Monday, June 14, 2010
‘The Creator has brought all things into existence’
COLUMN: SPIRITUAL MATTERS
By Shevlin Sebastian
“When bad things happen I never get angry with God,” says Mayankutty Mather, a lawyer. “I am reminded of the story of Arthur Ashe.”
Ashe, the first black Wimbledon tennis champion, contracted Aids through a blood transfusion. This would eventually kill him in 1993. In his autobiography, ‘Days of Grace’, Ashe recounts the incident of a man who came up to him and said, “Have you cursed God and asked Him why this has happened?”
Ashe replied, “I have not cursed God. Because when I became the Wimbledon champion I did not ask God, ‘Why you have given me this blessing?’ When I got a beautiful wife, I did not ask Him why He gave me such a wonderful gift. So therefore I have no right to ask ‘why’ when a tragedy takes place?”
Mayankutty believes that there will always be ups and downs in life. “God has clearly said, ‘You will be tested -- with illnesses, financial problems, and the death of dear ones,’” he says. “The devout will say, ‘From God we have come, and to Him we will return.’”
Like any ardent Muslim, Mayankutty prays five times a day. “I pray for the family, for my late parents, and for communal harmony,” he says. “We Muslims should value the tolerance of the vast majority of Hindus. So many of them stood up and protested when the Babri Masjid was demolished in 1992, as well as after the 2002 Gujarat riots. In Parliament, it was their voices that rang out.”
Mayankutty’s turning point came in 1994 when he attended a religious meet at the YMCA hall in Aluva. An atheist, he stood up and attacked Islam. “I said there was no God,” he says. After the meeting, a friend, Ismail, asked Mayankutty whether he was criticising Islam after studying it. “Why should I learn it?” said Mayankutty. “I am witnessing the follies of the mullahs regularly.”
Ismail said, “First you study the religion and then you can show your disapproval.” Mayankutty felt that it was sensible advice. “So I tried to analyse whether there is a Creator or not,” he says. He read numerous books on Islam, as well as those on Christianity and Hinduism.
And his research led him to the conclusion that there is a Creator. “The scientist can explain what an atom is, but he does not know how it is created,” says Mayankutty. “When I see life in its multifarious variety, I am hundred per cent sure that without a Creator all these things cannot come into existence.”
Having found his faith, a grateful Mayankutty went to Mecca a few years ago to do the Haj pilgrimage.
“The most wonderful experience at Mecca was that on one particular night millions of people had to stay on a huge ground,” he says. “There were the rich and the poor, the scholar and the ignorant, the king and the pauper side by side. There were no distinctions. That was when I realised that in the eyes of God, we are all the same.”
(The New Indian Express, Kerala)