Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Why Not Trust Allah? (July 8, 2012)

We gaze at the beautiful flower; we turn a blind eye to the dead one. We clap eyes on the palace and ignore the hut beside. But no (straight) man would ignore a young woman passer-by to see flowers instead. A young woman is more precious than a beautiful flower.

The world is beautiful. We can see its beauty with our own eyes. We all have mirrors in which we look at ourselves. We all like nice clothes, nice homes, nice furniture, nice cars. Who wouldn’t be happy to be invited by a friend in a splendid guest room and served the best food?

Sometimes, one just can’t help sighing at seeing a dead rose beside a beautiful one. What makes him/her sigh? It’s clear: all beautiful roses will die in the end. All beautiful abodes will crumble one day. All nice furniture will decay. Friends go. Nothing is there to stay. Seasons change. There must be a winter before the spring. You may have to go through a nasty place before reaching the wonderland. The tiring return trip may make you forget the pleasures of your stay in the beautiful place. Things like these may push some to think about the transient beauty of our world. Is it our world, by the way? Or are we just passers-by? What’s next?

Prophets, who lived a long time ago, told our forefathers that this world is but a stage in our life. They said there will be another life after death. Therefore, one should prepare oneself for his/her life after death. Even today many people believe in this. But even those who believe in the promised eternity don’t really think about it as much as they do about their everyday life. It takes a lot of years, a lot of experience, for one to even start sighing when seeing a dead rose. At this stage, one can look beyond the beautiful flower, at the young woman. The promised Hereafter begins to appear more precious than this world. From experience to experience, such people end up wanting nothing more than the Creator of both worlds. They would seek neither worldly happiness nor Paradise in the heavens; they would ask for one thing only: Allah’s satisfaction. If Allah is satisfied with them, then that’s their happiness, that’s their Paradise. Some of these people called themselves Sufis. All Sufis agreed on one thing: you can’t reach this stage of adoration of Allah unless you are tried with poverty.

These people found themselves in need of basic things. They tried everything they possibly could to get those basic things –all to no avail. They were finally convinced that there was nothing the matter with their personalities, or intelligence, or talent or physical ability to get work, for example, and therefore be able to acquire what they needed. They were convinced that their problem had to do with Fate. They not only believed, but knew absolutely that it’s Allah who gives power to whom He pleases and takes it away from whom He pleases and it’s Him who exalts whom He pleases and abases whom He pleases and that He is the Possessor of power over all things and that He gives sustenance to whom He pleases without measure. They knew that without Allah they were nothing. So they turned to Allah for help. They prayed and cried. They begged Allah and they got what they wanted. Each time they were tried like this and begged Allah like this, they drew a little bit nearer to Allah. And they knew that it’s Allah Himself who will or will not bring you close to Him. With time, such people became ashamed to beg Allah for worldly things. If they were given the whole world, that would mean little to them. Some of them said even Paradise wouldn’t make them amply gratified unless Allah was satisfied with them. But at the same time, they believed and knew and had absolutely no doubt that if Allah brings you close to Him, you will get better than what you want in this world and what you can never imagine in the other world. They saw with their own eyes or heard true stories of people who became successful in this world only after tasting poverty and becoming friends of Allah. They knew the (material and moral) worth of having trust in Allah.

Now most people trust the Government, not Allah. They trust the companies or businesses they’re in, not Allah. They trust their bank accounts or real estate, not Allah. Well, many governments are finding it increasingly harder to meet people’s needs (jobs, healthcare, education…). Instead of “begging Allah”, some people chose to revolt and topple rulers and bring down regimes. They want, they said, to have their Fate in their own hands.

In the past, there were devastating wars or famine, etc., that hurt the land and the people. Such deadly disasters were often followed by reconstruction projects at different scales. The Marshall Plan, for example, rebuilt Western Europe and Japan after WWII. There was a happy baby-boom generation. Even as early as the 1980’s, economists warned that future generations should not dream of the kind of prosperity that was enjoyed by baby-boomers. Last week, Moroccan Head of Government warned that people here should not dream of “an easy life, for we are a poor country.” Many Western-minded fellow countrymen, such as Luxe Radio’s Rachid Hallaouy, kind of jeered at Mr. Benkirane when he said in parliament to job-seekers: “If you can’t find a job, go and pray to Allah.”

Mr. Benkirane’s government came at a time of drought. He found himself compelled to raise gasoline prices in order to save the budget and make it possible for the country to continue to borrow on the international money markets. All these are technicalities. There are structural problems that need philosophical solutions.

At some time, Western powers (such as Britain) found in imperialism a solution to their unemployment problem. It is not easy anymore to occupy another country. Large-scale wars (that could kill many people and destroy many towns and cities and then be followed by large-scale reconstruction and employment projects) are simply unimaginable today. The demographic problems and the pressure on the space available (for home constructions, etc.) can only lead to saturation in everything.

So what can a government do, be democratic or undemocratic? It can raise prices of basic food staple and, at the same time, dole out amounts of money to the poor. It can fire thousands of government employees, at least momentarily. It can cut wages, etc. A lot of technicalities. The problem remains. So what to do? Topple the government every now and then? Should there be a new revolution every other year?

People are free to decide. People are free o try everything, including democracy and good governance. They are free to give a chance to Islamists and even to Satanics, if any. In the end, many people will return to Allah. They will realize that it’s Allah who gives power to whom He pleases and takes it away from whom He pleases and it’s Him who exalts whom He pleases and abases whom He pleases and that He is the Possessor of power over all things and that He gives sustenance to whom He pleases without measure.
In the meantime, let us take pity on our government, whatever it’s like. These are people like us. They can’t bring down water from the sky, nor can they resolve the economic crisis in the countries we deal with. Mr. Benkirane was right when he said: “If you can’t find a job, go and pray to Allah.” Wish you all the best.



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