24 February, 2012

Death of the Comforter

Jesus Said: Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

He’s dead, the teacher and the comforter. If he were alive I’d just sit beside him on the floor get my answers. If he were alive I would spread my plethora of doubts in front of him and he’d resolve them one by one. I have a soft heart; I can blink my eyes throughout the night because people had been judgmental. I have not been empathized with. I have been made to question my own actions. It feels like the toughest thing to decide is what should be done. My sincere confusions, my thoughtful ponders have been labeled as a satanic intrusions and worldly covets. Line of action, which I deducted from careful inspection of texts, meticulous application of logic are seen as nothing more than hasty conclusions and demonic suggestions. If he were alive, I’d have blind confidence, that my actions and decisions won’t be measured with a limited understanding and with unfelt self-interest. He’d be able to give me confidence, because he could analyze my actions in terms of numerous variables that are invisible to normal people. And he couldn’t be wrong, because he was under the divine help. But, he’s dead. And, he didn’t die recently. I am separated from my teacher and comforter by more than thousand years.

Before leaving this world, he did say: “If one of you is afflicted in a calamity, then let him remember his calamity in my death, for indeed, it is the greatest of calamities” [1]. He came to this world as the last messenger and prophet of God. He illuminated the right path. In a short life-span of prophet-hood he deleted the idols from people’s minds; the idols of lust, selfishness, greed, pride, discrimination, polytheism and more. He gave the people a reason to live for and a reason to die for. He was not the only one who did so. He was a part of a series. A series of thousands of Prophets spread over all ages and locations, except this time of ours, because, he was to be the last of his kind. That’s the significance of his demise. He is Muhammad, the most influential man in the history of mankind [2].

At a point in time, he was confused himself. He knew all the wrongs, but was in search of the right. He would spend his time in a dark silent cave. What he didn’t know was that he has already been chosen by God to be ‘the one’. The one to whom all the Socrates of the world could come to quench their thirst. The angel of God came to announce the news one day. He carried out the mission of enlightenment in the remaining years of his life. Against all proofs, for some, he was a mere fake creation of history. For some, he was a liar. Surely, he has been praised the most, and attacked the most. For me, he was most important as a comforter, for he was ‘the one’.  In the loneliest of times, where no one could realize what’s going on in the head and the heart of this non-conformist, he would be ‘the one’ to go to.

Which is the most terrifying loneliness? Is it, when you are separated brutally from the one you love? Is it when you can’t find the care of your mother? Is it when the smile of your spouse is suddenly lost? Is it when you depart your friends whom you unconditionally loved? Or is it when you don’t find anyone around who can give you solace? And solace lies in answers, and answers can be provided by only ‘the one’ who is already dead.

He was sent to this world with a mission. He did complete his mission. And that day God announced: This day have I completed and perfected for you, your religion, and completed My favor on you and chosen for you submission (Islam) as a religion” [3]. A moment of grave importance, when the mystery of the ‘the best way to live’ was unveiled completely. In the times to come, the simple way of life was made a mystery. For centuries words have been put in the mouth of God. In the name of explanation, the word of people has dictated the word of God. What Muhammad left as a group of unified people, has now stretched world wider, but under hundreds of different banners. The very idols of irrationality, discrimination, pride which he came to destroy are now preached in his name. What most people perceive as the religion of God seems to be a collection of thoughts of intellectuals, cultural traditions and the scriptural dictations. The dimensions of life that were left open by God, we have ‘laws’ even for them, and unfortunately as divine rulings.

Human beings adjust and conform by default. We are born pure, and then fed with the perceptions of those around us. The understandings of others are taught to us as ultimate truths. As humans, we learn to conform, and we start wearing costumes of tradition, cultural, social and family values, but we do that in the name of religion. ‘Ordinary’ humans are advised to put rationality aside when understanding religion. Even the most open and dynamic of rules have been made static and rigid. These result in an understanding of religion, where people deem it justified to judge someone based on the length of his beard and pants. And the one, who doesn’t wish to put rationality aside, has to be labeled as a heretic.

I know the ‘catch phrases’ regarding length above have already convinced some of my heresy. So, I iterate it publically: I believe. I believe in the religion of God, the way it was revealed. I believe in every letter of his book. But, I don’t believe in the dictations of those whose minds were finite just like mine. I don’t wish to wear costumes of tradition and culture in the name of religion to become more tolerable. I, as a flag bearer of truth, as a claimer of truth, cannot become a chameleon to camouflage my individuality.

For many, this discussion will be meaningless. They have been so self-annihilated that life has a robotic meaning of growing up, learning, earning and dying. Any form of spiritual discourse is ignorable to them. They fail to ask themselves the basic questions of their purpose in life, and the purpose of this world. Many others would hold on to their stringent beliefs without any rational inspection. People would not even delve into their own scriptures to find the truth. They would continue to carry on the beliefs that they got through their birth without any critical thinking. A true conviction can only spring from doubt. If you never doubted your own beliefs, you are not convinced. I doubted, and I’m convinced and I’m a Muslim still, but not the one who goes with flow. And as long as I live, I’ll continue to doubt, not my belief, but my action.

The comforter will not return to this world. But, I’d surely meet him in the next. So important was his coming that even Jesus Prophesized it. Many fail to realize his mission. Many distort the religion he brought with their limited understandings. And many other fail to recognize him at all. Jesus says:

Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. [4]

And yes, there is another ‘Good News’ that Muslims and Christians share. Jesus will return to this world, but we might not be here to see that and get answers from him. So, let us ask the right questions before it’s too late. One life might not be enough to detangle the mess of ages, but we can hope to get the reward if we try. And without effort, there can surely be no reward.
May God help us all in our voyage to truth! (Ameen)


[1] Saying of Prophet Muhammad. Quoted in Saheeh al-Jami' (a collection of authentic narrations). Narrated by his companions ibn e Mas'ud and Saabit al Jamhe.  Arabic Text:
 إذا أصاب أحدكم مصيبة فليذكر مصيبته بي فإنها من أعظم المصائب

[2] The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History, a book by Michael H. Hart published in 1978. Although, a Christian himself, Michael H. Hart ranked Muhammad as number 1 in this book. 

[3] Holy Qur’an, Surah al Mai’da (5:3)

[4] KJV: Gospel of John 16:7 – and it cannot mean the Holy Spirit because he was there even during Jesus’s time and also because he is one of the three, so how can he be so separated from Jesus that Jesus must leave for him to come?  


  1. mashaAllah very well written

  2. Masha'allah!! I wonder how can someone write so well, that's besides the point. It's a very thought provoking Message.
    May Allah Give us neik hidayat Ameen.

  3. MashaAllah! This is beautifully written!

  4. God bless you, ever! :)

  5. Thank you, brother.
    This is exactly the comforting answers I got through "receiving", after being in a spiritual movement called Subud after almost ten years! You have put them in words which I found difficult to say out.