Comparision of Different Opinions on an Elephant to the difference in understanding of relationship between the Creator and His creation
In a certain country no one had ever seen an elephant. The first elephant that was brought to this country was from India. It was placed in a dark building where one could not see the dark colored elephant. Many viewers came along to see the animal. They were allowed to touch the elephant and then draw conclusions as to what is an elephant. According to the part of the elephant they touched, they drew their conclusions and in this manner, each one had a different opinion.
The one who touched the ears of the elephant exclaimed, “It is like a huge fan.” The one who touched its back exclaimed, “The elephant is like a platform”. The one who touched its leg exclaimed, “No, you are all wrong. This is like a pillar”. The one who touched the trunk of the elephant said, “According to my opinion, this elephant is long and hollow within”. In this manner, all of them had different versions of an elephant.
The above story is a popular folk tale of India . Maulana Rumi (Rahmatullah Alaihe) concludes from this story that if they had a lamp in their hands, all these differences of opinion would have disappeared. “If everyone of them had a lamp in his hand, They would all have been safe from differing”. ( Ma’aarif- e -Mathnawi)
These days there are many differences of opinion regarding the concept of Allah Ta’ala, Messengership, Prophethood, the aim and object of life on earth and the resurrection. Many people, in this darkened world, independent of the light of revelation try to understand the links between the worldly life and the life of the Hereafter. They try to understand the relationship between the Creator and His creation solely through reason. They are all like the people mentioned in this story. Not one of them will be able to reach the truth.
One blind man, whether he tries to tread the path on his own or by following another blind man, in both cases, will head towards destruction and be deprived of reaching the required destination. If the traveler and the guide are both blind – no matter how many they may be, the sum total will still be blindness. Hence, to understand the reality of things, logic and reason alone is not enough. The Light of revelation is also required. In the story all those who touched the elephant, were rational beings, the only thing missing was light. Thus, Muslims should not look towards men of science and philosophy to research the affairs of the Hereafter and fix the object of human life on earth. Those men of science and philosophy lack the light of revelation and as such, they will conclude that man is just a machine which manufactures feces. They will conclude that the object of this life is merely to eat, drink and defecate – nothing else.
The light to which we refer is Divine Revelation, it is the Holy Quran and the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (Sallellaho Alaihe Wasallam). The very light which was revealed in the Cave of Hira, fourteen centuries ago. May Allah Ta’ala protect us from any modern light. “O new light, may your face be blackened. In your heart is darkness and your outside is enlightened”.
- Sometimes People may seem us crazy for how we see things . Relationships are often destroyed by repeated episodes of not feeling understood and the assumptions that follow. Perchance it is time to admit there is a bigger picture and the truth is larger than what we can grasp. When we approach communication with this in mind, it leads to patience and compassion for others.
- If Allah has given you hidayah,hold on to the rope of Allah swt .There are so much Islamophobia in this World that People will definitely say different things.Don’t let your Imaan Weaken.
The Reason why I am Sharing this story today is because in this time of trials where Muslims are attacked by all sides we need to stand firm in our belief . We are lucky that Allah gave us hidayah don’t let your Imaan Weaken . This is specially for our reverts brother and Sisters who are facing hate speech in their own home and work place . May Allah help all of us against the trials of the time . Lots of dua for the Ummah .