Stunned, shocked, shattered and scared is the face of the earth as it slips into apocalypse but struggles to find resurrection because mankind is not ready for the Last Hour. Lebanon seized by an atomic like explosion on 4 August 2020, woke the world up from its slumber.
The slumber the world is in reels from the brinkmanship during the Cuban Missile Crisis between USA and Cuba that was ushered in by the Bay of Pigs Invasion. The world then argued that going to war would be M.A.D (MUTUALLY ASSURED DESTRUCTION) and it confirmed that the rise of nuclear warheads was alarming. Since the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki , it became evident that countries were enriching uranium, establishing nuclear reactors, developing nuclear weapons and the industrialised complex for weapons manufacture would soon become the game changer in economies. The world we live in today is very much based on war economies and therefore, the alleged 2700 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored for six years in a warehouse in the Lebanese port indicates that. 2700 tonnes of ammonium nitrate for fireworks and fertiliser don’t add up especially in an economically ravaged country. The whole episode reeks of a sinister plot like that of 9/11 to destabilise the region for a bigger plan in the gains of a next world order. Sovereignty of states are compromised.
Apocalypse & Resurrection. Hiroshima on 6 August 1945 & Today 2020
In 2003 we witnessed the invasion of Iraq. As a sovereign country it was invaded on the pretext of possessing weapons of mass destruction. The media hype given to it made the clash of civilisations a reality. The Green Fear (Islam) overshadowed and engulfed the Red Fear (Communism). The world now polarised between Islam and the West. The catastrophic cost to USA and it allies fuelled the military armaments industrial complex and the world began its new arms race. Nuclear proliferation treaties did not really amount to much except that the USA and its allies became the custodians of nuclear weapons and its diversity in war. Iraq and Libya as two cases in point will never resurrect itself as Japan did after WW2 because it pays to keep the Middle Eastern countries in some degree of turmoil and subservience. Africa, with its ingrained internal strife will continue to serve the colonial imprint because, the begging bowl is still stretched to the IMF. This apocalyptic feeling seems to permeate every country.
South Africa, my country, is on a slippery slope of corruption whilst Palestine is a crying shame on Mandela’s legacy, the Indian government is inaugurating the building of a temple on the grounds of the 16 Century Babri mosque, the wars in Syria and Yemen rage on. In the rage of wars, the siege of Kashmir and Gaza is pushed into the backwaters as the rising floods of Sudan and Mumbai drown lives and swallow houses and belongings like a hungry beast. In midst of this the world is still coming to grips with the COVID-19 PANDEMIC as it continues to wrap its menacing tentacles on the social, political, economical, technological and cultural dimensions of each country’s government revealing the impotency of leadership. Humanity in dire straits cries, “What is so awfully wrong with the world?” Alas! one feels like the Apocalypse has just become real.
The emphasis is to make resurrection real and the apocalyptic sensation diminish because, misery by its very nature destroys the soul. It is really useful to cite William Wordsworth’s The World is Too Much with Us to illustrate why we have become apocalyptic in our worldview of late. He wrote:
The world is too much with us; late and soon,THE WORLD IS TOO MUCH WITH US. WILLIAM WORDSWORTH
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;—
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
The sordid, sleazy boon or blessing we got in exchange for these war economies are countries ravaged by poverty, corruption, terrorism, rouge states and many with unholy alliances to the detriment of the masses. I still believe that in the rage of apocalypse we lose our senses. Let me illustrate with Sheldon Richman‘s article on Madeleine Albright. He writes:
In 1996 then-UN Ambassador Madeleine Albright was asked by 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl, in reference to years of U.S.-led economic sanctions against Iraq, “We have heard that half a million children have died. I mean, that is more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?” To which Ambassador Albright responded, “I think that is a very hard choice, but the price, we think, the price is worth it.”
Sheldon cites that Madeleine apologised in the following way: Albright in her published her memoirs, Madam Secretary, in which she clarifies her statement. She writes:
I must have been crazy; I should have answered the question by reframing it and pointing out the inherent flaws in the premise behind it. Saddam Hussein could have prevented any child from suffering simply by meeting his obligations…. As soon as I had spoken, I wished for the power to freeze time and take back those words. My reply had been a terrible mistake, hasty, clumsy and wrong. Nothing matters more than the lives of innocent people. I had fallen into the trap and said something I simply did not mean. That was no one’s fault but my own. (p. 275)
The point I am making is that we have her apocalypse in 60 MINUTES and her resurrection in her memoir and we need to discern how serious her resurrection is. Why? It is in the resurrection that we either find redemption or a cosmetic change that does not yield results. This represents the wider world of politics in the sense that it shows that the world over, there is no real striving for justice and therefore peace. Peace is never attained by regime change or manufactured reasons for war to bring peace. Justice is means for peace.
We have always defined apocalypse and resurrection in terms of the end of times relating to tremendous events. Apocalypse is synonymous with the end of the world and resurrection with the time before Judgement Day therefore, the feeling is existential and depending on belief, it would either be dismissed as fantasy or, believed in with passionate conviction. However, if we internalise these two nouns within ourselves and let our actions verbalise the apocalypse of rancour and greed and the resurrection of justice and mercy in our hearts there will be greatness in our character and longevity in our legacies. The quintessence of our being would then be peace. Man made disasters, war mongering and sinister plots of destruction would be the furtherest dictum in our vision of a new world order. Today, we have resurrected the building of an empire like that of the Romans in recent history or like that of Genghis Khan. The empire has become an intoxicating vision resurrected on the glory on how we have written their histories and how we still romanticize and deify them. This is apocalyptic!
