Which Way To Go?


There is a pleasing teaching story from Korea of a Zen master and his disciple. The master took him to the bank of a stream that flowed between rocks. There he finished a tiny paper vessel and floated it on the water. He told his footman to follow the vessel and report back to him about its journey. The footman trotted along the bank of the stream and watched the little vessel roving the current, dodging between the rocks until it finally vanished around a bend. When he returned, the master asked him, ‘What did you see?’

‘I saw the vessel as it raced on the current, roving the waves. It was so exciting.’

‘What else did you see?’

‘Nothing else,’ pronounced the disciple, nonplussed about what he may have missed seeing.

‘What did the vessel do when it came to a stone in the stream?’

‘It went around the rock,’ pronounced the disciple.

‘What would have happened if it had tried to mangle the rock?’

‘It would have failed.’

‘And its tour would have ended. But the stone would still have been there. Think, what was the purpose of the boat? To float the tide and see the universe or get concerned with a stone that is going nowhere?’

Today, we Muslims, worldwide are like the boat, trying to mangle the rocks which seem to retard the thoroughfare instead of seeking a way around them. The way around the stone is always there, but infrequently needs a little seeking.

In another essay we have described what we trust is happening with Islam and Muslims, globally. we would advise you take a mangle here and review that article.


We must remember that the story of nations is like the call of the ocean. It rises and falls and rises again, only to tumble again. Permanence is not a materialisation of this world, yet humankind has evermore squandered its time in trying to find it. Be that leisure from death privately or a bequest that will be everlasting. What we Muslims are going by now is conjunction new nor the last time we will see this. This happened before and it will occur again. What happened before and what will occur again is also the tallness of civilization, power, change and the event to advantage the world. How we use that will foreordain how prolonged we will have that opportunity. History taught me two lessons:

  1. Only those who advantage others sojourn while those who take for themselves from others, will be removed.
  2. When we don’t learn from story we are cursed to repeat it.

I am mentioning this some-more as a premonition about what we must do, going forward, to get the vessel out of the tray in the sea and back on the arise of the wave. In the trough, all that you can see are the large low blue seas around you, any adequate to engulf and penetrate you a thousand times. Terrifying, depressing, despair.

On the arise you float the large blue and see the horizon, the shoreline and safety, while racing towards it with the breeze in your hair and the sea froth flecking your brow. Exhilarating, exciting, hope. In one situation, the appetite of the sea seems to be your enemy, focussed on destroying you. In the other it is holding you to your goal, ancillary you and using its large force to drive you forward.

In reality, zero changed in the ocean. It is the same ocean, the same waves with the same power. What changed is the position of your boat. In one situation, the appetite of the waves is a fatal danger. In another it is an asset, support and your ground power. We don’t control the ocean. But the vessel is ours. The one who tries to control the sea and despairs at his own nullity is organisation to perish. While the one who focuses on his vessel and tries to use the force of the sea to his advantage always succeeds. That is since they say, ‘There are no auspicious winds; only good sailors.’ The choice is ours, for the vessel is ours and we are in it. So, let us learn how to cruise and enjoy the ride.

This essay is in the inlet of a heart to heart – Gharkibaat, apno say. We are the vessel and are in the boat. It is for us to draft the own march and use the hurdles that face us to spin stronger, some-more certain and some-more profitable for all those around us.

I bottom my row about the probability of success of what we am going to introduce also on some investigate formed information which we know as the ‘Butterfly Effect in Chaos Theory’. The Butterfly Effect of Chaos Theory is not singular to weather. It affects us in all aspects of life. It talks about the stress of the smallest movement and its ability to have a surpassing global impact, yet this may not be apparent at first.  It is the waving of the wings of the moth in New Mexico which creates the hurricane in China; both figuratively and actually.You can review some-more about that here:

What is Chaos Theory?

Islam is the name of a practice. Not a law or theology. Like Judo only the one who practices it can advantage from it. Islam is not associated to any sold race, nationality or country; anyone who practices Islam will advantage from it. we start with this matter to conclude what being Muslim means. It means you use what you confess to trust and face the music that goes with it. Some of that music is very pleasant, generally from those you hold and correlate with. Those who know you by name and face. But from the rest who don’t know you and for whom the difference ‘Muslim’ and ‘Islam’ have been demonized, the music you face is not very nice, to put it politely. There is an old adage, ‘Give a dog a bad name and hang him.’ It means that the bad dog didn’t do anything to be hanged but was the victim of a media campaign against him. Dogophobia got him and he was hanged. That is what those who spend their time and income behind demonizing Islam seem to wish to do. Islamophobia is a multibillion dollar attention which like the pre-World War II, anti-Semitism of Germany and Europe is run by those who are trying to make grain while the intent shines.

