A lesson from history
In 1973 the war between Arabs and Israel was about to start. Meanwhile, an American Senator visited Israel on a special mission. He was chief of the Senate Arms Committee. A meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir was arranged immediately. Golda Meir welcomed him into her home, like any common housewife welcoming a family guest. She took him to the kitchen. While seating him at the kitchen dining table, she went over to prepare tea for the guest.
As the water was kept for boiling, she came over and sat on a chair near the dining table. She opened the discussion regarding planes, missiles, and guns. In the course of negotiations, she got the aroma of the brew.
She prepared two cups of tea and offered one cup to the Senator, and another to an American guard who was standing at the gate. On returning, she came back and continued talking with the Senator. After a discussion, they settled the arms deal. In the meantime, she stood up, collected all the cups, and turned to the senator and said “I agree to this deal. You can send your secretary to my secretary for the written deal”.
It may be remembered that Israel at that time was facing a serious economic crisis, but the huge arms deal was settled by Meir with the greatest of ease in the history of Israel. It was quite astonishing that earlier, the Israeli cabinet had rejected the same deal, because they thought it would be so costly, that the whole nation would have to make do with a single meal a day, for years to come.
Meir knew about their stand, and said, “Your doubts are well founded, but if we win this war, and defeat the Arabs, history will remember us as the victors, and in history, once a community is known as the victor, it forgets how many eggs they ate and how many times they had food. Whether there was jam, honey, or butter on the table, and how many holes they had in their shoes. Or whether the sheaths of their swords were new or old! A conqueror is a conqueror.”
Based on Meir’s solid logic, the Israeli cabinet approved the deal. Later it was proved that the decision taken by Meir was right, and the whole world witnessed the Jews knocking on the doors of the Arabs with this artillery. A war took place, and the Arabs faced a shocking defeat at the hands of an old lady.
After a gap of one decade after the war, a reporter for the Washington Post interviewed Meir, asking “Was the logic you had in your mind for the arms was spur of a moment decision or you had had an advance strategy?” Meir’s reply was very surprising.
She answered, “I got this logic from the Prophet (of the Muslims) Muhammed (peace be upon him). When I was a student, my favorite topic was comparative study of religions. Those days I studied the life of the prophet Muhammed (PBUH). One author stated that when Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) passed away, there was not enough money to buy oil for a lamp, his wife (Ayesha Siddiqa [Radi Allahu-ta’ala Anha]) mortgaged his battle shield to buy oil, yet there were nine swords hung on the wall of his house.
When I read this account, it occurred to me- how many people in the world would have known about the worst economic condition of the Islamic state? But everyone recognizes them as conquerors of half the world. So I decided that I would buy arms at any cost; even if we would have to starve or live in camps instead of buildings, but we would prove ourselves as the victor”.
Meir revealed this secret but requested the interviewer to keep it “off the record”, and refrain from publishing it because if she referred to Prophet Mohammed (P.B.U.H), the Jews would have revolted against her and the Muslim position would have strengthened.
Over time, the world situation changed. Golda Meir died.
By this time the interviewer had given up the profession of journalism. Meanwhile, another correspondent was busy interviewing 20 famous American journalists. In connection with this, he met the journalist who had interviewed Meir as a representative of the Washington Post. In this interview, he recounted the story of Meir that drew on the life of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).
He said he was not ashamed to tell the story. Further, he said, “After this incident I studied the history of Islam and was astonished to know about the savoir-faire of Arabs. I learned that Tariq bin Ziyad conquered Spain through Gibraltar, while more than half his army did not have a complete suit of clothes. They subsisted for 72 hours at a time on water and dried bread.
It was then that the interviewer agreed with Meir’s view that history counts victory; it does not count the eggs, jams, and butter on the table. “When the interview with Meir was published, the whole world learned of this entire story. This astonishing incident is history’s wake-up call to the Muslims of the world. It teaches them a lesson; it reveals how 14 centuries ago, a shepherd (Hazrat Umar R.A., was a shepherd at his early age), clad in a cloak and worn-out shoes became the leader of the world and conquered four continents.
Could enormous castles, grand palaces, magnificent gardens, splendid clothes, adorned rest places of silk and sleepless, gold silver, boxes, gems, and jewels, the spread of savory dishes, and the jingle of coins save them?
The locust swarm of Tartar forces did not reach the palace of Mu’ta’sim Billah by trampling over Baghdad. What a terrible and astonishing scene it was in the history of Islam when Mu’ta’sim Billah was bound in chains, standing like a prisoner before Halaku Khan (grandson of Changiz Khan).
At mealtime, Halaku Khan ate in simple plates, but offered plates of gems and precious metals to Caliph Mu’ta’sim Billah, mocking “Eat from these diamonds, gems, gold, and precious metals you have collected!” There stood the Sovereign of Baghdad, helpless, powerless, lonely, destitute, saying, “How can I eat gold?” Halaku Khan replied, “Then why you have collected all this silver and gold?”
The Muslim, whose religion calls on him to make arms and rear horses, had no reply. Halaku Khan glanced at the palace doors and windows, asking, “Why did you not make iron arrows by melting these iron nets? Why did you collect these diamonds instead of paying money to your soldiers, so they could fight bravely against my forces? “It was the will of Allah”, replied the grieved Caliph.
The arrogant Halaku shot back, “Whatever is now going to happen with you is also God’s wish”.
Then Halaku covered Mu’ta’sim Billah in a cloak and crushed him under the hooves of horses, and proceeded to make a graveyard of Baghdad.
Courtesy: Asian Tribune.