Friday, October 15, 2004


I attended an interesting speaking session on “Islam – How to Incorporate Islamic Teachings in the Corporate Life” this week.


It was mostly about good things to do: Such as being patient in times of trouble, and being grateful in times of abundance; courtesy and politeness to people; believing in fate, but striving to make it happen…. And it spoke of bad practices: Belittling others, deceit, etc.


It was great, but it stopped just short of translating the teachings in a corporate context.


Let’s focus on “fate” – which raised the most questions. If all is Maktub, or “written,” what’s the point in striving or even praying?


One answer that the speaker gave was: Our vision is different from that of Allah. So whereas we see that our fate “changes” in answer to our prayers and strife, it was actually to be so by God, who sees all eternity.


This is an interesting remark. I only feel it’s partly true. I am certain that some part of our fate remains up to us to change and realize. For most people, fate is like a carpet that unfurls. The Designer knows the design, but people see only as much of it reveals. For others – and I have no idea what their numbers are – fate is “interactive.”


It is like a video game. There is a set of parameters: the players, the equipment, the routes and maps – but within these constrictions lies an infinite number of possibilities for players. There is also a set way in which the game ends, but where one player is at “time up!” and how much s/he’s achieved by that time depends on how the game was played.


Note: The lecture was by Nadeem Mustufa Khan, Director General & Chief Executive Officer of Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi.  

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