On a tree, far far away in a forest was a nightingale. Lonely and upset, it looked hither and thither as darkness started encompassing the earth with the setting of the sun.
What made it upset, one may ask. was it the loneliness or was it the darkness? Nay, it was the longing to reach home. And the diminishing light was making the task impossible.
Hearing the nightingale crying, a firefly nearby went upto the nightingale and said ” Worry not, for I am at your service.And although I am a tiny creature but I will help you with my heart and soul and make sure you reach your home. I have been gifted by my Almighty Creator with a light which shines like a lamp so worry not,oh dear nightingale, I will lighten up the path for you to your home..”
Indeed, the best people amongst us are those who help others.
Yes, this is the exact same story which our national poet, Allamma Iqbal, wrote for the children.It was taught to most of us when we were in school. And here is his poetry:
How beautiful a message, how simple the words and how wonderfully story captivated in the poetry. Isn’t this one of the best forms of educating children? I am fortunate I was taught, made to learn and asked to do “tashreeh” of these verses in my primary school with special emphasis on the last stanza. I still know the poem by heart.And I absolutely love it.
A few days back, I was reading this poem to my little sister and my little cousin, aged 10 and 11. And I was so upset, they had no clue about this poem. When I finished reading and explaining this poem to them, they were in total love with the poetry. And my little cousin, Naveen, even said she had learnt half of the poem then and there.
The lack of proper educational structure with little emphasis on moral values and teachings have made us what we are today: We muslims had a prophet (pbuh) who is Rehmat-ul-lil-alameeen: Mercy to the worlds. And yet we do not know what the epitome of his character was. We are blessed to have Allama Iqbal, Shair-e-Mashriq who enforces muslim thought and moral values in his poetry and yet we turn deaf ears to it. and why is it so? Because we are so rapidly moving towards secularism that all these teachings are just being excluded from the curriculum and being introduced under some fancy English name that most of the time fails to make the same impact. No wonder we are one of the most corrupt nations in the world.
But I am not here to criticize everyone. What will it lead to? Instead, empty vessels make the most noise.
I am here to impart the idea that all of us can take small steps and improving our ownselves and those around us, imparting little moral values now that may reap big returns to society later on.
What difference could I make? What difference could You make? What difference could any individual make? This was the same question that bird was asked who was trying to cool down the fire by Namrud in which Hazrat Ibrahim(A.S) was thrown. She spent the entire day carrying drops of water to cool down the fire and even though it didnt cool, she knew one thing: “Atleast, I tried” When God wil ask her what did she do to cool fire, she could say ” you gave me a beak, I could only carry those drops”
I would rather be this bird.
I would rather be that firefly.
And together we can be the illumination that could penetrate through the surrounding darkness.