The Pharaoh’s daughters hairdresser

imageI write this story of the Pharaoh’s daughters hairdresser, to convey to my own mind (and to others) the difference which belief makes. It takes one from the ordinary to the extraordinary and while our mind tends to be trapped in the physical boundaries we have created, just sometimes we realise what eternity means. Allah says in the Quran, you will look back and feel I have but spent an evening and night here. But, you will realise that with deeds you can spend an eternity elsewhere. Maybe, also understand in physical comparisons, what eternity can mean.

I have taken the names out of this story, because it is irrelevant who were the specific parties involved. The Pharaoh in this case, had claimed being the ultimate deity, the power above all and represents gross evil. While, the slave hairdresser, who had secretly committed her faith to the one Allah, represents good and eternity.

One day, as this very hairdresser, combed the hair of the Pharaoh’s daughter, the heavy metal comb in her hand dropped and fell to the floor. Inadvertently the word Bismillah (in the name of Allah) came to her lips and she said it. The Princess on hearing this confirmed you ‘mean my father’? The hairdresser did not belittle her faith, and said, ‘No, my and your fathers Lord, the real Allah’. The Princess warned that she shall tell her father, but the hairdresser was calm and firm in her belief.

The news was conveyed to the Pharaoh, who was astonished that a lowly slave refused to recognise his being God. She was called to court, alongwith her children, one of whom was still at the suckling stage. The Pharaoh said to her, ‘who is your god’? And she said, ‘Allah is my lord’. He enquired ‘who is Allah’? She said ‘Allah is my god and yours’. Here was a slave, facing a great Pharaoh, cornered and forced to answer, and yet chose faith and belief. She could have taken the easy way out, gone home and repented to Allah. But No! Her faith rose above all that. This is no mean moment in mans history and it compares with many great ones.

They punished her and she remained firm. So finally oil was boiled and the Pharaoh threatened to burn her children and herself. As the children were dropped into the boiling oil, and the lady in mental agony prayed to Allah, Allah opened the curtains, allowed her to see the unknown and she saw her daughter smiling and saying we will be together in Jannah. Another account suggests that her infant actually spoke to her in encouraging terms and firmed up her belief. Whatever the case, lost in the realms of history, the lady did not utter a cry and remained firm. Finally when it came to her, she said to the Pharaoh, for this wrong promise me only one thing, that you will bury all our bones in one grave, so that we are together. I suppose in awe and admiration the Pharaoh promised this and so they were buried together.

This is where we, in our tiny worldly walls, begin to understand what eternity means. Over 2000 years later, the greatest person in history begins the most remarkable moment of his life, the Prophet (saw) flies towards Masjid Aqsa, on the night of the Mairaj, and as he flies over Palestine, he is near Egypt. And out of Egypt, comes a very pleasant fragrance. So he says, “O Jibreel! What is this pleasant fragrance?” And Jibreel replies “This is the fragrance of the hairdresser of the Pharaoh’s daughter and her children, in their grave.” SubhanAllah! For an eternity and continuing, this woman has achieved success and moreover has been mentioned in terms of admiration by the Prophet (saw).

Our lives and worldly deeds are worth a drop in an ocean, compared to what is to be achieved by our belief and faith. These moments of material ecstasy are tiny, worth little and the reality is elsewhere. No one will speak in admiration of a CEO or a Wall Street banker in 3500 years, but this paltry hairdresser lives on and creates inspiration millennia later.

May Allah guide us to faith. This write up is created after reading many accounts and I have not quoted the hadiths and various add ons. May Allah excuse me in case of any errors in this blog.

The picture is from dreamstime.com

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Atlantis 2030

Atlantis 2030

So when you were a kid, did one of your grandparents tell you the myth of Atlantis and Hazrat Jibreel? Maybe not! Perhaps it was different in the sixties and seventies, when Google had not invaded our lives and liberty could be taken with history and events. Those belonging to that era would most probably have heard this.

The way the myth goes is that Allah ordered Hazrat Jibreel to go to the earth, to a place near Yunaan (Greece) and find Atlantis. He was ordered to destroy the place. Hazrat Jibreel, a bit taken aback, asked as to why? The place is an abode of achievement and advancement. So Allah says go down and check out the place and you will come to your own conclusions (now that in itself is pushing the envelope a little far, as from my understanding farishtas have no independence of thought).

Nevertheless, Hazrat Jibreel lands in Atlantis. He finds a few children playing in a park and decides to question them. He asks them if they were aware of God. On getting an affirmative, he asks them where is God. The children after some discussions say, ‘well, God is all around us’.

Next question is if they are aware of Jibreel and the answer is yes!

‘So where is Jibreel’? The children discuss and calculate and answer, Jibreel is not in the heavens. Therefore he is on earth.

‘Then who is Jibreel’? Another round of calculations by the kids and they say, “well Jibreel is around here now. And since we are not Jibreel, therefore it must be you”.

Of course Hazrat Jibreel realizes where the society had reached and that Allah’s order is correct. Therefore he sinks Atlantis into the water, leaving a legend that has endured thousands of years.

If you go to U-tube to a lecture by Dr Michio Kaku, an eminent physicist, titled ‘World in 2030’, it would give you a bit of a shudder, perhaps because it may remind you of the story of Atlantis. The Professor speaks of impending change and life as it will be by 2030 or even earlier. The talk is based on events that have already happened, events under testing, experiments which have worked and not been put into the commercial field yet and lastly Moore’s law.

Moore’s law simply states that technology will half in price and double in capacity every 18 months. Apparently this is a proven edict over 50 years or so and scientists believe it to be absolutely true. So if technology is 100 in capacity and 100 in cost today, it will be 410,000 in capacity and less than 0.025 in cost by the year 2030.

That, ladies and gentlemen, should tell us where we are going and where we will have reached in 2030. Scary?! Yes definitely. Consider that we landed on the moon, with the help of a computer which had much less power than today’s normal laptop. So with the power in 2030 how much more can we do?

Today, we have Google’s computer which can work on the surface of a contact lens, on a mere thought. We have wallpapers, which are actually computers and they can be networked, so that a large city will maintain contacts through them. No requirement for phones, computers, laptops, emails etc; you just touch the wall paper anywhere and it is alive. You are in the system! They have also now got systems which can track your brain while you are sleeping – no wiring required. The dreams can then be read and pictures created out of that onto a screen. Nevada is now testing driverless cars out on its roads. Medical tech and genomes we have already heard of many times.

These are just some of the advancements already done and about to enter our lives fairly soon. But our capacity to expand this will be exponential.

So my question is this: the technological breakthrough will happen, but will the human brain evolve just as quickly, and the human society mature just as fast? History offers little comfort.

And so, are we facing the risk of another Atlantis by 2030? Maybe not the Hazrat Jibreel kind, but one created because of the awesome power and the lack of control from a slowly evolving human brain. Will we be strong enough to manage this, and evolve to match our progress? If a fire-sale or a system meltdown or a Skynet type scenario were to come calling, how would we humans cope?

Maybe it is time to dig a hole in the ground for oneself and put away a year’s provisions for safety sake.

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