Last night, I had the honor of MCing the fifth annual ICNA-MAS MCCT Interfaith Banquet. The theme was Gobal Crisis-Faith Solutions. Alhamdulillah, the speeches were insightful, inspiring, and those that authored those speeches delivered them with a sense of true concern for the fate of humanity. One story really struck me which was told by Rabbi Herbert Brockman.
It’s about two brothers.
There were two brothers that lived at opposite ends of the hill. One brother had a beautiful wife and many children as well as a flourishing farm. The brother on the other side was not married, had no kids, but also had a flourishing farm. The brother with a family was so concerned about his brother. He would lament at the fact that his brother had no wife nor children and worry about his state of being- his loneliness, his probable insecurity etc. This preoccupied the brother so much, that he decided to cut down half of his best wheat, tie it up and leave it on the doorstep of his brother over the hill.
On the other side of the hill, the other brother was thinking to himself, “I have such a beautiful, flourishing farm and what am I going to do with all of it? I have no real use for all of this, while my brother on the other side of the hill has many mouths to feed.” Lamenting over the idea that his brother may need help making ends meet, he decides to cut down half of his best wheat, tie it up and deliver it to his brother.
As both start making their arduous journey up the hill, they keep thinking about the situation of their brother. “Is he okay?” “How is his physical state?” “Is he worried? What is he preoccupied about?” Until they reach the top and find each other, wheat in hand, ready to help one another. At that very moment, they embraced on the top of the hill with full understanding and mercy towards each other.
That hill is the hill that Prophet Suleyman had his palace only for the Romans to destroy it later and is now where Masjid al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock stand. (Rabbi’s viewpoint).
Allah’s presence was there with the two brothers and continues to be there today.
May Allah protect all those who wish to worship without oppression.