Monday, December 31, 2012

The Child & the Emperor- Turnover


He who Rose to Oppose -Ghulam-

Where were we previously?

Let me recall for a while. It started off with me babbling, then it jumped to the story of the prophet and settled down to the introduction of the main characters right?


Err, okay. Kind of weird asking you guys this. You can check it out in the previous hyperlinks up there.

So let me continue with the tale but I’m going to narrate it from the child aka Ghulam’s perspective. Because I think we can relate to him better than the emperor or sorcerer or the mysterious old man who’s going to debut later.

So the Ghulam, who was he really?

You’ve known before that he was a child, he’s attending an exam made by the empire for very devious reasons AND became the highest scorer in that exam. So, is there more to Ghulam than this?

Here comes the genius of the words of the prophet and the way the Quran narrates the tale of mankind.

If you ever read or went through a passage of a verse of the Quran and hadith, you’ll realize that most of time the reference of people and places in the texts are quite ambiguous; meaning they don’t refer specifically to particular individuals, time or place.

Does it mean that Allah forgot to attach such critical information when the Quran was to be revealed to Prophet  Muhammad?

Subhanallah from such flaws!

Subhanallah from imperfections!

The Quran and the tradition of the prophet were meant to be guidance for us until the Day of Judgment right?
So what would be of our religion if both of these important source our religion were to be limited to certain time, people & place? Then Islam would only be tradition practiced by people of old, not the way of life that we perceive as it is today.

So how does the story of Ghulam, preserved by our ulama to finally arrive in our arms, embraces the message of Islam that is eternal and universal?

If you think really hard about Ghulam, he is actually the archetype, the personification of the young generation of today.

What? You don’t believe me?

Let’s see now, he’s a kid who doesn’t know what he’s gotten himself into, he’s just following what society thinks is the trend or right thing to do (remember, the exam was something celebrated by the people), he has no plans for the future and he is oblivious to the fact that he is being used as a tool in someone else’s game of life-like chess.

Sounds about right don’t it? If you’re still unconvinced wait till you read the rest of story, hoho.


Ghulam was very pleased when he knew that he was the crème de la crème of all the candidates in the national sorcerer examination. Why wouldn’t he? His parents were very jovial about it and that seemed as good as any reason to jump and make a flying kick pose wachhaa!

So news of this golden boy of the empire spread far and wide among the people. Making him a celebrity amongst the local community and envy of all those who failed to make the final cut as he did. With his status as the sorcerer’s apprentice legitimized, he would now travel back and forth from his home into the tightly guarded castle walls where no commoner will ever enter, to receive the mantle of illusion from the now ailing sorcerer, to become the tool of fear for the emperor. As regalia, to remind those who dare stand up against the emperor’s will of the terrors they will face.

But did he?

As the story unfolds, during a routine of back & forth goings of Ghulam from his home to the palace, he came across an old man. He wasn’t some revolting beggar with tattered clothes trying to pry his way into making ghulam give up his lunch money. Nor was he a deranged insane old man that we see now wandering in the streets, whether from mental breakdown or abandonment.

This particular old man only started to show up when Ghulam started going to the palace for his lessons of the art of ‘magic’ and surprisingly enough, he was always giving some type of sermon to passer-byes who happen to cross that street.

He wasn’t a bard spouting nonsense and narrating outrageous story for the sake of entertainment, case in point, every day as Ghulam commuted from his home to the palace he started to enjoy the musings of the old man. That is saying something because not every day you see someone like Einstein standing on the street to hear a stranger’s conversation.

As days passed by, what used to be 5 minutes of me time before going to the palace for sorcery lessons, became full-fledged apprenticeship between Ghulam and the old man, consuming much of the day he was supposed to be with the sorcerer.

Wow, amazing right? What was it that mesmerized Ghulam so much that he became more engrossed than sorcery, the ‘trending’ or the in-thing during his lifetime?

You know this something called religion?  Well, during that period any form of submission to God was made extinct save obedience to the pseudo-god, the emperor who is responsible for it. With that decree, he also made sure anyone who worships any divinity beside him is prosecuted. Whether death or imprisonment, he wanted to solidify his status as the only sovereign in the minds of his people. Still it seems one old man was able to slip by the genocide and he’s here to make one last push!

Ghulam became fascinated with what the old man said, of the one true God and His message to worship Him and Him only, to not associate Him with His creatures who are full of flaws and imperfections, of the true reason why we are all here, on this earth, in this moment, to what end are we living out our lives.
And those so called musings later became no meager interest; it became a conviction in Ghulam’s subconscious. Though, it was weird that Ghulam still went to tht palace for his apprenticeship with the sorcerer which contradicts the teachings of the old man on Oh-So-Many levels.

This development didn’t go unnoticed however. Since Ghulam spent so much time with the old man he steadily arrived late to his classes and home. The sorcerer and his parents started to question Ghulam’s peculiar behavior these past few weeks.

“Why are you late for my classes? Don’t you realize you are my successor? Don’t you want to become the one who holds the power over this kingdom? ”


“Why are you late? It’s already past maghrib! Where have you been ha? Jumpe anak dara orang eh? Mak ayah tak pernah ajar ko wat keje tak de pekdoh gini!”

Piaaaak! INI MAKAN DIA! (2nd time)

I bet Ghulam’s body is covered with bruises right about now with the constant beatings from both his teacher & parents. And those bruises became scars which only increased as days passes by, showing just how haunting were the words of Ubudiyyah & Tawheed which was conveyed to him, up to the point he was willing to go against the wishes of those who once controlled him. At the same time, Ghulam wasn’t dumb enough to tell them about his illegal hobby.

Remember, any statements indicating there is a divine being aside from the emperor is blasphemy and a major capital offence. Ghulam knew that but continued to learn from the old man, he knew that this was something worth the sweat, tears and blood he shed. It was something to root for despite being at odds with what society believes & advocates. He learned, he questioned and he understood. He was no longer a tool. He was no longer a sail following the wind’s path as it breezes through.

“Oh God, I BELIEVE.”



Post a Comment