JUNE 20, 2003

From: Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia
To: A. W. Sadathullah Khan – Editor of Islamic Voice
Subject: THE WAGGLE BEE DANCE

My Dear Sadathullah Saheb,

As-Salaam Alay-Kum

From the bottom of my heart, I am grateful to you for acknowledging the receipt of my message, and at the same time, highly appreciative of your efforts for the workshop which you are conducting in India with the help of modern management theories and focusing it on Islamic ideology.

“The birth of Islam,” reminded Allama Iqbal in one of his Lectures, “is the birth of inductive intellect,” but appallingly, a handful of the followers of Islam have twisted its message and have managed to create a wall of prejudice and stupidity by discouraging the exercise of our minds. At any given time whenever someone within the Muslim Ummah shares the knowledge, they raise a green flag called “Bida.” (an innovation). Living under such circumstances and passing through the darkest period of Islamic civilization, wholly and solely created by our unwise religious leaders living right in our midst; we must try to spare our valuable time to ponder over the words of Dr. K. G. Saiyidain beautifully expressed in a chapter, “Pilgrimage Of The Mind, describing mankind’s inventions and achievements as follows:

From the primitive tree dwellings and huts to the Taj Mahal. And one can go on multiplying instances of such achievements. Equally significant, if not more, have been his achievements at the social level where he has learnt to co-operate and love and cherish and find his way – often also to lose it, too! – in the intricate labyrinth of social relationships. Where charity and compassion and science have been the lights by the road side. Into his experiences have been woven, and out of his experiences and intuitions have grown his ideals, inspirations and values which have sometimes found beautiful and arresting expressions in the life and thought of great thinkers, artists, poets, writers, scientists and men of religion. He has often strayed from this search for intellectual and moral truth and poisoned human relations with his cruelty, meanness and injustice, prostituting his great mind to serve selfish and ignoble ends.

For the past two centuries or so “intellectual” and “moral” truth, the two crucial words, have become quite alien to the Muslim Ummah to such an extent that we have lost in
touch with the two very important Quranic verses, wherein, Almighty Allah tenderly reminded us:

It is He who brought you
Forth from the wombs
Of your mother when
Ye knew nothing; and He
Gave you hearing and sight
And intelligence and affections:
That ye may give thanks
( To Allah )

Do they not look at
The birds, held poised
In the midst of ( the air
And ) the sky? Nothing
Holds them up but ( the power
of ) Allah. Verily in this
Are Signs for those who believe.

Surah: An-Nahl (The BeeS)
Chapter: 16 – Verse: 78-79

“Ignore intelligence” is a slogan of the enemies of Islam, therefore, as Muslims we must totally defy those who lead us astray no matter how they dress up or how they preach. When Almighty Allah repeatedly points out, “Verily in this are signs for those who believe,” our minds must instantly translate that, it is meant for each Muslim to strive hard to become an “intelligent devotee” willing and able to extract knowledge from nature and history with affection.

Now with a little bit of preaching done by me, let the “pilgrimage of our minds” bring us to the activity of the People Of The Book who by merely “embracing intelligence,” given by Almighty Allah, are now leading the human civilization. May I ask, “How many  of us have bothered to learn about ‘The Dance Language and Orientation Of Bees’?” What is THE WAGGLE BEE DANCE? Do we know that a bee with pollen-coated legs does a waggle dance for his fellow bees? Well, here is how Karl von Frisch, the Nobel Laureate explains it:

Whenever
a scout bee discovers
a rich food source, she recruits
nestmates by a waggle dance.
Other bees attending these dances
learn the distance, direction, and
odor of the flower, and can translate
this information into a bee-light flight to
the flowers.

All in all, each one of us has to keep ourselves busy as a bee and do our own “waggle dance” in order to impart worldly wisdom, that is, of the East, of the West and of Islam in the minds of young Muslims. Thanks to a fellow human being, Karl von Frisch for deciphering that bees’ dance is a means to communicate and to share knowledge with their own species. Just like bees, each and every one of us who is willing to promote the cause of Islam must learn how to communicate and share knowledge with others, using our intelligence and affections. Simply put, in the words of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him):

Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave.

Finally, after “reading” this note of thanks, I hope you will find the enthusiastic “Islamic Voice” of Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia, fair and reasonable. As a Muslim layman, I believe that, I did my best in expressing my humble views. By the way, carry on with your noble task which is far more important in these days and times. May Almighty Allah bless you and everyone at “http://www.islamicvoice.com”

Affectionately yours,

Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia

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