Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Gnat Preceded the Mosquito

On Channel Two news, I saw a clip of a Muslim preacher comparing Ariel Sharon to Nimrod.

Odd, I thought to myself.

So I searched, and found this, compiled from Irshad: Wisdom of a Sufi Master by Shaikh Muzaffer Al Jerrahi 

Destruction of Nimrod
Namrood’s destruction was at hand. Allah Ta’ala had given him enough time to reform. But he imagined he had himself to thank for the respite he had been granted. He had become more and more cruel and unjust. His despotism knew no bounds. He summoned Hazrat Ibrahim (Alaihis Salaam) and said to him, “Tell your Allah that I neither fear Him nor need Him! Go tell Him that the whole world is in awe of me. All people are obedient to my command. If He is the God of heaven, I am God of the earth. Where are His armies? If the sky fell on my troops, they could hold it up with their lances. Tell Him I challenge Him to a battle. He has no say on earth. The whole earth belongs to me; it is my kingdom!”...

...Namrood himself left the battlefield, taking refuge in one of his castles. He thought he had saved his life by stopping up all doors and windows. In spite of the great miracle he had witnessed, he could not bring himself to repent and accept the Oneness of Allah Ta’ala. How could he do so, without overcoming his arrogance and pride? The scoundrel was wilfully obstinate in his

One lame mosquito, with a damaged wing, had been unable to obey the Divine Command to attack this stubborn infidel. It now addresses itself to Allah Ta’ala, saying, “Oh Allah, what a sinful and luckless creature I must be, that You should deprive me of my share in this battle. If only my leg and my wing had been sound, I would have done my bit in fighting this enemy of Yours!” Almighty Allah, Lord of the worlds, then gave it the command, “Go now! You destroy that accursed one!”  The lame mosquito made its way, limping to the castle where Namrood was hiding. Getting in through a keyhole, it went and settled on Namrood’s knee...For all his efforts Namrood still could not kill the mosquito, which now went up inside his nose.

...The mosquito started eating the membrane of Namrood’s brain. The tyrant beat his head from rock to rock. Now he had really begun to feel the pain of his defeat. He had felt no sympathy for the hundred thousand soldiers he had left on the battlefield, nor for their bereaved parents. His only thought had been to save his filthy skin and rotten soul by running to hide in his castle; but hiding could not save him from the dreaded claws of death...Namrood appointed salaried officials to hit him on the head with mallets. The blows gave him a brief respite, since they interrupted the insect’s work...One day, one of these servants wielded the mallet too hard, and Namrood’s evil soul departed. They laid his filthy corpse in the pit of hell which was his grave.

We should learn from this incident that arrogance and pride will lead us to nothing but destruction in both the worlds. The more arrogant one is the more disgraced one would end up...

That story is familiar to me, as it is to anyone who has learned Talmud and especially the Aggadic sections relating to the destruction of the Temple in Treatise Gittin. 

Page 56B:

...Vespasian sent Titus who said, Where is their God, the rock in whom they trusted? This was the wicked Titus who blasphemed and insulted Heaven. What did he do? He took a harlot by the hand and entered the Holy of Holies and spread out a scroll of the Law and committed a sin on it. He then took a sword and slashed the curtain. Miraculously blood spurted out, and he thought that he had slain himself, as it says, Thine adversaries have roared in the midst of thine assembly, they have set up their ensigns for signs. Abba Hanan said: Who is a mighty one like unto thee, O Jah? Who is like Thee, mighty in self-restraint, that Thou didst hear the blaspheming and insults of that wicked man and keep silent? In the school of R. Ishmael it was taught; Who is like thee among the gods [elim]? Who is like thee among the dumb ones [illemim]. Titus further took the curtain and shaped it like a basket and brought all the vessels of the Sanctuary and put them in it, and then put them on board ship to go and triumph with them in his city, as it says, And withal I saw the wicked buried, and they that come to the grave and they that had done right went away from the holy place and were forgotten in the city. Read not keburim [buried] but kebuzim [collected]; read not veyishtakehu [and were forgotten] but veyishtabehu [and triumphed]. Some say that keburim [can be retained], because even things that were buried were disclosed to them. A gale sprang up at sea which threatened to wreck him. He said: Apparently the power of the God of these people is only over water. When Pharaoh came He drowned him in water, when Sisera came He drowned him in water.

He is also trying to drown me in water. If he is really mighty, let him come up on the dry land and fight with me. A voice went forth from heaven saying; Sinner, son of sinner, descendant of Esau the sinner, I have a tiny creature in my world called a gnat. (Why is it called a tiny creature? Because it has an orifice for taking in but not for excreting.) Go up on the dry land and make war with it. Whenhe landed the gnat came and entered his nose, and it knocked against his brain for seven years. One day as he was passing a blacksmith's it heard the noise of the hammer and stopped. He said; I see there is a remedy. So every day they brought a blacksmith who hammered before him. If he was a non-Jew they gave him four zuz, if he was a Jew they said, It is enough that you see the suffering of your enemy. This went on for thirty days, but then the creature got used to it. It has been taught: R. Phineas b. ‘Aruba said; I was in company with the notables of Rome, and when he died they split open his skull and found there something like a sparrow two sela's in weight. A Tanna taught; Like a young dove two pounds in weight. Abaye said; We have it on record that its beak was of brass and its claws of iron. When he died he said: Burn me and scatter my ashes over the seven seas so that the God of the Jews should not find me and bring me to trial.



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