Miracle Blindness: An Epidemic
Imagine, as you are reading this, you begin to float up. This is highly inconvenient because the monitor is no longer at a comfortable reading level, and the mouse is becoming increasingly hard to hold on to, but that does not bother you in the least because, unbelievable as it sounds – you are flying!
Gently drifting in mid-air, you try to let this strange new sensation sink in.
“Am I dreaming?” Is this really happening? You float around the room, carefully avoiding the ceiling fan and generally spend the next 15 minutes grasping with the dramatically altered reality facing you.
Once you have had some fresh air at your newfound altitude, a hundred questions start popping up. How did this happen? What has caused you to defy gravity? What is the meaning of all this? Is there a purpose behind this? Have you been reading too many comic books?
Whatever the answers, one conclusion cannot be denied – it is a miracle.
Believe it or not, a similar miracle was experienced by seven-year old Muntaha from Chittagong two weeks ago. A mild morning breeze tenderly caressed the little child’s skin, and the sound of its gentle friction was music to her sharp ears. The words that followed were even more beautiful:
“Muntaha, can you slowly open your eyes my child?”
It was a request never made to her before, yet she didn’t spare half a moment to comply. Gingerly, her eyelids opened a fraction. What gushed forth like a heavenly spring into her eyes was an embellishment of her world in a manner she could not describe. Light – she had always heard of that word, she knew how to pronounce it, but today, for the first time, she experienced it in a manner she could not have imagined before.
As she opened her eyes wide, and a million dancing lights illuminated her world of perception, she spent the next hour patiently taking in every single detail of what was surely a miracle.
The story of Muntaha, like the story of your floating in mid air, is a hypothetical scenario. I hope it points towards an epidemic that all of humanity is suffering from – an inability to recognize miracles.
One dire outcome of this illness is death of curiosity. Had we the ability to fly, after our initial euphoria had subsided a little, we would surely at one point ask this vital question: Why was this miracle gifted to me? What is the purpose behind all this? Most importantly – what or who caused me to fly?
Because the most fortunate ones among us are born with five fully functional perceptive senses, we fail to recognize them as the miracles that they are. Had just one of these precious gifts been withheld from us for a given period, and then gifted to us, we would probably spend the rest of our lives trying to cope with an overwhelming feeling of gratitude.
In the Noble Qur’an, this indifference is precisely what Allah addresses. In Surah Ghashiyah (The Overwhelming), Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala says:
- (Then do they not look at the camels – how they are created?) أَفَلَا يَنظُرُونَ إِلَى الْإِبِلِ كَيْفَ خُلِقَتْ
- (And at the sky – how it is raised?) وَإِلَى السَّمَاءِ كَيْفَ رُفِعَتْ
Allah asks us to stop, stare and ponder. We have all seen a camel, at least on TV if not face to face. But have we truly pondered about the miracle that the camel is? What the camel calls home would kill most of us within a couple of days. And is it not a miracle, how it can go on for days and days by storing water in its body?
If you could store water in your body, and survive in those conditions for days and be completely at ease, wouldn’t you consider that a miracle? I should think they would probably make a superhero out of you – call you SandMan or something.
And if we are unable to see the miracle in this, then why not look up at the skies? Is it not ironic that wherever we go we will always be under the sky (directly or indirectly), yet we rarely spare a moment to look up at it and wonder, what keeps it aloft? Why is it there? What or who caused it to be there?
Miracle blindness is an illness that is not to be taken lightly. It is spreading within mankind an inability to ask the questions that must be sorted before any form of goal whatsoever is to be pursued. It is also causing people to become increasingly ungrateful. It is causing us to chase skyscrapers at the cost of the gift that is our health.
Miracles are all around us. They continue to perform their magic as a reminder to the ultimate wonder that caused everything to be. The question is, shall we draw benefits from these reminders?
- (So remind, [O Muhammad]; you are only a reminder.) فَذَكِّرْ إِنَّمَا أَنتَ مُذَكِّرٌ