It’s not a very difficult task when one starts observing the world around him/her and is faced with numerous revelations regarding the reality of this world. As the Almighty reveals to us in the Quran that “this universe has signs for those who possess wisdom”, it takes no more than a minute amount of deliberate contemplation and observation that man begins a journey down a certain path in which he is faced with the ironies of this world and its inhabitants. Even ironies beyond this world are sometimes explicated to us by certain circumstances or events that we observe or experience in our routinely lives.
So, let us begin just here with the first irony under consideration;
When Allah (SWT) created Adam, He Almighty ordained all his angels and Jinns to bow before Adam, not as a sign of worship, but as a sign of recognition and respect that a superior creation was created. Satan, the leader of the jinns, went inside the soulless body of Adam to check what made Adam so special that the Almighty had commanded them all to bow before him. After he came out, he said to the Almighty that his so-called superior creation wasn’t fit to be prescribed as the agent or missionary of the Almighty as it possessed a weak spirit and would faulter in its duties. The Satan remarked that it was actually him who should’ve been considered as Allah’s most superior creation and so, refused to bow, thus falling prey to one of the seven deadly sins, “pride”. Now observe! If Satan actually considered himself the superior creation and were more responsible and cognizant of his duties unto Allah as per himself, wouldn’t he have bowed before Adam?, wouldn’t he have gently surrendered himself before Allah’s will?, wouldn’t he have shown a great deal of magnanimity of character if he was so superior in his conduct?, wouldn’t he have been the better one?
Now from a little earthly perspective. Before I commence considering this ironical world, I must quote here the Holy Prophet (SAW) who said “Do not criticize; you will not die unless you experience what you criticize” (Trimdhi). If only people, including me, would pay a little heed to this frightening yet revelatory hadith, the world would infinitely become a better place, a place of contentment and happiness, without jealousy, envy or hatred. Because its these exact vices that incentivize us to make extensive critiques about people, other than our own angelic selves. Now if we analyze this hadith, we would come to realize that this hadith doesn’t actually horrify us to the term “criticism” but actually makes us conscious and careful of our utterances. What we as people are criticizing in the current time, we as people will be going through the same circumstance, situation or event or emotion because its Allah’s way of asking his creation “Who gave you the right to judge one of my creations?”.
Criticism happens when we deem ourselves members of a divine judiciary that’s been sent on earth as a missionary by the Allah Almighty and been burdened with the task of judging people as Allah Almighty is busy attending to other tasks. Well this is utterly shameful. Now this statement “Well this is utterly shameful” is a critique too, but don’t you worry at all. I’m cognizant of the fact that I too fall under the umbrella of this apparently divine and angelic judiciary. But then there’s another hadith that ordains Muslims to speak against vices as speaking against vices is the second level of Iman. Confusion? Yes, very much.
It is not a vice to criticize, but to criticize simply for the sake of criticism or for the fun of it is an abhorrent deed indeed. Because if what we criticize or whosoever we criticize for whatsoever, befalls us in the coming future, how will we be able to outsmart the situation and play any better than the one who is an ignominious target of our current criticism. This life is a test and all are struggling through it, so why overpower or empower our sufferings or struggles to such an extent that we come unto the brink of falling apart and breaking. As the reason for the initiation of these ironies has now been identified, let us come back to the point in consideration i.e. Irony.
But hang on! This life is a struggle? This life is a test? How so? Allah Almighty is the supreme examiner and we’re all taking this exam. The questions are sometimes easy, sometimes difficult. Sometimes we may know the answers, sometimes partial answers and sometimes we might turn blank, but hear me out. What kind of a “test” is life in the true sense of the word test when Allah Almighty is overseeing and helping us in every way possible either we’re conscious of it or not. What a beautiful irony is this.
Now to some dark ironies of this world, especially Pakistan. Isn’t it sometimes revealed to us that the people who preach the most morality and goodness are sometimes the ones concealing the most immoral of acts. The molanas and muftis, not all, but some, who sanction people against everything are many a times found guilty of offenses that no one could ever imagine of those being committed by them. Many a Hafiz-Quran are found guilty of immoralities. Our madrassas, places of holiness, are so often found indulged in homosexual immorality. Irony!
And likewise, some of the most immoral people may often do such things as would inspire goodness. The people who we expect the most things of sometimes spit right on our face and sometimes the people who we don’t expect anything of, provide us with a perpetual happiness. Isn’t it an irony that the student who was made to leave school because of his non-competitiveness turned out to become one the greatest inventors of the world? Yes, I’m writing about Thomas Edison. Alan Turing, the mathematician who gave the idea of computers and artificial intelligence and cracked Enigma, the world’s most complicated cryptography machine of the twentieth century, was considered an invalid by most but don’t they say that
“Sometimes it’s the people who no-one imagines anything of, who do the things that no-one can imagine”