“Sukarnya menjadi manusia.”
“Seronoknya jadi burung…“
“Teringin nak jadi kucing!“
Saya teringat sebuah kisah yang saya baca semasa kecil. Ia sebuah dongengan, namun cukup untuk memberikan pengajaran kepada kita. Tentang manusia.
Pada zaman dahulu, ada seorang pengusaha marmar, yang kerjanya mengetuk batu kapur setiap hari di pinggir gunung. Hingga pada suatu hari, dia merasa bosan dengan hidup yang amat sukar. Terpaksa bekerja keras setiap hari, namun hasilnya tidak seberapa. Dia sudah puas hidup sebagai manusia.
Pada malam itu, dia bermimpi bertemu dengan seorang tua. Katanya, pengusaha marmar itu boleh meminta apa sahaja, dan segala permintaannya akan ditunaikan serta merta. Lantas dia meminta untuk menjadi seekor tikus.
Keesokan harinya, ia gembira kerana sudah berubah menjadi seekor tikus. Namun, pada malam itu, dia dikejar oleh seekor burung hantu. Dek ketakutan, dia meminta agar ditukar kepada burung hantu pula.
Kemudian, dia terlihat sang bulan. Kagum akan keindahan sinarannya, maka diminta menjadi bulan. Bila malam sudah ke penghujung, ia terganggu dengan cahaya mentari yang melenyapkan sinarannya. Lalu ia mahu menjadi Matahari. Kerana Matahari lebih kuat. Kerana cahaya matahari meliputi seluruh bumi. Megah.
Namun, kemegahannya pudar pabila angin bertiup. Sang awan menghalang cahayanya sampai ke bumi. Marah. Mahu menjadi awan pula. Kerana disangka awan lebih berkuasa daripada matahari. Angin bertiup lagi. Tiba-tiba dia melihat puncak gunung yang memecahkan awan. Dimintanya bertukar kepada gunung batu. Kembali berasa megah kerana berjaya menandingi sang awan.
Terdengar pula bunyi ketukan. Tidak disangka-sangka, kawan-kawannya sendiri yang mengetuknya; memecah batu kapur yang menjadi badannya kini! Akhirnya dia kembali menjadi seorang manusia. Dan mengakui, menjadi manusia itu lebih baik daripada segala makhluk yang lain.
Bukankah Allah sendiri telah berfirman;
We have indeed created man In the best of moulds [At-tiin; 4]
The essential fact of the surah is embodied in the verses:
“We indeed have created man in the fairest form.
Then We brought him down to the lowest of the low,
except for those who believe and do righteous deeds,
for their shall be an unfailing recompense.” [At-teen; 4-6]
Allah has perfected all His creation; and the special emphasis laid here and elsewhere in the Qur’an on man’s being endowed with perfect form shows clearly that this creature, man, has enjoyed extra care. Moreover, Allah’s care for this creature despite his distortion of his upright nature and the corruption he indulges in suggests that Allah has given him a special rank and a special weight in the universe. Allah’s care is most clearly apparent in the moulding of his highly complicated physical structure and his unique spiritual and mental make up.
The emphasis here is on man’s spiritual qualities since these are the ones which drag man down to the most ignoble state when he deviates from the upright nature and turns away from belief in Allah which is perfectly harmonious with this nature. It is needless to say that man’s physical structure does not sink down into such a low level. Moreover, the superiority of man’s creation is most clearly apparent in the spiritual qualities. He is made in a way which enables him to attain a sublime standard, superior to that of the highest ranking angels. This is illustrated in the story of the Prophet’s ascension to Heaven. Then, Jibril stopped at a certain level and Muhammad, the human being, was elevated much higher.
At the same time, man is given the dubious ability to sink down to levels unreached by any other creature: “Then We brought him down to the lowest of the low. ” In this latter case, the animals become superior to him and more upright since they do not violate their nature. They praise the Lord and fulfil their function on earth as they arc guided to do. But man who has been given the fairest form and abilities denies his Lord and sinks right down.
“We have created man in the fairest shape and form “. This is a reference to his nature and abilities. “Then We brought him down to the lowest of the low. ” That is, when he forces this nature away from the line Allah has defined for him. Having laid down the way. Allah left man to choose whether to follow it or not.
“Except for those who believe and do righteous deeds.” For these are men who stick to the upright nature, consolidate it with faith and righteous deeds, elevate it towards its destined level of perfection until they finally attain a life of perfection in the world of perfection: “for theirs shall be an unfailing recompense ” But those who cause their nature to sink to the lowest of the low go down with it along their slippery road until they reach the lowest level, that is, in Hell where their humanity is shed and they are completely debased. Both ends are natural results of two widely different starts and lines of action.
Thus, the importance of faith in human life becomes clear. Faith is the elevating path through which upright human nature ascends to its ultimate perfection. It is the rope stretched between man and his Maker. It is the light showing him where to put his feet along the elevating path. When the rope is cut and the light put out, the inevitable result is the fall down the steep path into the lowest of the low. The clay element in man’s make-up separates from the spiritual element and man, along with stones, becomes fuel for the hell-fire.