The good thing about bad times is that they strengthen you. The blow that doesn’t mangle your back only creates you stronger. In that context, we suspicion it would maybe be useful to share some thoughts. None of this is easy. But zero worth having is easy. Today we are quick reaching a theatre where the choices are sought to be singular some-more and more. All the some-more reason to act with trust and after vicious suspicion to safeguard that we sojourn protected and effective. Here’s what we trust we Muslims need to do.

  1. Never react. Always respond. Reacting means that you are the puppet and your strings are in someone else’s hand. They have your remote control and press the buttons and you dance to their tune. A puppet can never be his own master unless he cuts the strings. So, never react.
  2. Always respond. But respond after vicious suspicion to the consequences of responding. Ask, ‘Does this need a response? If so, how?’ Remaining wordless is also a response and many times, the many absolute one. There are many examples of Gandhiji’s responses in the face of good provocation. Once someone wrote a very prolonged and very violent minute to him. When the minute was delivered to him, Gandhiji review it and private the paper clip that held the pages together and threw the pages into the rubbish bin. The person who gave him the minute asked, ‘Aren’t you going to reply?’ Gandhiji showed him the paper clip that he was holding and said, ‘I have taken what was profitable in the letter. Thank you.’
  3. Remember that patience takes some-more strength of impression to use than reacting. The strongest person is one who can sojourn ease in the face of provocation. However, this won’t occur automatically and must be cultivated. Like physique building, it is very unpleasant at first, but once you get the hang of it, you comprehend that there are few pleasures some-more beguiling than to see the disappointment of your competition when you exclude to arise to his bait.
  4. Restraint comes from confidence. Confidence in yourself and what you trust in. Confidence that you don’t need anyone’s capitulation to trust what you do and to live by that belief. Confidence comes from knowledge, so it is essential for Muslims to learn about their religion. As we said, Islam is the name of a practice. Practice but bargain can also give you some benefit, but if you use with understanding, the advantages are multiplied, one of which is gaining confidence. The other is the ability to respond reasonably when the need arises. Apologetic Muslims are no good to man or beast. They live in fear and pervert others with it. As Jesus is reported to have said, ‘The law shall set you free.’ (John 8:32). Learn the law about Islam so that you can use it with confidence.
  5. Understand that strangeness enables stereotyping and having a face to a name is the best counterclaim against it. It is not probable to hatred or assail someone you know privately and have had good practice with. we learnt this doctrine very early in life and used it with good success in some of the many antagonistic and adversarial situations in government kinship agitations in Guyana and India. we was in the center of several very moving situations, surrounded by armed kinship members, but was never in the smallest risk privately since for me, every one of them had a name and a story with me. They knew it and we knew it. we was not a stranger.
  6. This is not a tactic. It is something you do out of your own faith and value system. You are good to people since that is who you are and how you have been raised. Not to get something out of them. It is not a manipulative technique. Let me advise you in allege that if you try to manipulate, you will fail. People see by it and the greeting is much worse. Values, not PR strategies, must drive behavior. Be good to people since that is what Islam teaches us. Help people since that is what Islam teaches us. Stand up for the oppressed since that is what Islam teaches us. Give some-more than what is due and concentration on value in all you do, since that is what Islam teaches us. You do it since Islam teaches you to do it. Others will conflict to it since you did it. Eliminate strangers by expelling strangeness; make friends. It takes very little, a smile, remembering a name, listening with empathy, walking a little way with them to help them in their time of need. The results are profound. The best enrich we perceived from one of my many Hindu friends when articulate about the effects of Islamophobia was when she pronounced to me, ‘Yawar bhai, when anyone says the word ‘Muslim’, we see your face.’
  7. Sad to contend that despite all this, Islamophobia has taken its fee and there are some relations which seem to have left green for no reason other than that people chose to trust fake promotion instead of asking themselves a elementary question, ‘Which Muslim do we know, who is like this?’ Strangely people who have lived with us, literally in the homes, who have eaten and trafficked with us, whose children are like the own, shared good and bad times with us and have never had a singular disastrous trust have still selected to spin a cold shoulder to decades old friendship. Why they did that is a poser to me but one that we have selected to leave in its place. There is too much to do, to spend time and appetite wondering since someone chose to walk away, when we know with sum certainty that there is zero that we did to induce that reaction. Sadly, the domestic promotion that seems to have engulfed us globally has taken its toll. To accept detriment is a partial of flourishing up.

So, here’s my solution.

