In the name of the Almighty, the Beneficent, the Merciful
“…So ask Me not about that which you have no knowledge…” Quran 11:46
Yes. None should ask the Almighty how He causes the night to follow the day and how He causes the day to follow the night. None should ask Him. Nobody should ask Him about how He grants riches to the younger brother while the elderly ones in his village remain manacled in want and abject poverty? Nobody should ask Him. Nobody could ask Him why and how He made a nation prosperous while a large number of other nations are down there in the abyss. Nobody could ask Him: how He turned the mixture of egg and sperm into flesh, the flesh into bone, the bone covered by flesh; and how breathe His soul into it. Ask not the welder how the wooden furniture came into being but the Carpenter; ask not the Gardener why He plucks this and that plant from the garden. Ask Him not!
Prophet Nuh (a.s) could not ask Him. He could not have asked the Almighty why he granted a son to him who became a disbeliever not a believer in the Prophetic enterprise for which he was commissioned into Prophecy and for which he spent around nine hundred and fifty years. Prophet Nuh knew full well that Angels of the Almighty, by His will, could multiply only angels; that devils could bring forth, by His grace, more devils. Prophet Nuh (a.s) could not explain how a Prophet could father an iniquitor. Is it not true that men are producers of the ‘seed’; that women are the bearers of the womb? But what become of the seed in the womb and on the earth is beyond the ken of Homo sapiens.
Yes. He has said it: “Ask Me not about that which you have no knowledge…” Yes. There can be no better explanation to the bereaved woman in Lagos as to why her only son had to kiss death at that moment of fame. Here I refer to the widow whose womb brought a son into the world and the son was destined to be a medical doctor and the medical doctor was destined to be murdered two days after he earned his first salary as a physician!
Before that incident, the traffic on the highway of life and death had remained what it has always been: full of life and death. It had featured souls coming to the world, and others departing the world. It had featured men reaching for greater heights, while others were having their hopes dashed on the sands of illusion and incontinence. A brother had slept one of those nights. By the time it was Fajr, he had already joined the traffic on the highway to eternity.
Remember her story too. She had been in labor since two weeks ago. It happened that the night the young man was shot and killed in Lagos, was the night the baby in her womb got an ‘entry visa’ into the world. He causes laughter in parts of Kaduna; He decrees sadness in parts of Kwara! “Ask Me not about that which you have no knowledge…so says the Almighty.
Then he was accosted and stabbed. He was not the only one at that spot at that moment. But he was the one destined to be stabbed. He was the one whose time to join the traffic on the pathway to eternity had come. It did not matter who he was; or who he had become. It did not matter whose womb bore him. What mattered was that his time was up. “Ask Me not about that which you have no knowledge…” so says the Almighty.
Now who would console the heart that has been put on fire? Who would explain to her to accept the inevitable? Probably the person who could do it would be one who had had cause to lose someone who had just reached one of those great heights in life only for the latter to be plucked suddenly from the tree of life. It is he who has gone through the furnace of deprivation and loss that feels and knows how it feels to lose the bearer of the candle in the darkness of this world.
Whenever the Yoruba go a-greeting in the homestead of those who have just been blessed with a new baby, they would say- “congratulations on the success you recorded while going through one of the riskiest enterprises of life”; the enterprise of birthing a new baby. But I have since realized that the risk of life that coheres in the birth of new babies has no active expurgation but in death. In other words, one of those greatest risks of life is that nobody goes out of life alive. Now how and why is life structured this way? ‘Ask Me not about that which you know not’, so says the Creator.