When problems strike us, we should not look upon them as negative developments, but challenges, which when handled with courage and ingenuity usher in a new dawn in our lives, says MAULANA WAHIDUDDIN KHAN
The fact is that our world is full of problems. Philosophers call it the problem of evil. But it is a case of wrong nomenclature. It is to give a negative name to a positive phenomenon. Problems are there, but problems are not evil; they are challenges. The only meaningful explanation of this phenomenon is to take problems as challenges.
This phenomenon can be explained by keeping in mind the creation plan of the Creator. There is a difference between the human and material world. According to the creation plan, the material world has no freedom of choice. The course of the material world is predetermined while man is free to make his choices. It is this difference that creates problems that can be viewed positively.
The concept of self-development does not exist in the material world. Man, on the other hand, was born with great potential. And this potential can be realised in difficult circumstances. It is only in circumstances of pressure that man’s hidden potential can be turned into actuality. Terming these difficult circumstances as evil is a result of lack of understanding the Law of Nature.
On planet earth, the gravitational pull exists in the right proportion. This pull is so important that without it civilisation could never have come into existence. But this blessing of the Creator remained unknown to man until the physicist Isaac Newton received shock treatment from nature. According to a well-known story, he was hit on the head by an apple when he was sitting under the apple tree in his garden. Through this ‘hit’ nature was, as if, saying in silent language, “O man why don’t you think. If you think you will come to learn a great reality.”
In this respect, everyone is like Newton. Everyone is born with great treasure in his mind. But, every person needs a shock treatment. This is the course of nature and there is no exception in this regard. Without passing through this course, a person’s mind will not unfold and he will not be able to achieve great success.
M K Gandhi was born in India in 1860. After completing his education he went to South Africa to practice law. At the time, there was no idea of the freedom struggle. However, an incident in 1893 triggered his mind. In June of that year, he had to undertake a trip to Pretoria in the Transvaal, a journey which took him to Pietermaritzburg.
There, Gandhi took his seat in a first-class compartment, since he had purchased a first-class ticket. The railway officials ordered him to remove himself to the van compartment, since non-whites were not permitted in first-class compartments. As Gandhi refused to comply with the order, he was pushed out of the train, and his luggage was tossed out on to the platform in the extremely bitter cold of winter. About this experience Gandhi says that it “changed the course of my life.”
After this incident Gandhi returned to India and started the freedom movement in 1920. The result was that he emerged as ‘Mahatma’ Gandhi and became the greatest leader of the freedom movement.
If an “apple” hits your head, do not take it in the negative sense, but know that it has hit your head to make your mind a super mind. Take it as a wakeup call — that a new day is dawning upon you.
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, 95, is an Islamic spiritual scholar who has adopted peace as the mission of his life. Author of more than 200 books, he is known for his Gandhian views, and considers non-violence as the only method to achieve success.