If we was asked to conclude in one word, the problem of Muslims and Islam, we would contend it is ‘image’. It is since of this that the ‘Opposition’ has been means to plan us into the space of the ‘Other’, to be hated, maligned, demonized and destroyed. Not that they can do it, but they can try and that is unpleasant enough. This is probable since we are comparatively unknown, not accepted and a poser to many people. Add to this the resourceful and mostly twisted projection of disastrous things from the enlightenment of some Muslim countries as being aspects of Islam and we finish up with the disaster that we are in. The greeting of many of us, interjection to the own stupidity about Islam as good as about conflicting cultures and societies, is to feel ‘guilty’ and ‘ashamed’ of the own sacrament and to try to answer the accusations possibly by apropos apologetic or by reacting aggressively. Both, generally the latter, are unpropitious to the own means and play into the hands of those whose aim is to attract us into observant or doing things to ‘hang’ ourselves. The fact that we don’t read, have no bargain about vicious meditative and analysis, have no toleration for the conflicting perspective and have no effective media or means of communication, creates the pursuit easy for those who aim us.

Therefore, the element plea is really utterly simple; change the image.

It is a common copout strategy to ‘globalize’ issues which apparently legitimizes the inaction in trying to solve them. ‘How can we solve such a large problem? After all we am one person.’ But as Mother Teresa said, ‘If you can’t feed a hundred people, feed one.’ Localizing the problem unexpected creates it probable for any one of us to minister and by that contribution, we can have a global impact. Action and only movement produces results. So, we need to act.

My law in consulting as good as life is to try to find solutions that are simple, easy to know and teach, doable by everybody and wanting little or no outmost resources or training. These are the best solutions for they have the ability to proliferate fastest. Another thing that encourages me forever is the ‘Lily pad problem’; A lily pad grows so that any day it doubles its distance (area). On the 20th day of its life, it totally covers the pond. On what day of its life was the pool half covered? I am certain you can theory the answer. There is a difficult way to solve this problem but the simplest is to note the word – doubles in distance any day. We are articulate about tiny changes that together can change the world. On the 19th day, the pool is only half covered with lily pads and that doesn’t demeanour like much. But on the 20th day you arise up to the fact that the pool is totally covered and all you can see are the lily pads.

To change the image, which is required for us to get out of the position of the ‘Global Other’ we must use the old adage: ‘Think global, act local.’

I consider we have explained the global issue in adequate detail. Let us see what the internal movement must be.

Muslims are ostensible to be 20% of the global population. This means that for every Muslim, there are 4 people who are not Muslim. This means that the global picture problem, at a internal level, can be tangible as the opinions of 4 people. That means that all that we need to do is to convince 4 people, that we am the best thing that happened in their lives. Win the hearts of 4 people. Not more. Just four. Convince by my behavior, since people listen with their eyes. They don’t caring what you say, until they see what you do. It is the personal trust of any other that we use to form the opinions, including the stereotypes and prejudices. When these stereotypes and prejudices come face to face with personal petrify experience, they warp divided in the light of gifted truth.

A flare doesn’t light up a room by doing anything to the room. It lights it up simply by vital its purpose and lighting itself up. If the room needs some-more light, the flare just browns brighter until all dark is driven from the room. Darkness has no existence of its own. It is the name given to the deficiency of light. Lamenting about dark won’t drive it away. Lighting a singular flare will.

That is my row and that is my solution.

As you review this, we am certain there will be many who will say, ‘This is not simple. It is simplistic. It is too elementary to work. How can the solution to such a large problem be so simple? How is it probable that we can solve the problem of being in the position of the ‘Global Other’, but a Muslim UN, owning global media channels, bringing all Muslims of every form together on one platform, formulating a absolute global care which every Muslim will obey…I can list all the supposed grand strategies that we hear all the time but won’t rubbish your time here. All we have to contend is, ‘How many of those grand strategies worked?’ That needs no answer. That is the problem with grand strategies; in their source is their demise. They are all still innate since they are too complex, need too many resources and are too open to opposition.

A elementary strategy like what we have suggested has the following strengths:

  1. Needs no resources
  2. Can be finished by anyone
  3. Needs no training or specialized trust or special time out of your day
  4. Will show evident results – present feedback
  5. Nobody can intent to it since nobody will intent to good coming their way

So, what are you watchful for? At worst, even if the strategy fails to bring about global change, you will still have 4 people who trust that you are the best thing that happened to them in their lives. Now what’s so bad about that?

I wish to finish with the pleasing word of Barbara Winters who said, ‘When you come to the finish of the light of all that you know and are about to step off into the dark of the unknown, faith is to know that one of two things will happen; there will be something organisation to mount on or you will be taught how to fly.’

Now that you have come to the finish of this article, go and be good to someone. Go on! What are you watchful for? Just do it.

There are two kinds of people in the world: Those who try to attain and those who tell you since they never tried. It is the choice who we wish to be.

Mirza Yawar Baig is formed in Hyderabad, India and is the founder and President of Yawar Baig Associates; an general care consulting organization. He can be reached at yawar@yawarbaig.com

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