Monday, November 8, 2010

The spirit of the WARRIOR

Years ago, I cherished a dream of being a warrior. The stories of Nuh (Noah), Musa (Moses), Ibrahim (Abraham), Isa (Jesus), Aadam (Adam), etc. peace be upon them all, has always fascinated and inspired me. They fought not just against bad but also established path for truth and intellectuality. One of my favourites was, how Ibrahim (Peace be upon him) asks his father, who was an idol seller, about how the idol that cannot protect itself, be the God of this creation. Later, he destroys the idols and finds the true God. However people refuse to agree to his ideas and decide to throw him in the burning fire. When he was just about to be thrown in the fire, Jibrael (Gabriel, an angel) tries to protect him, for which Ibrahim (Peace be upon him) questions Jibrael whether Allah has sent him. Jibrael says, he has come on his own and Allah hasn’t sent him. Ibrahim (Peace be upon him) refuses to take the help of Jibrael. Ibrahim (Peace be upon him) was convinced that, Allah’s help would arrive and the heat of fire would do no harm to him. In my opinion, that’s the true WARRIOR spirit. No matter what the situation is, one shouldn’t give up hope on God. God’s delays his help to test, but ultimately the help would arrive. The greatness of Ibrahim (Peace be upon him) or for that matter all the great warriors that have existed, is that, they believed that God’s help would arrive and never gave up.

We all are born with the spirit of warrior, however, the survival of that spirit depends on the decisions we make in life. Life, somehow, throws up a situation, where nothing appears possible. That’s when the true spirit of warrior comes into picture. Many of us, give-up and choose an alternate path. But few show conviction that, God’s help would arrive. 80 years back, an Albanian Nun came to India with a dream of providing the shelter to millions of homeless people and she was convinced that God’s help would arrive. It was the true warrior within her, that shaped her conviction about God’s help. She wasn’t rich… she didn’t have people… yet, she believed that God’s help would arrive. And indeed God’s help arrived… from little known Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, she became Mother Teresa.

Such is the power, in believing that God’s help would arrive. Merely having the spirit of Warrior isn’t enough. A warrior relentlessly fights against bad. The fight is not against bad people… but it is against cause. Ibrahim (Peace be upon him) fought against falsehood, Mother Teresa fought against poverty, Galileo fought against ignorance… A warrior always fights for a cause…

I feel incredibly blessed to have parents, who shaped my dream. I must have been about 2 years old, when my father told me the life incidents of not just prophets such as Ibrahim, Nuh, Musa, Isa, Mohammed (peace be upon them all) but also about several great people who existed on this planet. I don’t know whether, they (my parents) meant to create this dream within me… but it somehow got created. While growing up, I was a lost in the windless of ignorance and wrong-pursuits… but the days of adolescence reconstructed that dream and put forward a cause that I need to fight for. But the question remains, do I have that spirit of warrior? Do I have that unparalleled conviction that God’s help would arrive?

Some say you got to be chosen by God to succeed in life. I believe, we all are chosen. It is our actions that decide whether we retain the hand of God over our head or not. I know, I have done nothing special in life… in fact, I find myself in the pits of sins and ignorance. Sometimes, I cry for death and forgiveness … sometimes I find I have already broken the bond between God and me. But there are times, I realize, nothing breaks the bond between God and His devotee. Little things in life, remind that there is still time to purify the soul and walk on the path of wisdom. The warrior within is still not lost. I am trying to perfect myself. I am not yet there… but I shall be there soon. I am going through the phase of purification. Something within me, says, the Allah’s help would soon arrive.

Being a Muslim and an Indian gives me a unique cause to fight for. Centuries ago, Indians walked on this planet as the most powerful race. Not just we contributed the highest GDP of the world… but we also showed unprecedented inclination towards science. But as it happens often in history, the divide among people led to decline of India. Today, only the ruins remain. Recently, at International Congress of Mathematicians, someone questioned me, ‘what’s the point in discovering zero, if you become one?’ I didn’t have an answer for him. In last 100 years, none of the Indians have contributed anything worthwhile in the field to mathematics to win a Field’s medal. In last 100 years, we have got less than 10 Nobel prizes for our contribution to advancement of human excellence. We have million excuses and thousand reasons to convince ourselves that we are not at fault. So, what should I reply to him? He was a mathematician and he wanted an answer that is based on numerical proof.

And then, being a Muslim in 21st century has its own set of challenges. In last two years, I have been on short business visits to nations of three different continents and I very well know the opinion of different people about Islam and its followers. Similar to Indian race is the story of Islam/Muslims. When Islam arrived, it took the world by a storm. We conquered continents and Islam rapidly spread to every region of the world. The Islamic Golden age began. Baghdad became the hub of scientific discoveries and intellectual conferences. It bridged the gap between east and west… and initiated, what I would like to call, the true scientific revolution. Undoubtedly, Al-Hazen is called as the world’s first true scientist. But, as it often happens in history, the decline of Islam happened as the followers of Islam became disconnected from teachings of Islam. Today, every Muslim is seen as a potential terrorist, someone who would cause damage to the society and innocent life. I understand, we have been used by nations to fight proxy wars and lot of injustice has been done. However, our actions have been completely against the teachings of Islam. Terrorism is neither an invention of Islam nor it is allowed.

My cause is to change the mind-set of the people towards my race and religion. The cause is to bring the glory back to my nation and religion. The cause is to earn respect for my nation and religion. And why I want to do it? I have a very simple answer and that is ‘I can do it’. And I know my path won’t be easy. There are numerous challenges and barriers. Yet, the spirit of warrior within me says, God’s help would arrive and the cause shall succeed.

Now, you might ask, why am I writing this all down? Why don’t I first succeed and then say all this? There are two reasons why I have written this down. While, I have high conviction that God’s help would arrive but I also know, I am much distorted human being. I have committed grave mistakes and as I said I am still going through the phase of purification. If at all, I fail to succeed for some reason, I don’t want the cause to remain unknown and unachieved. I want people to fight for this cause in parallel along with me. Someone among us would receive the God’s help and the cause would succeed. The reason two is, I want the people around me to understand, that whatever I am doing, I doing it with a vision. I want them to trust me and hold on to me, until the help of God arrives. It’s going to be very difficult and I know, it’s ambitious and virtually impossible. I wish to say, stay by my side… even if I don’t reach my destination…this journey itself is going to be worthwhile.

Our actions echo for centuries, if they are done at right time and the right way. This is undoubtedly the right time and I believe I have found the right way. The spirit of warrior says me, Allah’s help would soon arrive and the cause shall succeed.

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