Monday, October 3, 2011

The Silent Neighbours

بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم
In the Name of Allah the Most Gracious and the Most Merciful

Who knew a 10-minute walk alone to your hostel could reveal so many insights.

The Silent Neighbours

One step at a time, I walked on.

One lesson at a time, did the silent neighbours taught me.

Standing there, not moving an inch. Never, moving an inch. Yet they contribute tremendously to the balance of life on this earth.

"Haaa...hoo. Haa..hoo. Haa..hoo."

The "haa-hoo" sound happens because of them. My lungs expand because of the oxygen they produce fills the space of every single alveolus in the two sacs.

As I passed by the silent neighbours, they did another amazing job.

They collected my waste and turned it into something useful. The carbon dioxide gas which I puffed out every few seconds, became their "pot of gold"! Yes, my waste was very valuable to them, completing the photosynthesis process and producing food!


My lacrimal sac swelled...and yet, the silent neighbours hasn't had enough! Many lessons still await me!

The weather was hot, so I looked down. Under the shade of a maroon umbrella, I saw more silent neighbours.

There they were, quiet and still. Never moving, never speaking. Unless when my species give them a kick. Or a throw. Then, they would go the distance. Then, they would go, "Clang!" or "Tup-tup-tup". Other than that, they were speechless, not a syllable ever uttered.

Nobody cared about them. Nobody ever wondered what happened to them. 

Yet, they are the very foundations on which we stand tall. The very foundations on which we built our homes, the very foundations with which we built our homes.

Where minerals are found. Where the sea cannot reach us. On which we travelled and see the world.

It is the world.


My kind

Today, the silent neighbours taught me, how close, yet so far away are my kind and theirs.

They are silent while we talk. Debate. Argue.

They are still while we travel. Discover. Have adventures.

But tell me now, my dear friends, who is the better 'person'? Who is the better kind?

Why don't we listen to what our silent neighbours have to 'say'...

While they are silent and obedient to their Creator, we humans wreak havoc on earth. Trees photosyntesized according to how their Creator had commanded them. The rocks and soil stayed still and exert gravity, just as their Lord (Rabb) told them to. They followed all the natural laws which we call physics.

But us?

We destroyed natural wildlife habitats with our greed for more land and resources. 

We polluted once clear rivers and oceans with our uncaring attitude. 

We poisoned humans and earth with radioactive waste. 

We release unto the air the high amounts of toxic fumes as a result of industrial advancements.

We murdered and butchered our own kind through our lust for power and dominance.

We created waste, while the silent neighbours clean up after us, thanks to the laws of Allah.

Now tell me...who is the better kind?

(Head droops)

I stopped. Dead in my tracks. Shame in my heart.

To the silent neighbours. And to Allah Taala.

Sometimes I wish, I was like you. At times I wish, my kind would be half as obedient as you, o silent neighbours.

We share the same land. We live the same life. Yet, we differ in our choices.

You were not given a choice. You were made to serve man. الله سخر لكم (Allahu sakkhara lakum = Allah has made these creatures subservient to you, o humans)

You were made to serve us.

We, on the other hand, are given a choice. To obey or to stray.

But you, o silent neigbours, I feel deep in my heart, are above us many times over, in Allah's view.

For all of you obey, while most of us stray.

لَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الإِنْسَانَ فِي أَحْسَنِ تَقْوِيمٍ. ثُمَّ رَدَدْنَاهُ أَسْفَلَ سَافِلِينَ
 "Verily We created man in the best of forms. Then, We return them to the lowest form there is." {rough translation}
(Surah at-Tin 95th Surah, verse/ayat 4-5)

Mankind may be created as the best of creatures mandated as caliph of this earth...but it seems to me, that the silent neighbours deserved it more than we do.

For their silence is the mark of taat(obedience) and taqwa(fear of God) to Allah, while our actions are signs of arrogance and forgetfulness towards Allah.

And so I would like to emulate my silent neighbours. 

Though our roles differ. Though our worlds are apart. We are...but the same creation of the same One God.

If your tasbih, tahmid, takbir and tahlil is your silent obedience, then mine will be;

"سبحان الله الحمد لله ولآ إله إلاّ الله الله أكبر"

Ya Allah (O Allah), may you forgive me and my kind for all the atrocities we have and continued to commit. For You are al-Ghofur and ar-Rahim (the Most Forgiving and the Most Merciful). Guide us to siratol mustaqim (the straight path). Guide us towards being a good caliph, so that we do not shame ourselves in front of You, and in front of our silent neighbours. Ameen, ya Rabb al-`Alamin.


Muhammad Haneef Azme said...

The Silent Neighbours was an inspired writing Sis..keep it up!

:) amiir.ah said...


Oh, what a great point of view! Amazing article! :)

Thank you, kak timi. You just taught me to view the world in a different perspective - widen your horizon and dig deeper!

Diana Zainal said...

Sgt inspired!~ Thank you!

Visitor fr Aussie.
:D :)