Thursday June 13, 2024

Lessons forgotten by our leaders

By Zafar Alam Sarwar
January 27, 2019

A farmer had three grown-up sons who always quarrelled among themselves. He asked them to live in peace, but his advice had no effect on them. He was worried about the family’s future.

One day the father fell seriously ill, and sent for his sons. He asked them to collect a handful of sticks which they did at once. He tied the sticks into a bundle and asked them to break the bundle one by one. They tried hard to break it but none could do. At last the farmer untied the bundle and asked each to break a single stick. They broke the single stick quite easily.

Their father said: “My dear sons, you could not break the sticks as long as they remained tied together but you broke each single stick quite easily. They were strong in bundle but became weak when separated from one another.”

This had a deep effect on the farmer’s sons. They gave up quarrelling and began to live in peace and worked wholeheartedly to produce more grains. The lesson: united we stand divided we fall.

Once Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) went out on a journey along with some of his companions. Birds were singing and chirping lively.

One of the prophet’s companions saw a nest in a bush. It was the nest of sparrows and there were two chicks in it. He picked up the young sparrows. All at once the elder sparrows came crying and began to fly over his head.

The prophet asked his companion why the sparrows were circling over his head. The man replied he had removed their young ones from the nest. The prophet was greatly moved. He felt sorry for the poor little birds and advised the companion to put back the baby sparrows in the nest at once which he did promptly. The sparrows were happy and cried no more.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was kind and affectionate not only to human beings but also to all living creatures. God almighty, for this very reason, was pleased to bestow upon him the title of ‘benefactor of all the worlds’.

The prophet is known to have said that “Allah will not be merciful to those who are not merciful to people.”

Hazrat Sheikh Abdul Qadir Gilani (God be pleased with him) had to undertake a journey when he was yet a young boy. His pious mother stitched up 40 gold coins in his shirt and advised him to speak the truth always. He joined a caravan and set off on his journey.

A gang of robbers fell on the travellers and deprived them of their valuables.

One of the dacoits, who happened to pass by the boy, said: “Do you have anything on you?” The young boy replied promptly: “Yes, I have 40 gold coins.” He readily showed the money when asked to. The dacoit took the boy to the leader of the gang.

Like all other robbers the leader was not surprised a little. “Why did you not deny having money?” The boy said his mother had advised him to speak the truth always. The gang chief was deeply impressed: “Alas! I don’t obey the commands of God while this little boy so faithfully follows his mother’s advice.”

He disbanded the gang and gave up his bad ways of earning livelihood. Thus the example set by Hazrat Sheikh Abdul Qadir Gilani reformed all the robbers and dacoits. The boy grew up to be a great religious leader and a pious saint held in high esteem by millions and popularly known as Ghaus-ul-Azam Gilani.