Little Drops of Water…

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The recent trend of minority killings in Pakistan, specially targeting the Christian community has disturbed us a lot.  I am disturbed particularly because I spent eleven years of my life in a Christian School in Rawalpindi and I have beautiful memories of those formative years.  What I learnt at school was well in line with the basic teachings of Quran, our own religion.

When I was in a playgroup, we would receive milk and biscuits for lunch, and my parents would fondly recall that every time I would have anything to eat at home, I would close my eyes, put my hands together and say, ‘Thank you God for the milk and biscuits, Thank you!’.  The school had taught me my first basic lesson, to be grateful to God for all my blessings.

Our school was more than a 100 years old, and we would occasionally have visitors (old goras mostly) who would come and visit the school and tell us why they remember it so fondly. The school had a character of its own and the motto was true to what it believed: Not Self but God and Others.

A regular day in school would start by the school choir leading hymns (pray books) that all of us would sing out loudly and cheerfully.  There was a school prayer that was to be recited and included the school motto to remind us all of the vision that the school stood for.  We ended up in the National Anthem and the school would then disperse to start the regular classes. 

I recall how the annual Christmas play was such a glamorous event every year (The angel Gabriel would be the most beautiful girl in class 10! And all of us would look at her in awe) and each year all of us would participate with excitement and joy.  I had the pleasure of being the narrator of the Annual Christmas play twice, and our parents would almost always attend the annual play because one of us would be participating.

Then, there was the annual milad and you would see all Christian and Muslim students preparing naats with zeal and excitement for the big day.  It was not just the Islamiat (Islamic Studies) teacher who would be leading the event, it would be our Christian teachers too participating with equal enthusiasm, encouraging and coaching us all to do our best. 

I was recalling one of my most favourite hymns ‘Little Drops of Water’ from back in the day, which was a classic example of the teachings of our school, that respected us all as equal human beings and not discriminating against any one student because he/she would be from a particular sect or religion.  Then I wonder, this tolerance and equality and respect for humanity is also reflective of the teaching of our religion as well.  So why is it that when it comes to Islam, the most tolerant of all religions in theory as far as I know,  is turned so intolerant in practicality by its followers that we react to a situation before we even think about the consequences? We can at the minimum, reflect upon the situation itself in its own merit. Is it because our sense of self righteousness has inflated so much that it does not allow us to distinguish between the right of any other religion against what ‘we’ see as the right thing to do? Who has given a common man on the street the authority to assume the role of the ‘moral police’?  Are all of us so pious in our own doings and actions that we can go around putting any house on fire because we ‘think’ that they have done some harm, without having any proof whatsoever?  Whatever happened to unity, faith and discipline which were to be the motto of our motherland? The voice of one nation? Can we not all go back in time, and like that small school of mine, situated somewhere in a small city, learn to live together, accepting our differences and respecting each other’s right to religious freedom?  Obsession with one’s religion should not come at the cost of failing to recognize the other person’s basic human rights.

I am reflecting on that little hymn we would sing in the morning in the school assembly, and can only hope that this August 14, as we all raise our national flag, we do see the white rectangular border on the left hand side of the flag as representing the minorities of our country.  My flag is not complete without that white band and I cannot relate to the Pakistani flag without that beautiful white border that merges so well with the green majority.

 Little drops of water,
little grains of sand,
make the mighty ocean
and the beauteous land.

And the little moments,
humble though they may be,
make the mighty ages
of eternity.

Little deeds of kindness,
little words of love,
make our earth an Eden,
like the heaven above.

So our little errors
lead the soul away,
from the paths of virtue
into sin to stray.

Little seeds of mercy
sown by youthful hands,
grow to bless the nations
far in heathen lands.

Glory then for ever
be to God on high,
beautiful and loving,
to eternity.

19 responses »

  1. taita your article has made me very sad. I think of all my teachers, my fellow christian students and i feel ashamed of what they must think of us now.
    Your article is great food for thought for us all.

  2. Well you are saying right “My flag is not complete without that white band and I cannot relate to the Pakistani flag without that beautiful white border that merges so well with the green majority.”

    Lets See it also what are they doing
    A Party Leader Of Former Premier Sharif Involved In Killing Pakistani Christians

    Another proof of a sick and a failed political system. A senior leader of PMLN used fake rumors of Quran desecration to expel minority Pakistanis from valuable land by burning them alive. The tragedy could have been averted had the administration of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif acted on time. It moved two days late. The failure to do so not only resulted in killing innocent minority Pakistanis and tarnishing the nation’s image, it might also strengthen the case of those who would like to see America’s failed war in Afghanistan move to Punjab after the tribal belt and Swat.

    refrence
    http://www.ahmedquraishi.com/article_detail.php?id=768

  3. I have gone through your blog,very very touchy,impressive and full of motivation.The writing is flawless.During reading one feels that each and word is full of reality no exaggeration.I am very happy taita that you always choose the very current and sensitive topic and express and communicate in a very soft and polite way…God bless you and He may give you more strength and power of expressing yourself.Good luck…

  4. Yes Tato I still remember you prayer with close eyes before eating any thing even at home and like million kids in Pakistan you were rightly benifited by a christan school. I personally got my college education from Gordon College Rawalpindi and I stll remember the quality of education which was imparted to us by our christan teachers. Subsequently what happened to quality is an eye opener for all of us. Today thousands of Civil servants and professionals were educated by christan educational institutions. Is it not sufficant to prove how much they love and care for Pakistan. WE must give them much more respect and they deserve it as they have helped to build Pakistan. WE have to make Pakistan Bawaqar Pakistan and we can do it only by respecting every Pakistani irrespective of any other consideration.

  5. @Rizwan: stay away from Ahmed Qureshi and Zahid Hamid.. it is because of these idiots our youth has become angered and heading towards global isolation. This Gojra incident was horrible and a shame for Pakistan. But this is also reflective of the extremist beliefs that prevail in our society, and so we have seen the intolerence.

  6. I can safely assume that your school must still be doing the same.
    You mentioned about the annual milad day. Unfortunately, thesedays naats are being tuned with musical instruments. How is it affecting the school-going kids, only the time would tell.

    I am lucky enough to have attended one school for ten years. And it was/is a government school, yet our teachers inculcated the same values in us that you have mentioned.

    In my opinion, all this mayhem in Pakistan boils down to one hadees, which says, ‘every nation has a fitnah and the fitnah of muslim is materialism’.
    Having too much money or too less money is equally dangerous, practically speaking.

  7. another nice topic Shaista. This is a very sad situation in our country. These extremist are not muslims at all. Our religion is a religion of peace. Its not written anywhere to kill anybody if you don’t have any proof even you have a proof it should be done with all the justice by the courts of Law not at the streets.

  8. I am really impressed by your work. You are potraying the visionary youth of Pakistan who is not emotional & think on logic. I have also studied from a non-muslim school in Karachi by the name BVS which is a Parsi school, having 150 yrs of history. In my 10 yrs of education i have faced the same experience as you have in ur school. These non-muslims are giving our nation the wealth of education in which they are respecting our religous ideology but its shame on our nation who are abusing/killing them instead of giving respect.

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