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Magazine : Mother of All
Language : English
Volume Number : 9
Month : January
Issue Number : 1
Year : 2010

Insha Allah If god will is a conditional clause pious Muslims habitually add to their statements. The Qur’an was revealed to prophet Mohammad in several parts called surahs. Prophet Mohammad faithfully recited the gospel as it was revealed to him. His tormentors, however, suspected that he was reciting from existing ancient texts, and passing it off as Allah’s revelations to him.

Determined to test the prophet and guided by some Jewish rabbis of yathrib, they asked pointed questions to the prophet: What was the fate of “some youth of old who entered the cave?” And, what is the history of “a much-traveled man who reached the sunrise regions of the earth?”

These stories formed part of obscure rabbi cal tradition, which the inquisitors felt the prophet would not be able to access as he could neither read nor write. The prophet said he would answer them on the morrow, forgetting to add the conditional clause, Insha Allah. The morrow came, but the prophet was clueless. The wished-for revelation was withheld for some days, and when it came, it included the rebuke, “say not anything: Lo! I shall do that tomorrow, except if Allah will” (Sarah XVII. 23-24,Al Kahf, “The cave”).

It seems that God’s grace in this instance revelation is not any one’s by right. Even a blessed prophet cannot command the grace of God. You need to wait for it simply, humbly and patiently. Plans and statements conceived by individuals must be conceived with a joyous acceptance that these are subject to the will of God.

Can prayerful supplication not alter His divine plan? They can, but to seek to change the will of God, even in devotion, is unacceptable. Tulsidas presents this point in the context of Bharata’s mission on the forest to persuade the exiled Rama to return to ayodhya to accept kingship.

Rama’s exile and Bharata’s kingship were part of divine will in operation. Bharata’s mission, however honest, was tantamount to altering the divine will. It was a case of bhakti or devotion overreaching itself.

The Lord, says Tulsidas, values a devotee or bhakta above himself. He grants a bhakta’s prayer even if it involves undoing His own will. Tulsidas dramatizes this through the anxiety of lesser gods (devatas) who see their purpose of getting Rama into forest to rid the place of their foes, the demons under real threat should Bharata’s love prevail over Rama, Vishnu’s avatar, to default on his own script. Their anxiety peaks when Rama tells Bharata to feel free to speak his heart, committing that (Rama) would abide by it.

The sudden arrival of Janaka gives Bharata some time by himself and he realizes that he had inadvertently led matters to the brink: He had erred in trying to bend God’s will to suit his selfish though sincere ends.

So he withdraws his mission, saying, “I erred. And you, O Lord, instead of punishing me agreed in your mercy to be indulgent toward my error. The supreme good is to joyfully accept your will”.

According to Christian thought, grace is a beautiful word and without God’s grace, salvation would be impossible to attain. However, while grace is God-given, faith comes from within. Grace works better with humility and faith.

(“From Speaking Tree” Courtesy ‘Times of India’)

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