Sunday, May 23, 2010


"And of them are some who listen unto thee. But canst thou make the deaf to hear even though they apprehend not? (42)And of them is he who looketh toward thee. But canst thou guide the blind even though they see not? (43) Lo! Allah wrongeth not mankind in aught; but mankind wrong themselves. (44) And on the day when He shall gather them together, (when it will seem) as though they had tarried but an hour of the day, recognising one another, those will verily have perished who denied the meeting with Allah and were not guided. (45) "
Surah Yunus [ Jonah ] , 10 :42-45

Faith is a gift. A precious gift.
All of us have gone through this phase of sadness in life having to see close friends and relatives who are OK in all aspect except... faith or the lack of it. How tragic.
But this tragedy is not just confined to us mere mortals. Remember even Adam had his Abel and Cain. Noah, despite more than 900 years of preaching, could not persuade his wife and family to join him in faith. Abraham, failed with his father.Abraham's cousin brother, Lot was a total failure with respect to his wife.Even Muhammad could not persuade his 'almost perfect' uncle, Abu Thalib, on his death bed!

So who are we to feel so tragic about our inability to bring 'faith'?
We can try but at the end of the day, Faith is truly a gift from Allah.

On the bright side consider one Leopold Weiss in 'Godless Europe' of 1920's. How a short stint as a journalist in the Middle East, and an indistinct short surah in the Noble Quran, and a very short 'cerebral enlightenment' interwined and forever changed his entire life:

"You are obsessed by greed for more and more
Until you go down to your graves
Nay ,but you will come to know.
Nay ,but you will come to know !
Nay ,if you but only knew it with the knowledge of certainty
You would indeed see the hell that you are in .
In time ,indeed you will see it with the eye of certainty .
On that day you will be asked what you have done with the boon of life ".
Surah 102, from The Glorious Quran

Leopold Weiss was travelling with his wife ,Elsa ,in September 1926 ,in a Berlin subway when he noted a well dressed business man ,with a beautiful suitcase on his kness and a large diamond ring on his hand .It was an upper-class compartment .

" But when I looked at his face ,I did not seem to be looking at a happy face .He appeared to be worried :but not merely worried but acutely unhappy ,with eyes staring vacantly in space and the corners of his mouth drawn in as if in pain -but not in bodily pain...Then I began to look around at all the other faces in the compartment-faces belonging without exception to well dressed ,well fed people :and in almost every one of them I could discern an expression of hidden suffering ,so hidden that the owner of the face seemed to be quite unaware of it "

Shocked by the transformation of a routine train ride into a moral vision ,he shared this experience with his wife ,Elsa .She also looked around with new eyes ,and said ," You are right .They all look as though they were suffering torments of hell...I wonder ,do they know themselves what is going on in them ?".When Leopold returned home ,he chanced upon his copy of The Glorious Quran which has fallen open on the 102nd chapter .The rest was history .

Leopold Weiss went on to become Europe's most famous convert to Islam ,Muhammad Asad .He found in the Quran a voice that addressed the particular obsession of his age [ which is still the obsession at this present 'age' ,despite our intellectuals' pretension to be not just 'post modern' but also 'post contemporary'].

Faith , my friend, is a gift from Allah. A most precious gift. Let us nurture and appreciate this gift.

Dr Nik Howk


RahmatHarounHashim said...

Assalammulaikom Dr Nik,

It's interesting to learn that Abraham unable to convince his father to join his faith, so did Noah with his wife and family and Prophet Muhammad with his uncle. The common dominator in these people and uncertain percentage of present population is lack of VMAT2 gene, faith genes or switches genes for VMAT genes remain closed. Lack of VMAT2 to express from its genotype potential to phenotype manifestation could be responsible such closed relatives of the prophets to appreciate the precious gift; Faith.

Todayys, social ills amongst Muslim Malays are good examples how failure of VMAT2's expression causing zinas and infanticide just like Jahiliah era.

Thank you for free cyber-consultion, I let you know the result of my MRA.


Pearls and Gem said...

I beg to differ Rachmat.

This propensity for contemporary man to put a blame on 'nature'.... a gene for homosexuality/lesbianism, a gene for religiosity/ an old Western game.

At the end of the day,'it is not me or my parents who are responsible, but my preponderance for not going along that arduous, long and STRAIGHT path, is genetic!

