Zahir Ebrahim | Project Humanbeingsfirst.org
Saturday, February 14, 2010
Seen in a conversation on the web:
Project Humanbeingsfirst responds:
Hello. My take on this is as follows.
Firstly, yes, you are entirely correct, it will not work. The “why” of it is expressed in the first half of the editorial I penned yesterday and submitted to the NYT. It is here: Editorial: Dr. Aafia Siddiqui and Justice in the Service of Empire February 13, 2010
Secondly, whether it works or not is irrelevant. The relevance however to continue pursuing truth is the following wisdom story. Please permit me to share it here. It is a rendition that bespeaks the wisdom we have lost, but one we must regain, both collectively as human beings first, and individually.
Here is the narrative in my own words:
When the Prophet Abraham (in the Orientalists’ spelling) was being thrown in the fire by the tyrannical ruler Nimrod, all creation was in tremendous angst. Even the stones spoke out against the tyrant. Every moral creature endeavored to the rescue of Prophet Ibraheem (AS) to put out the fire. To the extent that a tiny bird picked a droplet of water in its minuscule beak and started to fly over the fire. An Angel of God asked the little bird: “Surely you are not going to put out the fire with that droplet(!), and surely the high flames will consume you! – what do you think you are doing?” The tiny bird replied: “yes, you are right, and I know that my tiny droplet will not save the mighty Ulul-Azam Prophet of Allah. But I bring to the endeavor of truth and justice what I am capable of, and this tiny droplet is all I am capable of.”
Listen to Aafia’s remarkable mother: http://youtube.com/watch?v=OtYD8VRQVEI
It sounds like the same bird’s song, just to a more pulsating, throbbing beat.
So, my conclusion is: Bring what you can, better than bringing nothing at all.
And once on that journey, efficacy becomes only secondary – a lesson I too am unable to comprehend completely.
The intellect clearly shows its limits here. The spirit must take over. The same spirit caused Rosa Parks to say “NO”. The same spirit caused Rachel Corrie to say “NO”. The same spark caused Prophet Abraham to say “NO” first to Nimrod, and then “YES” to his Creator when asked to make the greatest sacrifice. That sacrifice, for those not unaware of our inheritance, was ransomed by saying another “NO” with its concomitant “Zibbhin Azeem” offering! [Qur'an, Surah As-Saffat, 37:106-107]
All answers for Muslims can be found in just a bit of reflection upon Surah Asr. [Qur'an, Chapter 103] And in reading our own books and drinking from the fount of our own wisdom, before we seek out the West’s prodigious sources of its vast learnings despite virtuous proclamations of the white man to the contrary:
“ I have no knowledge of either Sanscrit or Arabic. But I have done what I could to form a correct estimate of their value. I have read translations of the most celebrated Arabic and Sanscrit works. I have conversed, both here and at home, with men distinguished by their proficiency in the Eastern tongues. I am quite ready to take the oriental learning at the valuation of the orientalists themselves. I have never found one among them who could deny that a single shelf of a good European library was worth the whole native literature of India and Arabia. The intrinsic superiority of the Western literature is indeed fully admitted by those members of the committee who support the oriental plan of education.” — Minute on Indian Education by Thomas Babbington Macaulay, dated 2nd February 1835. (cached)
Muslim's Voice: Why we endeavor even when it appears futile! By Zahir Ebrahim