Prophet Moses once roamed to a cliff and found a man praying with rare devotion and enthusiasm. Holding his Holy Staff, and pleased to see the scene, Moses went aboard to listen to the prayers of the old man.
Startled and enraged, he almost thrashed the poor old man on hearing the prayers. “Blasphemy, blasphemy,” he shouted at the top of his voice. The old man was intently talking to his God as if talking to the love of his life, narrating vows one takes in matrimonial ceremonies.
Moses could not fathom the way this old peasant was addressing God. “O God, I wish you were here. I would kiss your cheeks, comb your hair, and wash your feet. I would dress you beautiful and love you the most. I would treat you better than my most beloved lambs. I would spend my days and nights caring for you,” the old man prayed. And these were not the prayers Moses had expected while climbing up the lofty cliff.
“Blasphemy, blasphemy,” he shouted at the top of his voice, raising his Holy Staff, to intimidate the beggar.
Filled with fear, the “blasphemous” old fool crouched under an elevated stone. Trembling, and shimmering, he begged for forgiveness. With tears in his eyes, he prayed to Prophet Moses, “O Moses of Allah, please teach me to pray.”
Moses held down his staff and toned down his voice. He taught the poor peasant, a prayer or two; and went on with his walk.
On that night, God talked to Moses, in a tone He had never done before. God talked to Moses and told him to repent, for he had no right to scold an old man. Moses fearfully told God what he had heard. He told God that he could not bear such talks of vile detested blasphemy towards God.
God turned down Moses’s claim by chanting, “O Moses, you misunderstand his prayers. His talks might seem blasphemous to you. To Me, they were but, sweet blasphemy.”
Hurried to the cliff, Moses went to see the man. Still aloft, on the cliff, he was praying. Moses climbed up the cliff but to find a sad sight. The man was praying, and mumbling in despair. He struggled in remembering the prayers Moses had taught. He feared God more now, more than he loved.
This brought Moses down as he climbed up the cliff. With his Staff in his hand, he stepped near the man. “Old man, you are loved. You are loved by Allah. Halt these words, and pray as you did. Your words are dear to Allah more than these. You need not murmur, the word I taught.”
Happy and glad, the man opened his arms and welcomed the love that he had for Allah.
Like Moses, all men of staff need to learn this fact. Your staffs do not give you the right to dictate love, patriotism, or journalistic ethics. If you really want to play prophet in statecraft, do it within your own bounds. Let not your views dictate others’ love. Let us not instigate fear, in place of love. Let us be wise, compassionate, understanding, and patient.
If you want to play prophet in statecraft, do it within your own bounds. Let not your views dictate others’ love.
There are numerous ways to climb up a cliff. If one does not follow your path, it does not mean that he or she has a different goal in mind. We all love Pakistan, no matter what uniform we decide to wear. ( Edited by Mamoona Shakoor)