How Sufism solved the alternate reality paradox

Abdul Qadir Jilani was a great sufi saint who lived around 500 A.H. but still holds a living influence on the people of Indo-Pak Subcontinent. He was much beloved by his followers and commanded great respect in their hearts. Once he asked one of his (female) followers for some milk. Due to whatever reason she was unable to fulfill the request and the sheikh ordered the river to devour her son who happened to be crossing the river along with all the people that were in his marriage procession. Twelve years later the woman realized her mistake, took the milk to Abdul Qadir Jilani, and apologized. The sheikh immediately revived her drowned son who then went on to get married.

As soon as the imam of a local Masjid ended the above narrative, the audience started resonating chants of ‘Subhan Allah[1]’ because of the Keraamat[2] of their sheikh. A young man, however, stood up and asked the imam to complete the story. Suddenly, all the people became quiet.

‘Please finish the story. If you don’t know then I will finish the story for you.’ Said the young man. The imam stood motionless as all the people waited for his next words. The imam then said, ‘that’s all the narrative I know.’ So the young man continued.

‘Once the groom came out of the river he continued his journey to claim the hand of his beautiful bride. Upon arrival with his procession, he saw her bride was already married and had four kids; after all, 12 years had passed since his drowning. A great fight ensued between the groom and the husband of his to-be-wife and as a result 70,000 lives were lost.’

The young man after stating the above simply sat down in his place. The imam, furious by all of this, almost shouted in anger ‘and where did you find all this information.’ The young man calmly replied, ‘it was on the next page from where you got your information.’

The Moral:

Our past and present is full of people who through their piety and worship attained great status in the eyes of Allah. We are ordered through the Sunnah[3] of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) to love, honor, and follow the example of such great people. We recognize their authentic keraamat, their efforts, and their sacrifices for the sake of Allah. However, our veneration should not extend beyond their reality. All the pious servants of Allah are nothing more than pious and blessed servants.

Attributing fabricated stories, or unauthenticated tales to their names does not add to their honor but may result in their disrespect. As in this case, the sheikh did not feel shy in drowning a person because of some milk that he did not receive. So while its easy to solve the paradox of alternate reality through fabricated stories it is not the suitable thing to do for the sake of our eman. If only we were to ascertain the truth of news when it reaches us, such fabrications would not exist. Know that the greatest miracle for any person is to be able to stick to the Quran and Authentic Sunnah throughout his life. Is this miracle not enough for us to honor the jewels of this Ummah?

(Note: Many sufi believes are not supported by the Quran and (or) the authentic sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH). Any and all practices, believes, and sayings must have their basis in Quran or proven sunnah. The article mentions sufism just to make a point regarding fabricated tales and how common muslims fall prey to such words.)

[1] Glory be to Allah

[2] Supernatural ability, miracle

[3] Tradition of the Prophet (Peace be upon him)

The Prince, The Troll & The Fairy

Once upon a time in a land far far away there lived a handsome prince. The prince had been cursed by the witch and was forced to work at a gas station as a lowly laborer. The gas station was owned by the mountain troll who made the prince work fourteen hour shifts each day and only paid him five thousand rupees at the end of each month. Every month, the prince struggled with paying utility bills, house rent, and with trying to provide his wife and two kids with food and basic necessities. Since the money was too less, and the curse too strong, the prince was spending his days in severe hardship and under debt.

In the same kingdom lived a lovely fairy. She had golden hair, a lovely voice, and a big bank account. Every night she would travel the kingdom on her white stead and spend time eating delicacies, socializing with friends, and enjoying the good things of life. Spending thousands of rupees each day was routine and she was living her life unaware of any troubles that existed in the kingdom.

One day the fairy was feeling a little bored so she decided to purchase a magic car in order to cheer herself up. After buying the car she was driving around the kingdom when she came across the station where the prince was working. She stopped the car and asked the prince to come and refill the gas. The prince did what was requested and the fairy, still happy from the purchase of the car, gave him a thousand rupees tip. The Prince politely refused and told the fairy that he is actually a prince under a curse and it does not suit him to accept tip. But the beautiful fairy insisted so much that the prince accepted the money as gift.

The mountain troll was looking at this whole scene through his office window. Once the fairy left, he came over to the prince and demanded the money from him. The prince declined and said that it was a gift from the fairy to him. But the troll threatened the prince regarding his job and made him realize that he will not find any other source of income to support his family. Under intense pressure and black mailing, the prince gave up the thousand rupees to the mountain troll.

That month the kingdom received its monsoon rains and the roof of the prince’s house was destroyed. Luckily, none of the inhabitants were hurt, but the prince now required a handsome amount of money to repair the house. Unluckily, the prince did not have any connections to help him collect that kind of money. So, out of necessity, he put up a plastic sheet on top of the walls and made a temporary roof. All this time he continued to work for the troll at the gas station.

One night, the fairy came to the troll’s station again and saw visible signs of distress on the prince. She inquired about the reason but the prince kept repeating not to worry as there was nothing she could do. Finally, under intense questioning, the prince informed the fairy about what had happened during the rain, and with the thousand rupees that she gave him last time. Upon hearing all this, the fairy felt really sad. She realized that while she is enjoying the blessings of this life without any worry, there are people in her own kingdom that are living hand to mouth. She realized that she can easily spend thousands of rupees each day on food, cds and shopping, whereas there are people in her kingdom that only earn a few thousand every month and that too after long hours of intense labor.

She immediately decided to help the prince. The next day she went to the house of the prince which was now in a shattered state. She waved her magic wand and it converted into a beautiful palace. She then waived her magic wand a second time and in the courtyard of that palace grew a tree with golden apples. As soon as she did this, the curse from the Prince was lifted. It was then that both of them realized that the curse was only there because the help does not reach the victims in the proper manner. Now, since the fairy was helping the prince with sincerity and that aid was actually affecting the prince, the curse of the witch could no longer hold ground.

Next, the fairy went to the mountain troll’s gas station. She waved her magic wand and the troll transformed into a mouse and hid away in a hole. The gas station was then handed over to the prince who was now sitting on the throne of the kingdom and ruling with compassion and mercy. The witch had permanently left the kingdom in the fear of assassination and all the people of the kingdom lived happily ever after.

The end.

Morals of the story:

Each and every member of our nation is a prince or a princess. There are fairies amongst us who can help bring this nation to greatness. The trolls are all the corrupt systems and people that plague our nation. One swing of change is enough to turn them into mice and hide them away in holes. The witches and their curses are nothing more than propaganda and pessimist mentality, both of which will run away at the slightest hint of a positive change. There truly is a happily ever after for the people of Pakistan and the ummah of Muhammad (Peace be upon him) both; in this world and the next.