“Sir jee,” the interviewee addressed Abdullah in a near pleading tone, “I want to get a really good job.”
“What is your definition of a ‘good job’?” Abdullah was quite keen to find out.
“Nothing much…just something that would bring me fame, money, a couple of annual trips to foreign countries, a yearly bonus, and steady promotions.”
If Abdullah was amused, but he did not show it.
“So what if I hire you now and then tomorrow I find a person more qualified than you?” he asked the enthusiastic applicant seriously. “Wouldn’t it be in the interest of the company to replace you with him? What do you think about that?”
“But how could that be possible?” the interviewee asked him, surprised. “I’m the best person you could ever find for the job. If that indeed is the way you feel, then it would be better if you let me know right now. I’ve been getting all the perks and benefits I need for the past four years at the company where I’m working at the moment.”
Now Abdullah was visibly intrigued.
“And yet you wish to leave that job and come and work here?” he questioned.
“Yes,” the interviewee shrugged his shoulders. “I think I will be able to make more name here. After all, this is an American company.”
Abdullah wrapped up the interview and allowed the candidate to leave, telling him his office would get back to him about the interview. The man left Abdullah in deep thought.
He wondered when he would see the people, the faithful commanders of the dreams of the country, who vowed to change the world and who were willing to go to any lengths to save the suffering humanity, break the orbiting of their own self, and start to establish institutions that had foundations of iron. Every man he came across nowadays was scrambling to become a nameless brick in the dome upon which the eye was most likely to fall. No one desired to become the foundation upon which no eye fell. They forgot so easily that Allah (swt) sees everything and everyone.
Adoration is the contradistinction of adoration itself; if you adore one, you either have to abandon the other or it is forcibly taken from you. Those who claim to live a purposeful life must not lament the difficulty of balancing their life. A balanced life is only possible in a society in which every member is fulfilling his due share of responsibilities. If not this, then there should at least be justice and peace.
But in a society where individuals are saddled with the backbreaking duties of running entire institutions and nurturing whole generations, life should not be expected to be balanced. Yes, there is purpose here but hardly any balance. Until man learns to transform the inky darkness of the night into brilliant light of day, the gloom of fate can never be done away with.
Among the many attributes of foundations is that although they are strong, they are not attractive to the eye. However, neither time, energy, nor money should be spent on beautifying them. If one wished to become a foundation rather than a gleaming stone in the dome, it is best for him not to seek the partnership of those whose ideologies clashed with his for such people could be of no use to him even if they tried.
During the construction of foundations, there should be no respect for disagreement of opinion. Having pity on the offspring of a scorpion can only result in the destruction of the son of Adam. If someone or something is against one’s temperament, principles, and ethics, it is best to separate him from the start so that he may find his destination through his own path rather than prove himself the tempest that destroys yours.
The people who prove to be the foundation blocks are in a class by themselves. When Allah (swt) chooses someone, He really shakes them up. Yet they don’t mind at all. It is the blood, wealth, name, and honor of these chosen ones that goes into the foundations of abiding and formidable institutions.
The man who is chosen to be awarded that status of generalship or leader is first reduced to dust under the feet of this very group. Through this intense first phase of trial, it is advised that he continues with his tasks with humility, patience, and fortitude. The basic condition for declaration is authentication. It is the law of nature that the more forceful the declaration, the more irrefutable the authentication. Man needs to continue working upon himself. Should there be errors, he should repent and get back right to the work. The only being that has the right to rejoice at praise is Allah (swt). He (swt) is also the one who is the quickest to accept repentance. After repentance, man should make sure that his individual faults do not end up becoming societal woes. For when societies fall in disarray, the voice of individuals is forever lost.
Nature never humiliates one at the first mistake. It is when sins become habitual that they come under the light of scrutiny. After the first error, Allah (swt) awaits the expression of remorse. The self has to be kept under very tight lock and key. This is the only living thing in nature that thrives and mushrooms when it is ill, and shrivels and languishes when it is healthy and blooming.
The people who are the foundations are the first in line when the call for sacrifice is sounded and in the last row during the prize giving ceremony. At this time, they perform their usual duties quietly and leave unnoticed. It often takes the world years to realize what feats they performed and decades to measure the infinite heights of their legacies.
One should expect accolades and approbation from no one. It is an act of extreme narcissism to be devoted to the work of the Creator and expect a reward from His creation. In a country where people know not the distinction between condemnation and commendation, it is an utter waste of time to either offer or solicit advice. Be not afraid of the envious and the begrudging for any work that is performed for the pleasure of Allah (swt) is torment for them.
One should toil and continue to toil with only the destination in mind. At the end, there will be humanity, compassion, invocation, and utter disbelief for having conquered a seemingly insurmountable summit. The devotion will find itself blended in with universal humanity and compassion.
And the foundations that arise from the rich, fertile loam of humanity are the ones that are nurtured by Allah (swt) Himself.