The choice to continue on this apocalyptic path is within our hands because, we are witnessing the ravages of war in all its horror and have become so numb that we have actually refined our weapons of mass destruction. Drone warfare is a reality and this reduces the human touch even further and it intensifies immunity. Human suffering is so common to see that it does not move us to tears or pain. In the same vein, we see so much luxury and material gain that we feel it more right to have and enjoy because of how selfish we have become. This general pattern of behaviour in us today is an apocalypse because we killed the humanness in us.
We need to resurrect the humanness in us again so that we leave a better world for our children to inherit. I recall the incident of Ali (ra) the Fourth of the Rightly Guided Caliphs and a Jew which I detail below, taken from Hibamagazine.com to illustrate the need to resurrect justice so that we defer the Apocalypse. Read it with passionate intensity.
Once, during his Caliphate, Ali Ibn Abi Talib (rta) lost his armour. One day, he saw a Jew in possession of an armor he recognized as his own. Ali (rta) approached the Jew and asked him to return his armour. The Jew refused to do so and, instead, demanded that the matter be settled by the reigning Muslim Qadi (judge).
Hence, Ali (rta) and the Jew appeared before the Qadi to settle this dispute. Qadi Shurayh was a very competent judge from Yemen, who was famous for settling Fiqh related matters. He had performed the duties of a Qadi in Kufa during the caliphate of Umar Ibn Khattab (rta), and Usman Ibn Affan (rta) as well. He was well known for his integrity and insight.
When the judge saw Caliph Ali (rta) approach his court, he stood up for him out of respect. Ali (rta) requested him to stay seated. Qadi Shurayh took his seat. Ali (rta) initiated the conversation: “I have lost my armour and found the same in this man’s possession.”
Qadi Shurayh asked the Jew: “Do you have anything to say?”
The Jew replied: “This is my armour and I own it.”
Qadi Shurayh inspected the armour in dispute and addressed the Caliph: “By Allah! Your claim is correct. This, indeed, is your armour. However, the court of law demands that you produce two witnesses to substantiate your claim.”
Ali (rta) produced his slave Qanbar as his first witness, who testified in favour of Ali (rta). Then, the Caliph produced his sons Hassan (rta) and Hussain (rta) as his second witnesses to testify for him.
Qadi Shurayh stated: “I accept the testimony of your slave; however, I still need another witness, as the testimony of your sons is not acceptable.”
The Caliph said: “By Allah! I heard Umar Ibn Khattab (rta) narrate the Prophet’s (sa) Hadeeth stating that Hassan (rta) and Hussain (rta) are the leaders of the youth in Paradise.”
The judge replied: “By Allah! This is the truth.”
Ali (rta) demanded: “Then why are you unable to accept the testimony of the leaders of the youth in Paradise?”
Qadi Shurayh explained: “Because they are your sons, and a son cannot testify in favour of his father.”
Hence, the judge settled the dispute in favour of the Jew and handed over the armour to him.
The Jew remarked in absolute astonishment: “The Amir-ul-Momineen of the Muslims brought me in the court of his own appointed judge, and the same judge gave a verdict against the Caliph. And the Caliph accepted the verdict gracefully without any resistance.”
Then, the Jew glanced towards Ali (rta) and continued: “Amir-ul-Momineen! Your claim is true. This armour definitely belongs to you. You had lost it the other day and I found it. Therefore, it is your property. Please, accept it.”
The Jew then recited his Shahadah: “I testify that there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger.”
Ali (rta), the wise and honourable Caliph, replied: “I give you not only my armour but also my horse.” Adapted from “Sunehray Faislay” published by Darussalam. Translated for “Hiba” by Rana Rais Khan.
﴿١٣﴾ يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَاكُمْ مِنْ ذَكَرٍ وَأُنْثَىٰ وَجَعَلْنَاكُمْ شُعُوبًا وَقَبَائِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوا ۚ إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ.
O, people! We created you from a male and a female, and We made you races and tribes, so that you may come to know one another. The best among you before Allah is the most righteous. Allah is Knowing and Aware. Holy Quran. 49:13
As my mind gleans my teeming brain and my heavy heart, my soul is touched to feel the catastrophe of the people of Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, Palestine, Kashmir, Central African Republic, Somaliland, Iraq, Libya, Myanmar and Allah knows how many more. I am glad I had my say on what I feel. This has united me with the suffering of the sufferers of the world. My words resurrected the voice to speak out and gave me an apocalyptic end to remaining silent on issues affecting the whole of humanity.
In this, the resurrection of care was reborn and the feeling that we need to unite as people and not as nation states became real. Real because, we are so divided on those man made lines of race that we have forgotten who we really are. We are the human race. The Apocalypse will disintegrate us into dust but, the Resurrection will divide us in just two groups – the good and the bad and not in nation states. You can decide now on your resurrection and start by asking yourself how just are you with those around you. In the end your life affects many therefore, let your life be the Apocalyptic end of hate and let it be the Resurrection of justice. This will be the harbinger of peace. Apocalypse or Resurrection – Your choice!