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On the Plight of Brotherhood…

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lion_bull.jpgIf you were to travel through the barren dunes of Arabia, you could be forgiven for thinking that the average Bedouin is a very simple person. After all, the harsh Arabian Desert, the difficult camels of Arabia, the tough unforgiving desert – where could the Bedouin find poetry and inspiration? Rather, for inspiration, one would need to go to the most beautiful of sceneries, just like the English poets used to do when they used to go to the Lake District in northern UK.

Yet in my travels through Arabia, I have found the Arabian Desert to have parables and examples that bewilder the mind. One such parable was from a wise old man who used to sell the miswak in the gates of the Prophet’s mosque. At a time when America was bombing Afghanistan, I and a couple of friends came up to the man and wanted to buy some miswak. Whilst we were looking over the miswak, one of us mentioned the indiscriminate bombing and the human cost of the war. At that point, the old man looked at us and said: “Let me tell you the story of the three bulls.” What he was to tell us, was a parable I have not forgotten till today.

“There was once three bulls – a red bull, a white and a black one. When they were all together, they were very strong and the lions could not eat them. So one day, a lion came and told the black and red bull – if you help me eat the white bull, I will let you go. After a lot of deliberation, the red and black bulls agreed. So the red and black bulls looked on whilst the lion killed and ate the white bull. Many months later, the lion came to the black bull and said – if you help me eat Tama tarkoittaa yleensa floppia, silla NetEntin pokeriautomaatit ovat netin parhaita. the red Compatibilite de telephone portable pour Internet Casino Jeux La promotion de l’iPhone d’Apple et casino mobile pari de faire l’experience des jeux comme les slots en ligne, poker electronique, roulette ou au blackjack continue a etre tres apprecie par les gens partout dans le monde. bull, I will let you go. Without daring to hesitate, the black bull agreed to the proposition. So the lion came and ate the red bull whilst the black bull looked on. Many months Nar vi gar opp et niva far vi gjerne en liten oppmuntring som for eksempel free spins pa en spilleautomat eller en innskuddsbonus. later, the lion was hungry again. Now there was nothing but the black bull left. As the black bull looked on whilst the lion pounced on him and as he was choking and dying – with his last breath, the black bull said: Truly, I was killed the day the white bull was killed.” With that, we gazed into the man’s eyes lost in thought from the wisdom of his speech.

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If we Muslims continue to deny our brotherhood, continue overlooking the plight of our brothers and sisters around the world, continue with our own life being oblivious to the problems facing them, continue to spy and cheat and harm – then know that our fate will have been sealed already.

If you were to ask me, which of the three bulls do I most sympathize with? I would have to reply: the black one. Truly the one, who Allah had mercy on, was the first bull who died a death free of guilt. However, the black bull lived a life of guilt and sorrow that was worse than death itself.

I pity our brothers and sisters who harm the Muslims and are not moved at their plight. How miserable their lives must be! A life that is devoid of tasting the sweetness of emaan and devoid of love that is in the Islamic brotherhood is truly a miserable life. If only they knew how rewarding it is to help the Muslims, how good it feels to hear a person thank you and make dua for you, how great it feels to see a smile on your brother and sister. What a wonderful feeling and how pitiful are those who deny themselves this blessing.

“And those who before them, had homes (in Al-Madinah) and had adopted the Faith, love those who emigrate to them, and have no jealousy in their hearts for that which they have been given, and prefer (their brothers) over themselves, even though they were in severe need. And whosoever is saved from his own covetousness, then such are the successful.” [59:9]

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Sh. Tawfique Chowdhury is the founder of AlKauthar Institute, the unrelated Australian twin of AlMaghrib. A graduate of Islamic University of Madinah, he has also excelled in secular fields: An IT Project Manager, and soon to be a doctor as well (he is completing his medicine degree). He is very active in working with many Islamic organizations around the world and is also an international media contributor appearing on numerous TV and radio stations. The most notable are his appearances on ABC Asia Pacific, AlMajd Channel and the Islam Channel in the UK, where his lectures are frequently shown.

9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. abu ameerah

    March 25, 2007 at 10:24 PM

    excellent post! food for thought, indeed.

    “…continue to spy and cheat and harm…”

    We have plenty of Muslims who do the above. Some of these people consider it a religious duty to spy on their fellow brothers and sisters. The same also applies for those who are in the military of the tawagheet and claim that their income is “Halaal”… sure, and I’m The Queen Mum.

    on an entirely different note, i’ve been to the Lake District before and the scenery there is quite delicious. i suppose that if one already lives in the UK it doesn’t matter much — but i still enjoyed it.

  2. inexplicabletimelessness

    March 26, 2007 at 5:04 AM

    As salaamu alaikum wa rahmatullaah

    Excellent parable, jazakAllahu khairan. may Allah unite our ummah, ameen.

  3. Editor

    March 27, 2007 at 12:42 AM

    as-salamu ‘alaykum

    Wow. That’s amazing. I love your perspective on which bull you pity.

    It can also be a problem in itself too, when we’re fixated only on the victims and fail to recognise the root causes of the issues surrounding us. We descend into despair when we look at it from that angle alone.

    And it’s scary how we ourselves sometimes fall close to that fine edge between helping and betraying our own brothers. Unfortunately, the line does get blurry at times. Not quite like the blatant delusions found in the examples abu ameerah brought up. But pure dilemma cases where your simple action could end up either way. So ultimately, it is upon us to act smart. And indeed, keep united and strong.

  4. Moiez

    March 27, 2007 at 9:17 AM

    Asalaamualaikum,
    subhanallah great words of wisdom, I think Imam Anwar has this lecture on salaattime.com in the audio lectures section, it is along the same lines but he makes it make sense more and gives a nice point by point talk at the end.

    It makes me feel sad that the muslims who want to do something can not because we have no power. We are just birds in the sky in that story and unless we join together to attack the lion by dropping alot of little rocks on him to cover for the mistake of the black and red bull (which i doubt will happen any time soon) the bulls have no back up and will die.

    One bird cannot do much.

  5. Pingback: A Call to Success » On the Plight of Brotherhood

  6. Al Musaafir

    March 29, 2007 at 9:57 PM

    Assalamu Alaikum,

    “If we Muslims continue to deny our brotherhood, continue overlooking the plight of our brothers and sisters around the world, continue with our own life being oblivious to the problems facing them, continue to spy and cheat and harm – then know that our fate will have been sealed already.”

    Subhanallah, how true. May Allaah unite the Ummah. Ameen.

  7. Moiez

    March 29, 2007 at 10:48 PM

    Ameen

  8. bintyaqub

    April 4, 2007 at 11:00 AM

    Assalamu alaykum

    Was one of your friends who hear that story Sheikh Yasir Qadhi?

    I first heard the stroy from him.

    Subhnallah what a way to look at the world, we died the first day when we did not defend others. What a lesson to be learnt in a time when we need to take heed!

  9. UmmHudaifah

    November 28, 2008 at 8:48 AM

    As Salaamu’alaykum wa RahmatullLaahi wa barakatuhu,

    I know this post is over a year old but I’m fairly new to the site. I really enjoyed the article. There is indeed a great lesson to be learned from it. May Allaah azawajjal unite our ummah.

    Ameen.

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