The city of colours, not the China of Mao

Metin Karabaşoğlu (Translated by Muhammed Şeviker)

THERE İS a threat for people who have a resolution and an enthusiasm to lead a religious life, and, furthermore, for this sake have entered a ‘co-existence’ experience: uniformity.

Actually, coexistence is joining of others to us as well as is our joining to others. In a sound co-existence experience, the individual is not only a receiver but also an emitter. He gives the others from his dye as well as receives the dye of others. In this way, they enrich and increase all together.

But, in this coexistence experience, if any certain name particularly comes forth, the re-sult will not be enriching in colours, yet the quite opposite can, and is experienced. In the process, everybody will resemble him; will try to be like him. At the end, there will be a community of people who resembles each other even in voice, appearance, and clothing.

This is part of the uniformity which occurs spontaneously. Also, there are ‘constrained’ and ‘compulsory’ patterns of this. If, a certain name in any certain community, has, be-sides his spiritual authority, any material power, in many cases the result will be imposing his thought, style, even an appearance he wishes, refreshment style into the all community.

The modern times, are replete with, voluntarily or involuntarily the limitless examples of this uniformity. Apart from the uniformities experienced in the small communities, if the all world, supposedly, with their free wills are in the gravitational field of hamburger-blue jeans-cola trio, this is not a coincidence. Besides of this at least ostensibly ‘free’ choice there are communities in which any certain style of life is imposed clearly and rudely. Mao’s China with its life style which imposes people to wear the standard cloth is this stance’s symbol which was inscribed harshly into memories of people.

The minds, in the light of such experiences and observation, the minds dreaming Medina in the Holy Prophet’s (pbuh) in any case would imagine this uniformity’s resemblance or more than this.

While the Holy Prophet about whom the Lord of the Worlds decrees in the Najm Chapter “Nor does he speak of (his own) desire” and in Hashr Chapter says “And whatsoever he gives you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain from it” is among them how could be something else?

But, not was the case. Medina in which the Holy Prophet (pbuh) lived is not a city where the people uniformed to each other with their appearances, clothing, and refreshments. Because, the Holy Prophet (pbuh) who is in the bounding position for the believers in whatever he enjoins and prohibits, has not ordered the believers to be uniform; on the contrary he ensured the coexistence of different colours and styles in the lawful circle.

There are a lot of examples of this. For instance, the Holy Prophet (pbuh), in a banquet that he had been invited, when just would taste the meal, he suddenly takes his hands away. Those who company him, having seen that he had taken his hands away, they also drawn their hands. The Holy Prophet (pbuh) asked them; what happened? They replied ‘you have taken your hands away, and we also taken ours’. The Holy Prophet (pbuh) told them ‘in the name of Allah please start eating’, Eat. [I will not eat it] because I converse with them, Whom you do not converse with”. The Companions understood that since Gabriel had hassled from the odour of garlic that had been used in the meal, the Prophet had taken his hands away from this stew. But, on the other hand, onion garlic is not unlawful for the believers. There are other things which the Prophet (pbuh) didn’t eat, even they don’t have foul smell, yet he didn’t prohibit the Companions to eat.

A similar case was experienced in the wedding banquet of one of the Helpers. The Com-panions emigrating from Mecca, because of the thirteen years struggle with Quraish poly-theists, in some issues are more uncompromising. The Helpers, considering the formers’ attitude, even though the Messenger of Allah prohibited them, since they considered that would not be approved, spontaneously, abstained themselves from some issues. For instance, Farigha, the orphan daughter of Asad b. Zhurarah who had prepared Medina for two Aqabah allegiances and passed away short while after the hegira of the Prophet to Yasrib, while getting married with Nabit b. Jabir, a Helper too, women and young girls didn’t arrange an entertainment among themselves. While Aisha who had taken Farigha under her protection, narrating the wedding banquet the Messenger of Allah asked how the bridegroom side meet them and what they talked about. Aisha replied ‘we have greeted, we wished good and blessings’. The Messenger of Allah said, “Aisha, do you have any entertainment? The Helpers are People with romantic feelings. Why don't you send someone with her to say: 'We have come to you, we have come to you, and may Allah bless you and us?”

