With An Upturned Umbrella Or Without One?

Imagine you have to step out of your house… and it is pouring outside. You either take an umbrella along or don’t carry one at all. And suppose you do carry one, and it turns upside down…

Until a certain age in life, all of us are in our cozy, comfortable homes. Here, I mean that you take what you get, served on a platter. People dictate terms and you accept them and enjoy. Home will be home, schools will be chosen- you get to choose the subjects, picnics will be planned- you get the permission… The time spent at home though, may differ from person to person. Some leave home earlier than usual, some later, but leave home, almost all of us do.

And when the time comes for us to leave home, some carry the umbrella some don’t. An umbrella of hope and expectation. And in our journey along the road, leading to our goals it pours cats and dogs. Your umbrella turns and you face the same wind and rain, just like a person who doesn’t carry one at all.

If you carried one- the umbrella can be turned back down again, at least you had protection while it lasted and what if it just did not have to turn at all!

If you didn’t- Without the umbrella you were still on your way to the goal, saves time and embarrassment, brave the rain like an adventure!

Imagine you have to step out of your house… and it is pouring outside. You either take an umbrella along or don’t carry one at all. And suppose you do carry one, and it turns upside down…

Which one would rather be your case, if one of them had to be?

You Have Thought of It Too!

Destiny– A topic so hot for discussion, I must have heard it at least once every week throughout my life (and it is no exaggeration) . And like the title says, each one of us have (maybe just) once (but) definitely given this a thought.

And especially, in a culture like mine, in India, ‘taqdeer’, ‘qismat’, ‘bhagya’ and such terms are used  all around. And since my stay in the village I have been hearing it all the more often, that wring this article became a compulsion!

When a 19 year old boy failed to clear his standard 10th examination, in the third attempt even (because he did not work hard, of course!), his nani very lovingly said, “uski taqdeer mein nahi hai’- “it’s not in his destiny”.

When a lady had a chance to move to the city with her kids so they would receive good education; she denied, saying, “Now my destiny is here, for I was married here and so, I will live here with my children…hope their kids have better ‘qismat’.

And so on and so forth all day long…

Another very annoying thing that I have heard is by the village men- almost 60 percent of them are jobless- and those that have work such as farms- they don’t work hard enough or have shops, they don’t open for at least 4 days in a week! I don’t know how they fail to realize, even a stupid person could tell they were being lazy.

So, they are lazy, barely work and so barely have money and the comforts money brings along. They live meagerly and very conveniently repeat these lines once everyday for themselves, and for people like me when they are questioned – “this much is our destiny. What God has to give, He will. We are not the greedy types- we have faith in our Lord.”

They say this with the most sincere face, the grave eyes and preachy voice- that anyone who heard would agree. As for me, I would initially sit alone, start reevaluating my wants, priorities, desires…

But now, (and I am grateful for it) I go and add another thing in my list of ‘things- to-do’, every time I hear someone like that, say those line.

I hope I have made it clear what people associate with the word ‘destiny’ here.

Failure, laziness (on the person’s part) = Destiny (blame it on God!)

I know and it is my firm belief (aqeedah) that destiny whether good or bad is from my Lord. I know that success, failure, riches, wisdom and everything I would ever want to achieve is written and I will only get that which is due to me. And none besides my Lord can provide me with it.

But what I am most thankful for is that I do NOT know what is in my destiny. I do not know how much, from where is due to me. I do not know what I will have to go through to achieve it.

And thus, I plan, work, strive and persevere to achieve what’s in my destiny and together also get with it- a meaning, a purpose and satisfaction, that comes along.

As a human, we are born with a great intellect, freewill- how can one live life like the cattle around!? In fact, even the grazing cattle moves to the greener patch in an attempt to get better grass. Sometimes it gets, sometimes it is shooed, but it does go, every time!

As a famous saying goes, “Tie your camel, and have faith in Allah.”

You cannot leave your camel untied for it to stray away and blame destiny for loosing it. If it is not for you, you will loose it either way, but do as a man with some intelligence would and destiny will do what it would.

Here, I am reminded of the joke of the drowning man who refused help saying, “My lord will save me” and drowns; and God says to him, “were those boats and help from someone besides!?”

Exactly my point in a nutshell- Opportunities, youth, strength, intelligence and more were given to us by your Lord. He made this huge planet with all it’s bounties for man. If there are high mountains, it is accompanied by deep valleys. There are green fields and deep oceans. If He really was to put the destined morsel of food in the mouth, why would He create all this? Wouldn’t a flat world with huge walls all around be more apt?

But He did not.

Then why these walls of ignorance all around with laziness at its centre? How can anyone pack their failure away with the card labeled, “Destiny.”??