I attended an interfaith meeting at Willow Grange - the Bishop of Guildford's residence. Only about a dozen of us. We were thinking about how we remain faithful in such troubled time ... with so many stories of conflict around the world, and so much pressure on interfaith relations in Britain
Dr Naqvi, the Imam of the Shia Mosque in Woking, told a story about a little bird that tried to put out a fire with a drop of water. It became a metaphor of the small efforts we make on the local level to try and change the global picture. In the face of some many difficulties and so many negative stories, how do we maintain hope ? by contributing our little drops in an ocean. As Mother Theresa once responded: The Ocean is made of many drops ......
I later looked up the story of the little bird on the internet and found this version:
Once there was a little bird (Ababeel) that lived during the times of Prophet Abraham (Hazrat Ibrahim AS). When Prophet Abraham (pbuh) was thrown into fire by the enemy of faith, King Nimrod, a little bird saw what happen and decide to put out the fire to help Prophet Abraham (pbuh). The little bird starts scooping up few drops of water in her tiny beak from the nearby river. The larger birds in the vicinity watched and laughed at the little bird and they said, "Where are you carrying the water?"
The little bird said, "To put out the fire around Prophet Abraham (pbuh)." The larger birds continue laughing. "How could you put out such a huge fire with such a small amount of water? It is pointless and useless."
Do you know what the little bird replied? "I am sure Allah (SWT) will not asked me whether I manage to put out the fire or not. But Allah (SWT) will ask what I have done to stop the fire."
Hearing the answer, all the larger birds are silenced.
We often think that our effort is the one responsible for our success. This is wrong way of thinking because Allah (SWT) is the One. If he says we succeeded, we will succeed. Our effort is just a sacrifice that we are willing to make. Similarly little bird knows that with few drops of water, fire will not extinguished but it is his responsibility to contribute whatever it can in anyway with his capability.