We do not really comprehend fate, qadar and qada' thoroughly and fully[...that is the realm of Allah, His ilm, so to speak.. ] but certainly the existence of Hell and Heaven pre-dictate that at the end of the day, FREE WILL does operate.

It must really be an irrational God indeed , to confirmed the existence of these two distinct 'polarity', and at the same time takes away FREE WILL from man.We cannot be too obsessed with the cliche that 'this world is a stage, and that all of us are just actors', acting and following 100% the wims and fancies of the 'Director'.

A God whose universe encompass an ever expanding entity with 35 zeros kilometres in diameter and expandind at 7 zeros kilometres per day, with billion billion stars all put together.....cannot be an irrational god!

If we continue to want to remain deaf, dumb and blind and move around like lost sheep, we are just entirely responsible for our choice!


Anonymous said...

the surah is known as 'alha kummuttakathur' among malay muslims, dr nik.When I was in Edinburgh suffering from failure after failure in the FRCS professional examinations, this surah was a favourite of one sudanese student who became our imam at the new mosque there!..this was in 1987..

RahmatHarounHashim said...

Dear Dr Nik,

My MRA scheduled tomorrow morning is cancelled. The reason given by the radilogist is that I have had the stent implanted. They say not good.
Any specific reason?

Pearls and Gem said...

I like Syed Qutb's short discourse on the surah actually...We 'contemporary man' has lost and sold our soul to crass materialism and secularism so much we only 'realise' our missed opportunity towards spirituality and God Himself only when earth and sand were put in our mouth in that 6' by 2' hole in the ground.By then it is too late...

MRI operates on the basis of a strong magnetic field which would 'align' all your atoms and molecules. Your newly embedded stent is still 'movable in the 1st 3 months or so and if aligned in a strong magnetic field such as MRI, will be catastrophic.

See Rosli, he will do another angiogram and fix your problem rightaway. Angiogram is still the gold standard which will provide the road map for repair such as stenting or bypass shunt in your legs...the rest are still shadow play.Definite road map is still a good abdominal aortic angiogram below the umbilicus

RahmatHarounHashim said...

TQ, Dr Nik.

Pearls and Gem said...


I was watching CNN's Intelligence2 Debate yesterday on my idiot box. They were discussing or rather having a debate on 'Obama's foreign policy directions, whether it is superior or inferior to that 'idiot' from Texas!

The fact that they were having a debate at all was a 'no brainer' to me! That to me is the problem today...a perfect dichotomy of perspective between the West as represented and lead by America and 1.5 billion Muslims on the other side of the 'great cultural divide'.

Interestingly Obama et al wants to drive a wedge between the 'moderates' in Islam and the ' fundamentalists'...that was what I gather. And that I think currently is the West biggest problem.They have an unrealistic perception built on a wrong premise!The West can take a 'leaf' from Fareed Zakaria of Times: That in essence Islam is not divisible...It is a spectrum,,yes..but it is not divisible. Wasington and the bright people of Pentagon should stop playing their 'war games' and change their advisers....they should start addressing the issue of justice and fairness first, then come to the table and talk about World Peace!They should start treating 1.5 billion Muslims with more respect....

That probably is more wholesome and practical. Listen more to your little Fareed from Bombay, Your Excellency, Mr Obama!

Pearls and Gem said...

"And Noah cried unto his Lord and said: My Lord! Lo! my son is of my household! Surely Thy promise is the truth and Thou are the Most Just of Judges. (45) He said: O Noah! Lo! he is not of thy household; lo! he is of evil conduct, so ask not of Me that whereof thou hast no knowledge. I admonish thee lest thou be among the ignorant. (46) He said: My Lord! Lo! in Thee do I seek refuge (from the sin) that I should ask of Thee that whereof I have no knowledge. Unless Thou forgive me and have mercy on me I shall be among the lost. (47) It was said (unto him): O Noah! Go thou down (from the mountain) with peace from Us and blessings upon thee and some nations (that will spring) from those with thee. (There will be other) nations unto whom We shall give enjoyment a long while and then a painful doom from Us will overtake them. (48) This is of the tidings of the Unseen which We inspire in thee (Muhammad). Thou thyself knewest it not, nor did thy folk (know it) before this. Then have patience. Lo! the sequel is for those who ward off (evil). (49) "

The Noble Quran , 11 :45-49