By: Samsul Nizar
Professor and Head of STAIN Bengkalis
God has endowed the eyes with great value. They provide access to a vast quantity of data. However, light is required for the eye to capture an image of an object. The eye cannot function properly in the absence of light. The eye sends various visual information to the brain (mind) and heart for processing with the aid of light. In religion, information processed by the intellect travels in order to digest and discover the truth. While the heart dwells to evaluate and savor the sweetness of the obtained truth. As His special servants, humans are endowed with two types of eyes: the outer eye, which can see the outer object (concrete), and the inner eye, which can see the inner object (ideas) (abstract). Both eye types ought to complement one another. This is due to the fact that the limitations of the outer eye must be supported by the potential of the inner eye, which can surpass the potential area of the outer eye.
Allah destines numerous humans to be blind, but they have brighter inner eyes than other humans. In the meantime, quite a few people have external eyes that can see the universe perfectly, but it turns out that their inner eyes are limited or even blind. As a result, his heart is filled with darkness, and he spreads only malice or hatred. Following the teachings of the Prophet and obeying Allah’s commands becomes arduous when the desire to do the truth is stifled.
Due to the aforementioned condition, the external eye can only see one’s own greatness and looks down upon others. His eyes are sharper than an eagle’s (when it is stalking its prey) and he is so observant that he seeks out the shame of his fellow man. In fact, he earns a living by seeking out the shame and errors of others in order to meet his needs. The sharpness of his eyes is limited to identifying the errors of others, while he is blind (or pretends to be blind) to his own and his coworkers’ corruption. As a result, his inner eyes become unable to perceive the “ignorance and disgrace” of himself or his community. Surprisingly, his eyes are “brightly lit” enough to perceive the shame of others. His eyes are as sharp as those of a “fly” that can detect a piece of rotting meat in a pile of diamonds. However, when he observes his disgrace or that of his coworkers, his inner eyes become “pitch black.” Obviously, such eyes belong to a “rotten” self-owner who delights in and revels in the “rotten.” Naturally, he focuses solely on the rotten or on making “something” rotten in order to create a dish that appeals to his palate. During the events of Isra’ and Mi’raj, the Prophet described this phenomenon so eloquently concerning the behaviour of the inhabitants of hell, who preferred to select and eat rotten meat (carrion) despite the availability of fresh meat.
If man possessed a “torch and mirror of self-respect,” he would be able to see the shame that exists. He would not want any decaying matter in him. He would be engaged in cleaning himself of grime. This condition prohibits observing the disgrace of others. He is ashamed if he will one day have to answer to Allah. He is concerned that his filthiness will prevent him from attaining Allah’s light and love. His eyes are perpetually moist with tears, as if he is constantly humiliated by the sight of himself. Because his eyes are solely focused on cleaning and maintaining his cleanliness, he never sees the disgrace of others. How fortunate is the person who, before meeting the Khaliq, is given the gift by Allah of constantly observing his disgrace by performing endless reflection? There is no time left to witness the disgrace of others, not even a speck of dust. Through His words, Allah reminds people: “Fear Allah, you believers. Let each man consider the preparations he has made for the future. Fear Allah. Indeed, Allah knows your actions best ” (QS. al-Hasyr: 18).
Thus, the preceding verse clearly reminds humans to be introspective and to use their eyes to enhance their behavior. A wise man utilizes all of his resources to recognize his flaws, strive for improvement, and approach Allah, the source of light. In contrast, ignorant people are so preoccupied with the flaws of others (much less those they perceive as enemies or competitors) that they forget about themselves and Allah, who created them. Allah has reminded us, in fact, through His words: “And do not be like those who forget Allah, because Allah will then cause them to forget themselves. They are the evildoers ” (QS. Al-Hasyr: 18).
The Malay proverb “the elephant in the eye is invisible, but the ant across the sea is plainly visible” is a reference to the verse cited above. This proverb implies that the mistakes of oneself (community) that are so large and obvious to the naked eye are never seen (pretend not to be seen), even if logic or rules are designed to make them invisible. However, others’ minor errors are easily discerned and magnified. Allah created multiple varieties of (human) eyes as one of the five senses. The types of eyes that reveal an individual’s character and qualities are as follows:
First, the eye that perpetually seeks and follows the light. If the external eye functions when there is light, so too will the eye of the heart (batin). Therefore, it is natural that the eye requires and seeks light at all times. The light that is necessary for the outer eye is the light of nature. It has a narrow scope. The outer eye is light-dependent and avoids darkness. In contrast, the eye of the heart seeks light from the One who possesses Light. Its scope is broader, as vast as the light that Allah gives to the servant He chooses. In accordance with the Shari’a, those who use their outer eye to seek and find the outer light in accordance with Allah’s command will have the opportunity to discover their true inner light. Certainly, it is a lengthy process, and His permission is also required. Those who are content with the “dark side of the world,” however, will have their eyes increasingly shut and turned away from the truth’s light (Divine).
