You Need the Right Key

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | The Economic Times, The Edit Page | Feb 16, 2018, p. 18

The guest struggled desperately to open the lock, and as he went on and on twisting and turning the key, his vexation finally turned to fury. “This lock is defective!” He shouted to anyone who cared to listen. Then he muttered under his breath that his host had been a fool to buy such a lock. The next to have his wrath vented on it was the lockmaking industry, which produced worthless goods, not caring whether they worked or not and not caring if people were being put to trouble. Their business was only to make money out of unsuspecting consumers.

By this time, he was at the end of his tether and decided to hammer it open. Just then, his host arrived and tried the key in the lock himself. “Oh, I am so sorry!” He exclaimed. “I quite forgot I had changed this lock, and gave you the wrong key.” He then produced the right key and the lock opened instantly. The guest’s ire had been quite misdirected and ultimately he achieved nothing by it except reduce himself to a state of utter exhaustion.

Many Muslims find themselves in this sorry predicament today. Faced with one impasse after another, finding areas that they urgently need to enter, difficult to access, nay, impenetrable, because they have the wrong keys. This modern age has changed the locks to life’s doors, but we carry the same old keys, hopefully fitting them here and there, staring in frustration when locks do not snap open for us, and then fritter our energies in senseless rage.

We curse the lock-makers and the environment. But to no avail, because you just cannot unlock new locks with old keys.