The period of Fiqh (Shar’i rulings) was ongoing in the 4th class of Jami’a-tul-Madinah. When the lesson finished, students requested the honourable teacher, ‘There are still few minutes before the start of the next period. Therefore, teach us a bit from “the book of life” too.’ The honourable teacher started speaking in his own unique way:
A professor had written so many books; his neighbour bought a rooster who would make noise all the time. The professor started to get bothered with the noise of the rooster. Within a few days, the situation became so problematic that as soon as he heard the noise of the rooster, all his thoughts would get dispersed and it also proved to be a hindrance in his study and literary works. When the professor politely complained to the neighbour, he ignored him saying, ’It is an animal. It doesn’t ask me before making sound. How shall I stop it?’
The professor returned from there, disappointed. Now, his state was such that even if the rooster would not make any sound, still its sound would ring in his ears. One morning, the professor thought of a strange and astonishing tactic to get rid of the rooster’s noise. He gave money to his servant asking him to go to the neighbours and buy the rooster from them at whatever price they demand. Thereafter, slaughter it and cook it for the afternoon. On the other hand, the professor also invited one of his friends over for food. After sorting the rooster out, he started to feel fresh.
There was still a while in the lunch time, so he engaged himself in his literary works. Today, he didn’t have the stress of the rooster, hence, he performed his literary works peacefully after many days and wrote many pages within a short time.
His friend also arrived at 1 o’clock. When the professor told him about the tactic of getting rid of the rooster, he too smiled out of amazement. The servant served food and both the friends sat down to eat. They had only taken their first bites when they heard the noise of the rooster. When they both paid attention to it, they found out that the noise was coming from the neighbourhood.
Being confounded, the professor called his servant. He came running. The professor asked him, ‘Is this not the curry of the neighbour’s rooster?’ The servant replied, ‘I apologise sir! I did go to buy the rooster from the neighbours but they refused to sell it. I even offered them the price they wanted but they did not agree. I thought that you were craving to eat a rooster and you had also invited your friend over. That’s why, I bought a healthy rooster from the shop and cooked its meat. I have served you with the curry of the very same rooster.’ Listening to this, the professor was taken aback.
His friend explained to him: Look! You were fresh this morning even though the rooster was still present there. It only became possible because you freed your mind from thinking about the rooster. You found solace as soon as your internal state changed and you wrote many pages. I believe that the rooster would have made noises during this time too but you did not feel it because according to you, it had been slaughtered.
You can benefit a lot from this experience. Even if the neighbour does not turn out the rooster from his house, at least you should push it out of your mind. Moreover, it is also possible that we slaughter one rooster today, but there could be 10 roosters tomorrow making noise in the neighbourhood. Then how would we be able to get all of them to be quiet? For a moment, let’s suppose that we forcefully get rid of those 10 roosters too, but what if someone keeps partridges the day after tomorrow? Because it is obvious that partridges talk and make noises. So why shall we not get used to the environment around us?
One sensitive king went on a visit to his city. He felt pain due to walking on the ground. He issued a royal command, ‘When I visit the city next time, elegant velvet carpets shall be laid down on all the pathways of the city.’ The courtiers became worried listening to this and thought how it would be possible! After all, one of the ministers gathered courage, sought protection for his life and said, ‘Your highness! Rather than laying carpets down in the entire city, if you wear high quality and extremely soft shoes in your feet, then you can visit any city at any time.’ The king liked this suggestion and issued the orders for such special shoes to be made.
So my friend! Rather than changing the nature of the whole society according to ours, it is better for us to mould our nature according to the environment.
When the teacher finished relaying this narration, a student got up and humbly asked, ‘Please tell us how can we practically implement the lesson derived from this parable into our lives?’
The teacher first appreciated him for asking such a great question. Then he replied: We also come across many such things that we do not like or that disturb the normal routine of our life. However, we are unable to stop others from those activities. For the sake of an argument, take traffic. People drive through the red traffic light and suddenly appear in front of your car or bike, which can become a cause of an accident. Now, we cannot gather all those who violate traffic regulations at one place and explain them. Moreover, one person has driven through the red traffic light, someone else would do the same at the next traffic light. So why not increase the level of our own safety by checking the other side of the road after the green light is on, in case someone is driving through the red traffic light! Furthermore, we should also keep the speed of our vehicle down.
Similarly, people violate the regulation of one way rule at places which can lead to a fatal accident. So we shall also be vigilant in case someone is becoming a danger for us by coming through the other side on a one way road.
Similarly, there are children in families. So, children cry, make noise and also play and mess around with each other. Those families do not make their children mute but become used to their noise. Then, they do not get stressed over it.
Similarly, a person faces a lot of difficulty in the cold and hot weather. But he understands the fact that he cannot change the weather. Therefore, he keeps up with all his daily routine chores such as business, job, eating, drinking, sleeping, waking up, etc. Moreover, he doesn’t let hot or cold weather dominate him.
Likewise, those who do not own a personal car or bike also get to their offices and workplaces using public transport. Whereas, it’s not easy to travel among other passengers in public transport but they become used to it, as not everyone possesses the financial means to purchase a personal vehicle.
Similarly, some people place their dustbin outside their house. They wash their floor and let the water flow out on the street. They start hammering nail in their house at night time. To make a hole, they start using a drill machine and ruin the sleep of their neighbours. Similarly, some people narrow the path by parking their bikes wrong way on the street. They horn needlessly while going through a street. Shopkeepers display their goods on the counter and outside the shop, which bothers people and customers.
There is no second thought in the fact that all these matters create botheration to people. Those who do these acts should be explained. However, only he should explain who knows how to explain according to Shari’ah. Thereafter, if they refrain from those actions, then well and good. Otherwise, one will have to control his own nature. If not, then a lot of “roosters” will also get on our heads and we will not be able to do anything properly. May Allah Almighty grant us wellbeing and ease. Aameen