BY MUFTI JAMEEL FAROOQ
We live in the age of disparagement and scepticism. These words have much seeped into our blood so much so that t we feel melancholic every next minute of our countdown. The age which we are delimited with demands things to be done with that pace and speed that I at times wonder and feel shaken about the next generation which is next to me; not only this but also I sometimes contemplate and feel myself to be blessed that I was born in the age which is not that prompt and rapid as of now, the rapidity and promptness has shaken our lives and we have become what is to be called ‘the gadgets of swiftness’ which are used as disposals as long as they are but useful.
The masses of present era have become so much obsessed with money and material deeds that they don’t feel the need to sit with their children, and seldom pay visits to the relatives, which once used to be the weekly routine and norm. The only thing I see at its crowning apogee today is that our ambience is full of criticism that too without constructivism, so in this age, to be blissful and jubilant is a pipedream, although each soul in this plant craves to be so, some then take the refuge of religion and some while finding the meaning of life and happiness drive their selves there where people associate good-looking titles to them ‘insane’ and ‘fit for asylum’.
In this age, to maintain the harmony of sanity and insanity is no less than a gigantic task and this task is like surviving without sustenance, although so much has been written and so much postulations have been put forth by great academicians, philosophers, researchers and by the people who have achieved the great stature by struggle and strive in their lives; these all have been laid to ground so that one could live in solace and consolation, but what looks strangely stunning is that thestood question is still and feels hungry and demands fuel, so the answers which were put forward as replies seem very fragile.
A few days ago, I was in Lal Chowk at Gulshan book shop , to fetch some books. Books are the only entities which kill your loneliness and unlike human beings they never betray, books touch the soul and make one feel complete.
At Gulshan’s , I bought a book titled ‘Manuscript Found in Accra’ written by ‘Paulo Coelho’- the same author who has written the book which changed the mind-set and lives of hundreds and thousands of people across the globe.
The book which I’m talking about, titled ’‘Manuscript Founding in Accra’ was published in 2013, and commemorates one about ‘Prophet’, written by ‘Khalil Gibran’. The setting and tone is much comparable, but if there is a difference it is in the introductory part. The novel sets itself in 1945, with two brothers, who while looking for a place to rest find an urn full of papyruses in the cave in the region of Hamra Dom in Upper Egypt. Instead of telling the local authorities the bothers decide to sell them in the market for antiquities, thus avoiding attracting the government’s attention, but their mother having some apprehensions hands over these papyruses to the priest, who then sells them to the Coptic Museum in Cairo.
When we‘re taken into the book the people of Jerusalem are in gather like an arch, the ambience is unruffled and serene, the people who have gathered together before the pulpit appear very fervent and snoop to hear the words of Copt, who we’re supposed be providing the lecture on life, how to deal with it or the different issues of life which each and every person undergoes every day. Besides this, we see in the book there’re fixed people who pose questions to the Copt, on which he answers with all his experience and wisdom. Although the books looks the semblance of Prophet by Kahlil Gibran, yet it is more stunning and more prudent than the former one, because in the former book the author had not touched upon the topics which latter book has touched, like; ‘defeat, why some people are luckier than others, miracles, future holds, anxiety’, and much more.
The opening lines are so striking that they don’t leave the reader till one finishes the book. The opening lines start when the Copt is requested to speak about the defeat, on which he replies. ‘‘Does a leaf, when it falls from the tree in winter, feel defeated by the cold?’’. Then the Copt closes the defeated chapter with beautiful lines ‘one who gives up is defeated. Everyone else is victorious. And the day will come when those difficult moments are merely stories to be told proudly to those who will listen respectfully and learn three important things:
“Wait patiently for the right moment to act.
Do not let the next opportunity slip by you.
Take pride in your scars.’’
While finishing the chapter, the Copt says to the asker that he should never be ashamed of the scars because they’re the medals branded on the flash, and his enemies will be frightened by them because they are the proof of his long experience of battle. Often, this will lead him to seek dialogue and to avoid conflict. He further goes on saying that scars speak more loudly than swords that caused them.
Apart from this, there are many chapters which provide us the best resolutions: how we should tread life and the approaches we must follow so that we could remain happy, jubilant, and victorious throughout our life. While reading the book, was reminded of Moulana Rumi (RA) and his saying:
‘‘Run from what is comfortable.
Forget safety. Live where you fear to
Destroy your reputation.
I hold the opinion that every person should read this book to get some relief by getting answers to the question which each one seeks each day, at every minute of his life.
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