked up to me slowly and hugged me. She placed her little head on my chest and started to wring her hands around my body.
I asked, “Kid. What’s wrong? Can’t you sleep? “
“No Dad. I want to ask you one thing.” She replied.
“Sure. Go ahead.” I said.
She pointed towards the sky and said,” Dad. What is that thing shinning in the sky? “
“They are stars,” I answered.
Then she shot the next question.
“Dad. Are they bigger than our home or smaller?”
I said, “Kid. These stars are bigger than our home; even they are bigger than our city or even bigger than the earth.”
Then she asked in bewilderment. “Dad. If they are so big, how they are hanging in the sky!”
I said explaining, “Kid. They are not hanging with anything but they are hanging as ALLAH is Omnipotent. He is capable of holding them as such.”
I felt that her grip on my body tightened more. I let go of one of my hands from her little hands and patting on her head, I asked, “Why do you worry?”
Then she disclosed her concern by saying, “ Dad. I fear that these stars may fall on us. Dad. Can these stars fall on us?”
I replied, “ Kid. ALLAH loves his creation immensely; therefore, he will not let these stars fall on us.”
“Dad. If Allah ever gets angry with us, will He drop these stars on us?” she shot the next question.
“No, kid. He is very merciful on His creation. If He gets angry with us, with our repentance, He becomes happy again. He is ever merciful kid. He loves you even more than your mother.
“Dad, if I commit a mistake and I repent, will ALLAH forgive me?” She asked.
“Sure, kid, He forgives all.”
I saw that after my answer, there was a sign of content on her face and her grip on my body loosened.
“Dad, when you get angry on someone, you also forgive and become happy, don’t you?” she asked.
I looked at her and thought. What kind of weird questions she is asking today. It seems that I am being tested.
Though I know that she often asks such questions to her mother and she complains to me.
“What kind of kid is she? It seems that she always carries a bundle of questions with her.”
And I always try to avoid her by saying that the numerical value of her name is eight. The people with eight number have a very high thinking domain.
“Dad, have you slept?” She asked me by stirring me up.
“No, kid. I am awake.” I said idly fingering her hair.
“Dad, you didn’t tell me. Do you too forgive when you are angry?” She asked.
“No, kid. I can’t readily forgive. The reason is that I am a wrong doer in every sense. It takes me a lot of time to pacify myself.”
“Dad, you should forgive too. Lest Allah gets angry and these stars fall on us.” She begged innocently.
“Sure, kid. I‘ll try next time.” I said.
After my reply she closed her eyes satisfactorily as if after giving an important note, a messenger or some custodian becomes care free. After a while she was fast asleep beside me. And I, whose eyes were heavy with sleep a while ago, now looking at the stars as if I were seeing them for the first time. Then I remembered an incident of my youth when I was sitting in the shanty of a saint (Dervish) and asking him, “What is the easiest way of finding God? I have read in books that in earlier days people would seclude half of their lives from the world in finding God. They would live in forest and shut down all the blessings of this world on them.”
Then the saint looked at me and asked, “Do you know what God wants. And what is it that only belongs to you.”
“I don’t know. I am penniless in this regard. I know only that … everything is custody from ALLAH. Nothing is mine. This life, health, wealth, prestige … God has the control on all of this .Nothing is mine.”
He smilingly said, “No! Son. Whatever you said is right but there is one thing which is only in your control. It is that priceless possession which man has and God likes it dearly.”
I used my intellect and recalled all the things but in vain. Then very respectfully and massaging his feet I said,” I am a man of less intellect and, although, I have read books, I am unable to comprehend them. So, you may kindly enlighten me as to what is that thing which I have no news of and whose sacrifice is very much liked by God.”
The saint folded his legs and sat cross–legged. He peered at me and in an intuitional state said, “Son. Do you know why man is a supreme creation?”
I respectfully said, “Please edify me.”
Then the saint stated, “Son, this is because God gave men intellect to judge, and awareness to comprehend good and evil. Then He gave His constitution so that man can know God’s will and His anger. But God did not compel man, yet gave him a freedom of choice that he may accept the way good or bad. He may prepare himself for hereafter or may indulge himself in the glow of world.
Son. This choice, this longing, this desire is the greatest possession of man. You have asked me the easiest way to ALLAH, so you have to submit this choice to Him. This longing, your desire to ALLAH, and you will find Him. You will not have to heed to forests .You will not have to go to deserts, you will not have to climb mountains to seek GOD as he is closer to you than your jocular vein. It is possible that once you have found GOD, the warmth in you will reach to a point where you will fear the herds of people or you feel that this heat of your being will be cooled down due to this crowd. Then forests, rivers, mountains will be looking forward for you, whenever you are, you will talk to GOD.
This is not an easy path, son yet it is an uphill task. Not everyone can walk on this way. Those who choose this course have to wrestle with their self. They have to fight within against desires. To sacrifice one’s wants is not a child’s play. Think before your step on it that you will have to destroy yourself idol, you will have to let go of your ego. You will have to meet those who abuse you with open heart. You will have to meet smilingly to those who blame /censure you. You will have to present the other cheek to those who hit you .you will have to divorce the luxurious bed. You will have to turn your eyes away from delicious cuisines and be satisfied on the stale bread, you will have to love human beings …… just love.
You will have to cool down the fire of hate, anger, jealousy that is in you by repentance. Whatever you have is of GOD. You are only custodian. Therefore, when it is asked back from you, don’t say that it is mine but always say that I return to Whom it belongs. Don’t wail when a misfortune strikes you but be patient as the patient. You will have to monitor you every action. You will have to be self-accountable that everything you do is according to your desire or as per ALLAH’S will. You are doing what you want or what ALLAH wants! Sometimes it will be your desire not to leave the cozy bed but it will be ALLAH’s will to leave it and be present in front of Him. Sometimes you will want to keep your money in your pocket but at that time His desire will be to spend your hard-earned money on someone else’s need.
Sometimes you will want to drink cold water in scorching heat or eat something to fill your appetite. But it will be His desire that you fast. Sometimes due to cold you will want that the cold water does not touch your body. But it will be His will that you do wazoo (abolition) with that water in chilly winter. Sometimes it will be your want that you relax your body in seclusion on a comfortable bed. Yet it will be His will that you share somebody’s pain and travel to lessen it. Sometimes you will want to scratch the other person’s face yet it will be His will that you embrace him. Sometimes your self-desires will call you towards them and you will want to fulfill them. Yet His desire will be that you become indifferent to everything except Him. The sacrifice of one’s will, desire is the way which can lead a person to GOD.
If you have the courage to sacrifice your desires, step on this path. He does not waste anyone’s struggle. But remember! The way to reach the destination of realization is so difficult that thousands travel on it but only a few bear its hardship once they start the journey. And they too reach only half way. Only one or two reach the final destination. You may try as well, perhaps, you will get the destination. If you can make it a habit to be patient on the trail and turbulences of this world and sacrifice your desires on His will, you will surely get the Lord. I don’t know any other easy path than this. Do you want to travel on this path?” the saint looked at me smilingly and inquired.
I was lost in these thoughts when my daughter stirred and put her hand on my chest again. I was startled and looked at her. She was smiling as if asking me the question.
“Dad, what have you thought? Will you travel on this path? “
And I murmured, “I will try if ALLAH’S mercy is on me. INSHAHALLAH (IF ALLAH WILLS)
Today in this loneliness of night this couplet of the poet of the east is trying to make me understand something and amusing me a lot.
“There are many a GOD’S slaves and wander aimlessly in forests
I will be the slaves of one who loves GOD’S creation (slaves)
ISHRAT IQBAL WARSI