Monday, December 8, 2008
CATTLE OR HUMANS?
When I look around me, I am left with intense sadness.
The human species running around trying to make sense of life. They are trying their very best to do something. They are busy. Some, have no time to think what they are busy about. They have their hands full of life’s real challenges – food, clothing, shelter. They have their children’s stomach, education, health and well being to think of. They are so poor that they only have one thing in mind - how to survive in this world.
On the other hand, we have the privileged ones. The educated, the well-off, the powerful and the soon to be educated, well-off and powerful. They too are busy.
The soon to be educated, well-off and powerful are busy trying to be educated, well-off and powerful. Society generally agrees that one should excel. Politicians, self made thinkers and the elites of the society echo this. Has anyone stopped and thought for a while; - what does it mean if I am educated? How does that benefit you if I am educated? Does this world become a better place when I am educated? What does being “educated” mean anyway - a scroll in the hand?
If “education” is merely to enrich myself, to boost my ego, to fall into that delusions that “I am clever”, to get the privileges that is dished out to such groups and such, would you be happy that I am “educated”? What if I use my “educated status” to write and speak of things that benefits me but ruins the society generally? If you oppose me, I can simply garner all the support merely on the dubious ground that “I am educated and you are not. Hence you are disqualified to oppose me”.
Does having a formal education mean that I am necessarily more intelligent than the kuay teow seller? That I must necessarily be wise in all areas of life? If I believe yes, then I have been a danger to you and society. If not, then why should I “look down” on the kuay teow seller? I may be cleverer but he may be wiser. In the face of wisdom, I believe cleverness is crushed.
Look. Look at us. We have more educated people today than in the 1960s. Listen to what they say. Look at how they behave. Look and judge if the “education” that they posses have made them into human beings – or have they become lower than the animals?
Who are the ones who are inciting to racial and religious hatred in Orissa, India? The uneducated and poor ones or the ones with education, well-off and powerful?
Look at our own country…. Try to understand with your hearts, see with your eyes, hear with your ears – who are the ones with vested interest trying to prevent people from embracing each other as the created or makhluk of the Creator? Who???
“Many are the Jinns and men we have made for Hell: They have hearts with which they understand not, eyes with which they see not, and ears with which they hear not. They are like cattle,- nay more misguided: for they are heedless (of warning)” (Quran 7:179)
Allah says clearly that many human beings are lower than cattle. Cattle. Why cattle? Cattle is guarded, fed, and its direction and life determined by the cowherd. Cows have a heart, eyes and ears ….so do human beings. Cows cannot use them to better their lives. Cows do not think and see or hear like humans. Humans can. Humans have been given the privilege by Allah to use their hearts, their eyes and their ears. Those who do not, Allah says, surely are worse than cows.
The educated, well-off and powerful among us who follow their “animalistic instincts” for their own desires need cattle around them to make their desires a reality. They spurn lies albeit sometimes couched in intellectual, religious, nationalistic terms. Sometimes, sentiments. When this fails, they use power and fear and threats. They do all they can to wreck society and the basis of human nature as Allah created to satisfy their selfish ends.
But why must WE fall in their trap?
Are we like the cattle led by the nose by the cowherd? What? Merely for the miserable hay that is thrown in our way and the cow shack that we are allowed, we are willing to live a life lower than the cattle? Even though we know that the cowherd’s main purpose is only to milk us and to slaughter us?
If so why did Allah give us hearts, eyes and ears that are different from the cow if He intended that we should only be led by the selfish cowherd? Why do we insist on degrading ourselves so low when Allah has elevated us?
Allah has given a way out – he holds you personally accountable. He reminds you:
“And pursue not that of which you have no knowledge; for every act of hearing, or of seeing or of (feeling in) the heart will be enquired into (on the Day of Reckoning)”. (Quran 17.36)
It is now entirely your choice. You can choose to be the human being that Allah created or you may continue to be lower than the cattle that Allah forbade you to be.
Peace and May God guide us all from this madness.