RANDOM THOUGHTS : Silence is Golden - BY: Dr. A.Q. Khan

Silence is Golden
Dr. A.Q. Khan


One can’t help but be shocked by the rhetoric used by political leaders in TV programs. It leaves the impression that all norms of decency, social value and Divine Edicts have been put aside. This all reminds me of a story I read a long time ago, I think it was by Saadi. The story said that there was once a self-proclaimed scholar who, hard pressed by poverty, went to a nearby town and sat down in a mosque. There he would pray 5 times a day with the other worshippers, afterwards sitting down in a corner reciting with his tasby in hand. After some time, people started assuming he was a holy man and they brought him gifts of food, etc. In this way he collected quite a number of gifts. Bolstered by his acquired popularity he thought that, if by keeping silent he was being so well respected and receiving many gifts, then why not talk to the people and earn even more. So one day, after prayers, he called the worshippers and started preaching. The moment he opened his mouth and spoke, people started leaving and after only a few minutes, everyone had gone. Shocked, he wrote on the wall of the mosque: “Had I kept silent and not spoken, I would still be a respected man. By talking, I have exposed my lack of knowledge and wisdom and lost the respect I had. It would have been much better to remain silent.”

Shaikh Saadi (RA) is famous, not only in Iran, but also the world over, as being a great literary figure. His two books, Gulistan and Bostan are world famous and have been translated into many foreign languages. In chapter 4 of Gulistan, he has given many stories about of virtue of silence. One of these pearls of wisdom says: “I told one of my friends that whenever I have been stopped from talking (or have done so myself), it has been for the reason that when you talk too much, some nonsense slips into the conversation. Your opponents or enemies will not pay much attention to the good things you have said, but will pick up on the wrong things. My friend, who is a good friend, does not notice the good things. The morale of this story is that when someone meets a noble, righteous person, he can easily use the latter’s inconsistencies to accuse that noble soul of haughtiness and self-projection.”

I have quoted these stories to draw attention (where it was not already known) to the rude, illogical rhetoric used by the former PM, his daughter, sycophants and other profit-seeking cronies. Recently Maryam Nawaz gave an interview to an American journalist in which she boasted that her father and grandfather saw her excellent administrative capabilities and handed over the household management to her. She then went on to disclose that she had been married and had her children at an early age and now had enough free time to participate in politics. She did not mention why she got married so early, thus missing out on a desirable higher (university) education. She was obviously still dreaming of becoming the President of the N-League. It was Ch. Nisar who took the wind out of her sails by merely saying that she could never be another Benazir Bhutto.

Irrational, illogical and insulting tirades against the honourable judges and members of the JIT by Mian Sb., Maryam and other cronies did them much more harm than good to Nawaz Sharif’s cause. The judges are ordinary human beings and though they may not openly say so, they are, just like any of us, sensitive to nasty, untrue remarks made against them. Nawaz Sharif and his cronies are talking about them as if they are Modi’s or Musharraf’s agents and totally devoid of intelligence and knowledge of the laws. This is not the Court of Justice Munir, Justice Maulvi Mushtaq or Justice Anwarul Haq. All the judges in question have spotless, unblemished records and are acting in accordance with the laws and the oaths they took.

The worst thing that Nawaz Sharif did (or could do) was to surround himself by sycophants and self-seekers. It was their advice that led him into the current dilemma. His legal team failed to give him proper advice (or perhaps he did not listen to them!) to fight the case legally and not through rhetoric. I cannot help but feel sorry for the whole family as, whatever the causes and consequences, their pain is tangible. However, that doesn’t change anything in the situation and slander and disguised abuse is unacceptable.

Politics in this country has gone from bad to worse and all politicians are to blame and have a share in this. There is no Code of Conduct for politics any longer and the motto: “All is fair in politics” seems to suit everyone. The Almighty has, on many occasions, warned that the brains, eyes and hearts of many misguided people will be sealed (see, for example, Surahs Baqara, A’raf, Anfal, Muhammed, etc.). Many intellectuals and philosophers have also commented on this matter. For example, one Greek philosopher said: “Whom God wants to destroy, He first takes away their wisdom.” Indian philosopher Tulsi Das said: “Whom God wants to give pain, first He makes him mad.” Chinese philosopher Leo Tzu said: “It is very difficult to rule (or fool) people as they are quite intelligent.” Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) also warned of double standards that ultimately lead to the destruction of nations.

IMPORTANT NOTE: In my last column When Judgment Comes (The News, 23rd Oct.) I wrote about the menace of adulteration in food and medicines. Let me hasten to point out that those pharmaceutical companies manufacturing under foreign licences cannot, and do not, adulterate their medicines or produce fakes. It is the unscrupulous criminals (often in collaboration with officials) who produce fake medicines and supply these to dishonest shopkeepers. The same goes for adulteration of foodstuff. Luckily, it is less in our country than in some of those surrounding us. Please desist – it is a heinous crime against humanity!

Posted on Nov 07, 17 | 4:29 am