Recently, I have come across a rather interesting Pakistani film that was shown to me in a small little Pakistani mamak stall late at night. I become curious as my eyes caught the very scene of a woman asking a man "Why do you not help the innocent?" The man himself, is an old scholar of the Islamic Ways, a perfectionist if you will of his religion, a writer of truth and understanding through religion and inspirer of his brothers and sisters under God.
This man, a Maulana if I recall, is very old and wise. In his response to the woman, he says: "A boy as he should not practice music and art, for it is not Islamic is it not? Why do you not understand that in our Islamic society, we must search for understanding that certain things are meant to be avoided?"
This, a flashback to the earlier parts of the film followed:
A man entered a courtroom, realizing several hundred eyes looking at him in fierce contempt, urging him to do something he normally wouldn't do. He is about to declare his divorce from his woman, said woman is the woman who talked with the Maulana later in this film defending this man who divorced her.
The man did nothing instead, standing before the judgment panel, he made no oath, nor swear his divorce, instead, he asked, if he may be pardoned without such conditions, to practice music and arts as his career?
Indeed, lo and behold the men in the court who stood against him, pointing fingers.
"Traitor!" "Devil's child!" "Impure!" "Dirty Swine!" "Coward of the West!" "Infidel!"
The words were hard and anger, it hit his heart like the hammer of God itself, dooming him to stand before his audience.
Come then, return to the woman talking with the Maulana.
"You quote the words of God as though they are your life, life itself is of more meaning."
"Little lady, I have spend much time in prayers for God, I have searched long and wide and spend all my life looking for those answers that come from him for us, I assure you, that it was due and just judgment that your husband now is forced to stand trial for his idiocy."
"However, the heart to practice music and art is not wrong."
"Interpreted nowhere indeed in the Quran that it is wrong to practice music and arts, but then, God has his ways for this man, for before the great Islamic Court, all is just and defined." He replied.
"It is easy for you, convenient even to sit here and praise Him, when there is a man waiting to be saved from his wrongdoing. This man, my husband, is now facing charges for a victimless, wrongless crime! He is to be stoned for the act of practicing music, to sing in English on the streets of Pakistan!" The woman asked desperately, before taking a breath and says, "Why won't you help him? You say you are a man of God, yet how can you turn a blind eye towards an innocent man?"
"I have my prayers to do for this evening, I would appreciate if this conversation ends here."
"So do I, wise one, and today, I will make it clear to God himself, that this man, sitting before me here has all the time in the world to praise Him, yet he doesn't have the time to save that one man whom only have him as his last hope." The woman replied.
She left, dejected even, slamming the door behind her.
The next day, on the junction of judgment, the court orders for the appearance of a special guide, a Maulana, a scholar of Islam to come before the witness stand as a guide.
"Tell me, Wise one, what do you see in this man, is he sinful for his acts, and that our judgment set for him is correct and just?" The prosecutor asked.
"No, he is not."
"God loves us all, there is no way He would condemn a simple man to death simply by practicing his love for the musical arts."
"Is it not in Islam that such things are forbidden?" The prosecutor continued.
"An interpretation of God's word. A wrong one simply as such. I will now quote two of my books' parts, one of which includes the very thing he is charged first handedly, his attire that is deemed not Islamic, and his music deemed unholy before the One."
He took a breath and continued.
"Look at us, all dressed alike, in the image of a wise man, a stupid scholar as I to dare dream coming close to Nabi Muhammed, the Messiah himself, I am poor in judgment. I gave my prayers each day without fail for the past 80 years of my life, since the day I known how to read, and completed the Quran by the age of 15. I am consulted, reverred even by men and women, whom seeked my words as guidance, yet I failed to guide myself away from selfishness."
"I take a quote from one of my books which I written but have forgotten to give any deliberation to, a book of words merely in guise of the teachings of God's ways, yet I failed in my duty. One such part (quoting from a psalm), is music. Tell me, my student as you are, how many of the true miracle workers are there whom are sent by God?" He asked the prosecutor, whom is also a student of the arts of Islam.
"There are 4 known miracles workers, wise teacher."
"Correct, what of their miracles then? Muhammed was the Quran of which he crafted, Jesus from which he sacrificed but came back to life, Moses who parted the sea in two, and of last, David, what did he have?"
"He slew the Goliath."
"Music, not violence. How can we be so wrong as to interprent the arts of music being wrong, when it was God himself whom guided David to play the music so beautiful, that even as he sung, the mountains and animals before him wished to gather and join him in united harmony? How can something so beautiful by UnGodly? I ask you, that he sang his prayers so beautifully to praise Him?"
He turned to the man being prosecuted.
"You are one of my students before, of the words I taught you, what had I mentioned on attire?"
"That it must be Islamic."
"What is Islamic then? Tell me, O wise men of this court gathers abundantly, do I look in Islamic attire?"
The men unitedly said yes, to his long robe in green and a sash that hangs by his neck as well as a black woven cap for prayers.
"A God so great, so kind, so beautiful as to create this universe which we harvest and live off from, we quote him as giving us His image. Yet we single out His image as we did. We strive to come a UNIFORM! HOW ART PATHETIC WE ARE!"
"Why so, O wise one?"
"We sought to deny God, the moment we thought of Islam and God, the moment we look at how wide this universe He created, of the creation of life such a miracle cannot be denied. Yet, look at us, dressed all the same, in an attire no more than threads upon which He gave, to warm us in the cold, to dress us in modesty. We, whom are mere students under Him for eternity and beyond, before His great eyes, and wisdom as wide and endless as the stars above the skies...we sought to dress Him! We sought out to put a UNIFORM for God, what have we done wrong?"
"This is the Islamic Way."
"But is it God's way? You see, we have lived so long we forgot, we forget the very teachings, for all of us are equal in his eyes, we sought to believe in material things designed to reach for God."
He then turned to the room.
"Before we are Muslims, we are man, under Him. Before we are dressed alike, we are only man, I have seen men who drank wine, smoke and even embark a journey of lust and pleasures. He calls himself a man of God, he dressed like us. Before we can all be Muslims, ask yourself, what is the difference in we and him if we are only dressed alike?"
"In the end, we are only copying the look, but not the value."
"That which God created, music and art, that which we created, the uniform that we wear. How pathetic are we to even think we are doing things His way."
He stepped down from the court panel, and proceeded out the court without hesitation.
The court adjourned.
Well, that was lenghty, but one thing remains however, is that the ending was somewhat sad. The court pardoned the man, but the man was beaten to death almost in the end of the story.
Given how, the important note here, is that the Maulana, the wise man said something as simple.
"If we all call ourselves Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, etc. Do we really practice what is preached? Or do we just follow what they told us?"
Blind faith does not a religion makes.