The desire of the servant’s eyes to seek and approach the divine light is expressed by the Prophet Muhammad in his munajat: “Dear Allah, make light in my heart, light in my hearing, light in my sight, light on my right, light on my left, light on my right, light on my left, light before me, light behind me, light above me, light below me, and glorify the light for me” (HR. Bukhari).
The servant who directs the outer and inner eyes (the heart) toward the light source will experience incomparable joy. Allah relates this in His words: “Plates of gold and trophies will be distributed to them, and in Paradise, there will be everything the heart desires and the eyes find pleasing, and you will dwell there” (QS. az-Zukhruf: 71).
Those with this type of eye are fortunate servants who will be saved in the afterlife. Be thankful and cultivate with faith so that this type of eye can be owned and maintained.
Second, eyes covered with a “thick fog” (cataract) of ignorance that is impervious to light and unable to let light in. This type of eye is blinded from the light of truth by ignorance. Power, material wealth, avarice, hatred, enmity, haughtiness, and other forms of ignorance close one’s eyes. If something does not benefit him or his community, he considers it to be negative. However, if what the eyes see is something profitable, even if it is “black fog,” it will still be considered “bright.” Or vice versa, regardless of how bright the sun is, if it does not benefit the self (community), it will be denied and deemed dark. Such eyes are characterized by the Prophet’s words: “Verily, Allah created the world in darkness and then gave it His light, so whoever is exposed to His light is guided, and whoever misses it is lost” (HR Ahmad).
Those with this eye condition are miserable servants. To treat it, one must seek His forgiveness while attempting to remove the veil that covers one’s eyes by returning to one’s nature as a servant who always adheres to His teachings.
Third, the truth for eyes that are terrified of light and avoid it at all costs (heliophobia). These types of eyes resemble those of owls, bats, vampires, etc. These types of eyes (outer and inner) experience total and enduring “blindness and blindness.” Absolutely no light can pass through. Nothing is accepted and is even avoided. This eye is constantly searching for “darkness.” In fact, the world of darkness becomes a source of life and pleasure for the individual and the community. Any source of illumination is not only shunned and despised, but its destruction and eradication are sought. Allah describes this type of personality in His words: “On the day when male and female hypocrites say to believers, “Wait for us so we can steal some of your light,” “Return and seek for yourselves a light,” they will be told.” (QS. al-Hadid: 13).
Although the verse is clearly written, arranged, and found in the self so clearly, this type of eye creates a “vampire” character that causes the individual to forget the light. This is clarified by Allah in His words: “When is the Day of Resurrection, he inquires. Therefore, when the eyes are wide open (fear),” (QS. al-Qiyamah: 6-7).
It was too late, however. Only remorse is worthless. After having been denied so much light. Allah’s promise is certain, indeed. Those with these typical eyes are servile humans. Realize your errors and beg His pardon by repenting as An-Nasuha and promising not to repeat the actions that blinded him.
Fourth, the ankle area The eye that has a name but does not function to indicate the direction of footfall. Similarly, humans have both external and internal eyes, but they are incapable of perceiving their environment. As arrogance and injustice grow stronger, there is a decline in sensitivity, a loss of taste, and a hardening of the mind and heart. This type of individual lacks the ability to develop genuine self-wisdom, as they are only able to recognize good and evil. They have power and status but are not responsible for nurturing and protecting. Lacking work and efforts to educate, despite having knowledge. There is still widespread hunger despite the existence of wealth. Many are afflicted by having power. Everything occurs because there are eyes in name only, but they do not perform as expected. Allah reminds us through His words, “He is aware of the deceitful eye and what the heart conceals” (QS. al-Mukmin: 19).
Servants with these typical eyes are miserable and despicable. The facilities owned by themselves are only limited to existing and being named, but they are not actually utilized. Allah humiliates him to a level beneath that of animals (QS. al-A’raf: 179) as he descends into debasement. Despite the fact that the inhabitants of the earth laud this species, it is regarded with contempt by the inhabitants of the heavens.
Such is the clarity of the verse that He utters, but it is frequently limited to being read and viewed with the naked eye but has not been able to be put into practice. As the proverb goes, “far from the flames” (not as expected). Although it is obvious that the Prophet’s mission is to bring the message of salvation from darkness to light (minadzulumaat ila an-nuur), some individuals are blind to the light of religion. Fortunate are those whose eyes are sensitive to light and who choose the path of the Prophet’s obligation. On the other hand, it is a loss for those who choose darkness over divine light in every aspect of their lives.
Despite the fact that the world’s civilisation must be dynamic, it will not change so long as humans do not use their eyes to reach the light. Humans are incapable of altering their thought and behaviour patterns in the absence of light. Because only when the outer and inner eyes are able to reach and obtain light will he see all the truths that exist in the real world. Consequently, how is each individual’s eye? Nobody knows for certain or consciously disregards the quality of his eyes. Only those who receive His light are able to respond.
Wa Allahua’lam bi al-Shawwab.
Translated by Riska Saputra, S.Pd
Alumni from the English Education Study Program at STAIN Bengkalis.
Master Student at Graduate Institute of Network Learning Technology in National Central University, Taiwan.