Between Dusk and Dawn…

Some *scribble* *scribble* by Ameera

Monthly Archives: August 2008

One God, One World, One Dream

I just got up from in front of the television after watching the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics all the way to the end. It was an entertaining watch and really refreshing after all the troubled news that we’ve become used to.

I love global events where people can get together and learn the lesson of harmony and unity once more. The opening ceremony today, to a great extent, accomplished that. I may not agree in principle with all that was shown and done, and indeed I kept the volume to a low through most of the ceremony to exclude the music, I am all for organizing peaceful events where the races can come together with joy. I know some might say that such events should not be held when the world faces a food crisis, there is unrest and war all over. These people are quite correct in their belief. It’s true that you can’t ignore the main issues and expect that global sporting events or other activities will miraculously turn the world into a nice place again. But then, we all need reminders, refreshers to motivate us.

Watching everyone assemble in the stadium today, with different flags waving, I truly wished nations did not war against each other for no just reason and that every human being would find their rights secure. It also reminded me of the verse of the Quran that placed each human being equal to the other under the Sight of Allah:

O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know each other (not that you may despise (each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things).” (Quran, Chapter 49: Verse 13)

In his final address to the people at Arafat, near Makkah, the Prophet (peace be upon him) also declared that no Arab was superior to a Non-Arab, no Non-Arab to an Arab. He clearly said that no black would be superior to a white person or a white person to a black. The only criterion for superiority would be piety – the more you adhere to the principle of Islam and fearing Allah, be the best person you can to Him as well humanity, you’re superior! So you may be a black, a white, a brown, whatever! You’re all human beings under the Sight of Allah and you’ve all got the potential to do the best, using the talents and capabilities you were born with.

All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action.

(Prophet Muhammad [pbuh], Arafat on the Day of Arafah [10th Dhul-Hijj] of the year 10 Hijri)

For those who are misguided or those with truly evil intentions against innocent human beings, I can try and voice my opinions against their actions. If I cannot stop them physically, I can atleast pray for them to be guided. There are people today who kill incessantly, among the “terrorists” and among the “liberators”. Killing unjustly and innocent civillians at that! I can only reinforce my condemnation of such brutality referring to the Prophet (pbuh)’s clear instructions on war – no women, children or any other non-combatants must be harmed, under ANY circumstance. No trees must be damaged, no animals attacked. War is fought to end oppression in the land and to establish firmly the foothold of peace – the moment peace is preferred, all fighting ceases. Allah knows best what is the true state of things and the concealed facts that are ruining the peace of the world today.

For the world, my message is general – open your mind, ponder upon the beautiful dynamics and harmony in the Earth you walk upon. Remove the shackles that bind you down – the shackles of superstition, hypocrisy, hatred, prejudice, racism, fear, greed and jealousy. My invitation to my fellow human beings is to the worship and obedience of One God – and in obedience to Him, the service of humanity. Only by embracing the concepts of One God, peace and equality will we be able to survive together on this planet. Value your time, refuse the hollow joys of “escapist” activities and channel your energies in directions that will benefit you and your fellow humans.

The sancity of human life is highlighted by the following Words of Allah (swt):

“…We ordained for the Children of Israel that if any one slew a personunless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.” (Quran – Chapter 5, Verse 32)

The Blind Man’s Son

“Doctor, please have a look at my son. He can’t see properly and keeps bumping into things.”

I looked up from my study group in the Eye ward to see a man enter the room with a young boy. The father could not have been older than forty and the son looked to be about eight years old. The first thing I noticed about the father was that he seemed to have a “cloudy” left eye but as I pointed it out to my friend, she corrected me. “He’s blind,” she said softly. It was a painful truth – the man held his son’s shoulder and when he talked, he did not really look at the doctor.

The small room was quite crowded with patients and the doctor quickly sent away the father. “Go register him outside and get his eyesight checked,” said the doctor without a second look. He had other patients waiting for him.

My heart went out to the poor father and son. Leaving our class, my friend and I hurried out to make sure they made it to the registration desk. The innocent little boy who couldn’t see properly and, with his mouth hanging open slightly, tried to make sense of his hazy world was our major concern. The duo got through the registration, free at this government-run hospital in the heart of Karachi and then proceeded to the makeshift eye testing chart on the other end of the Hall. We were relieved, thinking it would be smooth for them now.

“Don’t come here! Go to the pediatric department OPD there!” said the doctor’s assistant impatiently, at the eye-testing desk. My friend and I were horrified by the pathetic manner in which this poor father and son were being treated. All the while, the father would enquire where to go and then encourage his son to lead the way… a young eight-year-old in desperate need of assistance.

We followed them into the Pediatric OPD off the hall. More disappointment awaited the father and as he became agitated, we knew we had to intervene. The help-desk informed us that that the father and son would have to return next week for a two-hour test and could not just take up some one else’s turn today.

“But you don’t know how difficult it is for me to get here! Can’t I please just meet Mr. Edhi?” the worried father pleaded, referring to the senior Professor of the Eye ward, who was famous for his expertise. “I just need to get my child’s retina checked please!”

A young father with his innocent son – all he wanted was to make sure his son would not suffer the same fate and lose his sight. We tried to do explain to him that he would have to return the next week, early in the morning, for an appointment. It was impossible not to sympathize with their situation – the father was a government employee as a wireless operator in the police department. His son was in grade one, with a bright and friendly little face.

“I just want to get his retina checked. Okay, I’ll come back next week at 8:30 am. Will you be able to help me please?” the father asked us, hope and worry etched in his tone. We provided reassurances – it was all we could do. A quick on the eye-chart had revealed the son had an astonishingly low visual acuity…6/60 in both eyes. The next test would reveal what had to be done. For now, they had to return with nothing achieved.

“They all want to meet the professor. They don’t want to consult with us,” said a doctor who’d witnessed the scene. He was half-right – patients sometimes focus on one thing only but in this case, I wondered whether doctors (and we students, as future doctors) needed to think about where we were going wrong. True, there were many deserving patients in the hall who were there first but who could help the blind man’s son?

He prayed for us for helping him through but it was him that we should have been thankful to, I now feel. Looking at those two, whose heart could not have melted? The greatest concern that a parent has is the welfare of his or her child and this handicapped father was battling for his son’s eyes.

They hobbled away to the exit – the blind father and his young son, each strengthening the other, making their way through the thick crowd.

(The above took place on 7th August, 2008 at the Eye OPD in Civil Hospital, Karachi. Please pray for the welfare of the the father and son!)

Ramadan Reminders

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