Monday, September 22, 2008

If My Father were God

There is a very good reason why no mortal man is a God. You don’t have to see Bruce Almighty to understand it. I for one only need to interact with my father and profusely thanks God – on behalf of the mankind - for the fact that he is only my father.

I love the old man dearly, but loving someone doesn’t mean that you don’t see their mistakes and agreeing with them in everything. Loving someone means that you love that person just the way they are complete with all their imperfections. And love doesn’t make you blind or stupid unless you’re already blind and stupid in the first place.

Back to why the human kind should be grateful that the old darling is nothing more than just my father…

Muslims are ordered to pay annual Zakat (taking out 2.5% out of their wealth for the have not). I choose to pay mine during Ramadan. When my father learnt of one of the names of those who are on my list he protested: “Why are you giving it to him? He doesn’t even pray. By giving your Zakat to him he would think that not praying is a good thing for he still could get a livelihood doing what he does.”

I’d like to think that I’m a rather patient person but the old man could easily vex me by delivering unintentionally inflammatory statement like that. Come to think of it, most of our arguments are indeed related to either political issues or religious matters.

I knew that I should be patient but he had raised a red flag, and the temptation was too big for me to forfeit. I took a deep breath and raised my voice an octave ready to launch my sermon.

I started by stressing the merit of giving Zakat indiscriminately. And to drive my point home, I specifically mentioned the fact of how Muslims have a tendency to work themselves up whenever some Missionaries feed the poor and then converted them to Christianity.

I pushed my argument by pointing out that Qur’an never says to assist, help or feed only the pious e.g. Muslims orphans, Muslims poor, Muslims widows etc. On the contrary Qur’an is very specific in stressing the help is supposed to be given to the orphans, and the poor regardless of their religions, races, characters, and deeds.

The Prophet even reminded us to be ware of poverty as it brings us a step closer from turning away from God. If we are to do as my father wishes than probably no poor will get help from the Muslims. And as the Prophet had warned, being poor they don’t have time to learn about religion let alone to practice it, so it is understandable that when they find a helping hand they would gladly grab it and turn their back on their own religion.

God gives his love to man kind indiscriminately. The sun shines for everyone, the rain pour down for whoever needs it. The air is free for all. God is not sparing or stingy when it comes to worldly bounty and pleasures.

But man surely is. We tend to give only to those we love, approved of or agree with. And if only we could, we tend to make life difficult for those we disapproved of, hate or disagree with.

My mother quipped that if my father were God, his chess opponent might find numerous problems on his way home after he beats him two times in a row.

Thanks God, there is God.

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