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THE CROW AS A TEACHER

There is a story in the Qur’an that bears a great lesson for man. Adam was the first man. Abel and Cain were the two sons of Adam. There arose a dispute between the two on some issue, and finally, Cain killed Abel. The other part of the story has been narrated in the Qur’an in these words: His soul persuaded him to kill his brother, and he killed him and became one of the lost. Then God sent a crow, which scratched the earth so that He might show him how to bury the corpse of his brother. ‘Alas!’ he cried, ‘Am I not able even to be like this crow, so that I may bury the corpse of my brother?’ And he repented. (5:30-31)

This story is not an isolated story. It gives us a comprehensive lesson, that is, in nature, there are examples for man to draw lessons from. If he contemplates these lessons, he may find wisdom for leading his life. The fact is that except for man, the whole world follows the strict laws of nature—the material and plant world follows natural laws, while animals are governed by their instinct. These have no freedom of choice. Due to this, the material world, the plant world, and the animal world are guaranteed not deviating from the right path. However, man is a quite different creature. Man enjoys freedom and is thus completely free to opt for his own choice. Because of this nature of human existence, there are deviations from the right path in human life. Man misuses his freedom and the result is evil and corruption.

In nature, there are examples for man to draw lessons from. If he contemplates these lessons, he may find wisdom for leading his life. In this state of affairs, the best way for man is to follow the examples of the world around him. What the other part of the world is doing under compulsion, he must do by choice. For example, there are numerous stars and planets in vast space. All these astronomical bodies are continuously in motion, but there is no clash between them. They are revolving in their respective orbits and do not try to confront each other. Man must follow this pattern, that is, plan his activities without engaging in confrontation with other people. All the creatures of the world, both animate and inanimate, are examples of man. If man ponders over the natural phenomena, he will certainly discover the right way of living which is free of confrontation, hate, and violence. This is the easiest way to discover the right lifestyle for mankind.

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