The other day I was reading the Holy Quran as I came across an Ayah in surah Al HAJJ, 22:31, it says, “……And he who associates with Allah – it is as though he had fallen from the sky and was snatched by the birds or the wind carried him down into a remote place”. Initially I did not think too deepply about it. But a hint registered in my mind which played with other ideas without taxing me in my routine (and boring) works.
After reading the above ayah, a picture of a bird was sketched in the back of my mind. A bird with very sharp eye sight, majestic wings, gliding, sliding, sweeping down and scaling up, its speed fluctuating freely. The bird never got tired, it had energy, vigor, spirit, freshness, liveliness, an endless desire to float. What a truly remarkable animal, hovering between the sky and the earth.
I began to draw a story. One day, an eagle was flying high up in the sky. It was travelling over the mountains, seas, forests, villages and plain green fields. It saw the conditions of the earth below, how one place was different from another. It could see the wonderful colors of creation below. Whenever the bird felt hungry, it used its highly sophisticated radar vision system to pinpoint the location of a creature. The bird never targetted anything dead or something which belonged to another bird. It hunted its prey and remained sincere to its lofty ideals.
The poor little prey was always clueless. Its life was dictated by one simple principle, work, work, work. It could never look up in the sky to observe the movement of birds. It did not have any intention to look anywhere other than the ground either. There was only the threat of winter chill and supply shortage in its mind. Thats all that bothered the poor thing, food, storage and survival. When the bird swooped down on it there was nothing to do. It surrendered to the superior creature.
As I was taking my kids to school, I happened to ask an unusual question. Kids, do you want to be like a bird in the sky or like an insect on the ground? The answer was unanimous – BIRD. Who would want to be an insect, which is a prey to the bird. Besides, the bird can fly high, it has wings, it looks beautiful in any position. It stands for those qualities which man dreams for himself, freedom, liberty, courage, pride and honor. The Quranic ayah began to sink in me all the more, forcing me to link the comparisons in the ayah with our lives. Are we living like a proud bird or a shameful insect?