My Log – 5
(Bringing Islam to the World One Concept at a Time!
Taking the Qur'an to Every Home and Heart that Needs It --
And which One Does Not?)
Whale of a Sale
I feel I am trivializing it by putting it this way, but that is the image that comes to mind. And it is not even apt or appropriate, really.
But when I see people falling over themselves, and not even minding if they trample each other, to get to their coveted bargains in all these sales, I say: All right, here is another sale for all you sale lovers of the world.
“Whale of a Sale” is not my original idea. I don’t think so. I must have read or seen it somewhere, or everywhere, and it stuck in my mind.
And it is not even a sale, what I have in mind. It is actually a give-away. The biggest there is, was or ever will be.
And here is how it goes: Nothing of what you have is really yours. How is that for a start? And for a reality check?
That means everything you have – and when I say everything, I mean every single thing – is given to you by someone else. It belongs to someone other than you. For example:
- Your body with all its many parts and billions upon billions of cells.
- Your mind with all capabilities and weaknesses.
- Your soul, if you have one, and such as it may be.
- The ground on which you walk when round and round the earth you go.
- The air you breathe and the mouth, nostrils and lungs with which you do it.
- The water, the milk and the fruit juices you drink.
- And all the meats, the poultry, the vegetables, the fish, the legumes and pretty much everything else that you eat.
- The list is endless.
Tell me which one of these things are you the originator or creator or designer of? And I don’t care who you really are: a peasant or a professor; rich or poor; man or woman; black or white.
Did you design and devise the potatoes you eat; or the fish you catch; or the rice or oats you consume? Exactly what is your contribution to their creation?
Don’t tell me you plant the seeds; give water; and harvest the crops and all that. Even a child wouldn’t confuse that with what I am saying.
Don’t even bring in distractions such as genetic engineering and this or that. For you may genetic-engineer all you want, but this planet is still populated by real homo sapiens and not by their clone cousins.
So, you basically make nothing and you consume everything. And you do so using the body – your hands; your mouth; your teeth; your stomach; and everything else – none of which are of your making.
My question: So how did you come by them? Where and how did you get them?
Your answer will most likely be code words such as: “I inherited them.”
Translation: “Someone gave them to me.”
Your answer: “I am a human being and all human beings have those things because they are biological organisms of a certain kind.”
Translation: “Someone gave them to me and my kind.”
My question: “What about your time? Your lifespan? Your days and nights? Did you fashion those things yourself?”
Your answer: “Of course not, it is all part of the functioning of the universe. The sun and earth and all those things spinning, rotating, revolving, setting, rising and that kind of stuff. That is how nights and days are calculated. Everybody knows that.”
Translation: “You just found them lying around and took them.”
Another translation: “Someone gave them to you.”
You now seem on the verge of asking a question yourself. Go right ahead and ask.
You: “Who? Who do you say gave me these things?”
Me – or is it “I” and does it really matter other than to grammar purists: “Does it really matter? The point is everything you have came into your possession or purview through an external source. Why don’t you name your source?”
You: “Chance, I should think, right? The tumbling of the universe through 15,000,000,000 years of time. That would do it, don’t you think?”
Me or “I”: “Sure, it would. Or maybe on the other hand it wouldn’t, right?”
You: “Absolutely! It can go either way.”
Me: “Yes, it could, couldn’t it? But I want you to postulate something a bit more positive. A bit more optimistic shall we say.”
You: “Like what?”
Me: “Like God for example.”
You: “God? Why God?”
Me: “Why not God?”
You: “Because you can’t prove God exists, don’t you agree?”
Me: “Sure, I probably do. But then you can’t either.”
You: “I can’t what?”
Me: “You can’t prove God does not exist.”
You: “Well, proving a negative is problematic to begin with wouldn’t you say?”
Me: “It sure is. That is why I am not trying to prove anything. All I am saying is we are even.”
You: “How so?”
Me: “You can’t prove it is not God. I can’t prove it is not chance. So a bit of the same soup for both of us, right. We both seem to be in a bit of a jam.”
You: “What do you suggest?”
Me: “Are you a betting man?”
You: “Uh, well…!”
Me: “Aren’t we all though? Don’t we make assumptions about everything in life? Don’t we take our chances? Even the best of us? Isn’t life an endless process of choosing between odds?”
You: “I guess in a way it is.”
Me: “Imagine that is how it is with God thrown into the equation. I am saying it is God who is behind it all. It is he who gave us everything we have. And it is he who makes it all work. Make that postulation. Posit that and then proceed to draw your conclusions. Stipulate that as lawyers would say.”
You: “Let us say I do. Now where does it take us?”
Me: “To God Almighty. And from there to Islam.”
You: “Islam? How?”
Me: “Till such time as you can come up with a really solid – plausible – alternative explanation, God is all that meets the eye. So, everything you have is given to you by God?”
Me: “So, you find a way of acknowledging that fact: that everything you have is actually his, not yours or anyone else’s. He gave you all these things and allowed you to use them. Uh…until such time as he claims them back from you, which you know one day he will.”
Me: “You accept that basic premise or proposition in your heart and in your mind and acknowledge that fundamental fact in words, that is Islam.”
You: “That is Islam?”
Me: “That is Islam!”
Me: “The acceptance and declaration that everything is God’s, not yours or anyone else’s, and that includes you too. He is the sole maker, master and proprietor of all that you have including yourself. That is Islam.”
You: “Amazing. I mean, Interesting.”
Me: “Sure it is. And here it is in God’s own words – in original Arabic. In the Arabic language he chose and in the book that he sent down in that language to Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, God’s last and final prophet and messenger on earth.”
Me: “Here are the words of God in the Qur’an, just four of them, and so simple anyone can say them: Laa Ilaaha Illaa Allah!”
You: “Meaning what?”
Me: “Meaning God is the sole and only master, maker and owner of you and everything else in the universe. And that, as they say, is Islam in a nutshell.”
You: “Ha, ha, ha…so am I a Moslem now?”
Me: “The word is MUSLIM. Yes, you are if you truly believe what you said just now.”
You: “But don’t I need a Moslem Priest to baptize me or something and make me a Moslem?”
Me: “Again, the word is MUSLIM. No, you don’t. For one, there is no such thing as a Muslim priest. Islam does not have any priests. Other than that, if you do need a priest, then you are it. You are your own priest. In Islam every man and woman is their own priest.”
You: “Did you say a woman?”
Me: “Yes, I did.”
You: “A woman can be a priest in Islam?”
Me: “As I said in Islam there are no priests – male or female. But to the extent each individual is responsible for their own destinies and decisions, yes, a woman is as much responsible for her life as a man is for his. There is no difference between a man and a woman in that regard.”
I am not sure I totally imagined this conversation. But there you have it: the real story behind this Whale of a Sale I was thinking about.
It means everything you have in this world is given to you free of cost by your God. And then all he asks of you in return is for you to acknowledge him as the real owner and master of all that he gave you, including yourself?
And he even teaches you how to say that in his own words: “Laa Ilaaha Illaa Allah!”
That to me is not even a sale, whale or no whale. That to me is a plain Give-Away. Or is it called a freebee?
It sends the mind into a spin to think that four simple words of “Laa Ilaaha Illaa Allah!” will buy you all you have in this world.
© 2011 Syed Husain Pasha
Dr. Pasha is an educator and scholar of exceptional
talent, training and experience. He can be reached at DrSyedPasha [at]
AOL [dot] com or www.IslamicSolutions.com.