The Lighted Lamp in the marketplace



Aha! A Conflict!

Let’s embrace this opportunity to get to know each other……………………..
     Jalaluddin Rumi (rahmatullah alaihe) in his famous Mathnavi tells of a man who took a lighted lamp during the day and proceeded to the marketplace.
Someone asked him, “What is wrong with you? What need is there for a lamp during the light of day?”
He replied, “I am searching for man everywhere. I do not see even one man.”
The person said: “But this market is filled with men.”
The man replied, “No, there are no men in this market, only the outer forms of men. These are only bread-eaters and persons involved in their own desires. All the persons you see in this market are all carriers of attributes contrary to true manhood”
IMAGINE THAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     All of us are products of Hazrat Adam (alaihis salaam), the first man, who was created out of a mixture of all the different types of soil on the earth. Ask any farmer and he would tell you of the differences that can exist in the soil in terms of texture, colour, vegetation, yields and so on.  As such, each of us would not only have faults and shortcomings but each of us is also different in some way or another.
     In spite of the fact that we are different, every single one amongst us looks for perfection in our dealings with each other. We totally forget that we are not masoom (sinless) angels made of light but we are the progeny of Hazrat Adam (alaihis salaam). It is therefore only natural that conflict would occur. The challenge however is not the fact that there are problems and conflicts but the most important point is how we as individuals and Muslims deal with these problems and conflicts with others around us.
      Unfortunately most of us do not realize that conflicts provide an opportunity for us to develop greater interaction amongst ourselves. Many of us become angry to the extent that we sometimes attack the other person’s character. Or worse yet, we begin to hate that person and forget the actual problem.
    But, perhaps we should stop for a minute and consider what Allah Azza Wa Jal says in the Holy Qur’an,
                    ‘We have indeed created man in the best of moulds,
                    Then do we abase him (to be) the lowest of the low’ (95: 4-5)
Do we really wish to become the “lowest of the low?” Rather than that, we could explore alternatives such as:-
  • §  Being hard on the problem but soft on the person and their character
  • §  Focusing on what needs to be done and not our positions on the issues
  • §  Emphasizing common ground between persons
  • §  Being inventive/innovative about  options that could be considered
  • §  Making clear agreements about solutions preferably with available witnesses
    And we should also consider that:
          It is not permissible for a man to forsake his Muslim brother for more than three days, each of them turning away from the other when they meet. The better of them is the one who gives the greeting of salaam first.”(Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5727; Muslim, 2560).
And also:
           ‘On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), who said that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah will say on the Day of Resurrection: ‘Where are those who love one another through My glory? Today I shall give them shade in My shade, it being a day when there is no shade but My shade.'” [Bukhari (also by Malik).]’
     In the final analysis, the key to our stay here on this earth is to please that Allah Aza Wa Jal who has given us life for a time and will call us back to account for our deeds.

So a person who is fit to be called a ‘man’ created in the ‘best of moulds’ according to the story from the Mathnavi is one who becomes adorned with deeds and character which lead to the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala. That Allah Ta’ala who wishes us to love one another for His glory, not our gratification.

     So the next time there is a conflict…………………
     Embrace the opportunity to learn about one another;
     Forget petty differences! Because we are all different…………………..
     Why do we do this!


Because, just perhaps, by making allowances for Allah’s creation, He may just forgive us for all our misdeeds and have mercy on us when we stand before Him with our arms outstretched on that great day to answer for our deeds here in this dunya.

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