Saturday, March 12, 2011

"With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility"

Is the title familiar? Did you guys watch the movie Spiderman? :)
Remember the scene during the earlier part just after he realised his potential and power. Peter needed the money and signed up for a wrestling match that promised 3000 dollars. In his 'primitive'(looks more like a pajama) spidey suit he won the match and was at the office to collect his paycheck.

In the next scene he was cheated by the promoter who gave him only 100 dollars and was told to go away. Imagine his anger and frustration at being cheated. As he walked away he felt the world has be unjust to him, he was seething with anger when in a twist of fate a robber entered the office. The robber after taking the money from the promoter started fleeing away towards the corridor running past Peter. With a grin on his face, feeling the sweet sense of revenge, he allowed the robber to run pass him.The robber acknowledged and said;


He had the power to stop the robber but when the promoter yelled at him after that;

"You could have taken him apart, now he's getting away with my money"

He answered;

"I miss the part where it's my problem"

Justice perhaps? Like they say what goes around comes around. But what happened next changed his life. The robber ran out and hijacked a car, shooting the driver. The driver happens to be Peter Parker's uncle, his dear Uncle Ben.

I don't mean to ramble the narrative of the story without a reason. I think there's an important lesson that we can learn from it. Allah swt in His infinite wisdom made cause and effect part of how this world works. Part of the law of Allah swt in this world.

We all live in an intricate web, interconnected to each other and to our environment in ways we cannot imagine. Our action or inaction effects those around us. We are often quoted that if we be kind to others, others will be kind to us too.

Unfortunately this can also lead to the 'I'm minding my own business' mentality. We must realise that our inaction also effects us as in the case above. We can easier count or remember how we have been kind to someone but it's almost unquantifiable how much ruin we have caused through our inactions.

Peter Parker had the power and the gift to stop the robber, but made a decision not to. We often live in the same scenario. We can think of a million reasons why not to intervene in something we see. Allah swt has bestowed upon us abilities. Abilities to think, to reason and to act. And in the words of Peter Parker, "With great power comes great responsibility".

Allah swt has created us the best of creation and gave us the choice either to live up to the expectation or to be the lowest of low. We live in this world as His khalifah, to run this temporary world not with our hawa but with the truth.

Allah swt says:

O you who believe, take care of your own selves. The one who has gone astray cannot harm you, if you are on the right path. To Allah all of you have to return. Then He will tell you what you have been doing.(5:105)

About being in the right path,in tafsir ibn Kathir, Imam Ahmad recorded that Saidina Abu Bakar ra explained it by saying he heard the prophet saw said regarding this verse "If the people witness evil and do not change it, then Allah is about to send His punishment to encompass them."

Enjoining good and forbidding evil forms the bedrock of our religion. Sometimes people don't treat us as how they should, but that's no excuse on how we must treat others. Being a servant of Allah swt is about showing our best to those around us. About being actively part of the community. Channeling our best not only for our own benefit but to uplift those lives around us.

Living in a modern society it is easy for us to absolve our responsibilites to institutions. There's the police, army, or welfare department but at the end of the day we must realise it is a shared responsibility. Everyone having a part to play to make our world a better place.

Remember that it's easier to nip it when it is small. Once it snowballs into something huge, it will steam roll our society without prejudice.

When we see crime in the news, the victim will always be a part of someone's family. As in the case of Peter Parker, one day it could be our own families.

To finish, history will not remember about how much we received, but how much we gave to others.

May Allah protect us from that. May Allah also make all of us active members or the society, contributing to the betterment of the society in order to please Allah, the most exalted the most high. Ameen

That's all for today:)

O Allah please send your peace and blessings upon our prophet Muhammad saw, his family members and those who follow him till the end of time.

your brother


[Chief Editor's Note: Brother Khairul is the current President of YMP.]



Unknown said...

Wonderfully put and always a relevant topic. This should freshen our conscience a bit because this kind of responsibility (the one Peter Parker had when he saw the robber) applies to almost every one of us.

The only difference between us is that we each have influence or power to affect different things and this is where our conscience should guide us. This article should get us to examine ourselves rather than point at who's not using their "power" to change things.

Many people, like me, can easily say "well, if it's with great power that I have great responsibility, then this does NOT apply to me because I DON'T have great power...but THEY do."

However, power here does not only apply to high status in society. Power means influence, which one obtains through expertise and skills learned. It can be anything, like knowing how to fix a pipe or programme computers or speak well publicly; if these skills are needed for a good cause and we have the skills, the we become responsible--and Allah only knows if we have fulfilled this responsibility or the reasons for which we did not do so.

And, we should never underestimate any act toward good which we are able to help undertake through what abilities we have.

So, once Allah swt has opened the way for me to gain a skill or type of knowledge, I become more responsible than before for I have more tools or "power" to help change situations that need changing.

So, we can also understand the phrase as such: "with the owenership of skills, degrees, abilities,social status comes greater power--and with any great power comes great responsibility"

I love posts that get people thinking. This definitely got me thinking. Thank you!


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