Medina, the city of the Prophet, does not resemble both today’s fashion-trapped me-tropolises and Mao’s China. This primarily relates with the life and truth lesson that has been given by the prophet to his Companions. Another instance illustrates this with its two aspects.

Yasrib, while all of the world are rejecting, having embraced the believers taking all kinds of risks had been crowded firstly by the first Meccan Muslims (Emigrants) after the Aqa-bah allegiances, and the Prophet’s immigration. When considered that Medenite Helpers to had had undertaken sustenance of the Emigrants who had left all assets in Mecca, moreover given that after the hegira of the Holy prophet, Medina turned into a gravity and hegira centre for distressed Companions sprang from other lands, , it can be easily understood that, except for a few of them a great majority of the Companions were poor.

Relating to this, there are a lot of heart-wrenching tableaus. For instance, Awsite Abu Abs, in the immediately before of an expedition comes to the Holy Prophet (pbuh) with a too old cloth. He would like to join jihad but doesn’t have means, both for his journey and for his family’ refreshment. All of the booties obtained / reaped to that they had been replenished with expending to the Emigrant Muslims whose numbers had been increased day by day. The Holy Prophet (pbuh) as a sole thing remaining in his hand, gives him a long and new garment. But, after a few days, at expedition, he sees him again, although it was not as old as the former one, with an old garment. He asked: “what happened to garment I had given to you?” “I sold it for eight dirham” replied Abu Abs, “later, I have bought two dirham’s dates, I have left two dirham to my household for their sustenance. With remaining four dirhams, ı have bought a garment.”

We hear a similar instance, at another occasion, during an expedition of the Helpers, Emmar expedition, via the narrative of Jabir b. Abdullah.

Such destitute Companions’ assuming that they are not blamed for these old appearances per se is important. The poor companies included into the community of the believers; were not excluded.

On the other hand, the Messenger of Allah would please the hearts of the poor Compan-ions at their afore-mentioned poverty. With their distressed situation, he would praise them as well would inform their value in the sight of Allah.

This praise of the Messenger of Allah in respect to poor, moreover the Companions with old and shabby garments lead the wealthy Companions into a similar attitude and behav-iour. Although they had means and expend them for Allah ‘sake, and had high-toned clothes, they also integer into the Ummah with their shabby clothes. One of them was Son of Ebu’l-Ahwas. He narrates this to his son:

“Ibn Abi al-Ahwas said: I came in shabby clothes to see the Prophet and he said: "Do you have money?" I said yes. He said: "From where does your money come?" I said: "Allah has given me camels and sheep and horses and slaves." He said: "Then if Allah gave you money and possessions, he likes for you to show it.”

There are other examples of this tableau. Thus, whereas the apostle of Allah praises the poor Companions with their patience and fortitude, he warns well-off Companions on their appearance in the poor outfits “when Allah bestows a bounty to His servant He likes the trace of this grant on him”.

Thus, Medina is not a city where the uniforms live. It is a city in which every kind of people live; the rich and poor, black and white, and those who wear red or brown. The Apostle of Allah (pbuh) by inviting the rich Companions into an appearance which does not overwhelm the others, but shows that they are affluent, and manifests the bounty of Al-lah on them, essentially paves the way for solidarity.

How can a person in need know from whom s/he could ask help or support in an environment where everybody dresses the same way, and people's poverty is seen from the way they dress? On the contrary, the wealthy should, without deviating into prodigality and illicit show bounties of Allah on them, so that the needy can identify them as requesting address, they can expend from what Allah has bestowed them for His sake..

That is a training of balance from the city of the Prophet, Medina, which includes the les-son ‘all of the colours are beautiful’ as well...


© 2021, Metin Karabaşoğlu (Translated by Muhammed Şeviker)

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