Friday, March 10, 2017

Have A Little Faith


I've always loved Mitch Albom's work.
I feel that they are always very inspiring, funny and resonates well with our real lives.
And they are usually expensive - relatively, compared to other thicker books.

In every bookfair, I will always look for Albom's books.
I'll buy them if they aren't too expensive.
And during the last Big Bad Wolf book fair in Mines, I managed to get hold of one; titled Have A Little Faith - which cost me RM12.
Not too bad.

This book is well written, and it teaches a lot of life values.
However it is so very Jewish and Judaism-ish.

Albom's previous works are stories about his dying professor Morrie and his last words and life lessons. This book talks about his Rabbi - affectionately known as "the Reb" whom he knew from when he was a little boy but only recently reconnected with, when the Reb asked Albom to write his eulogy.
Let me give you a little bit of spoiler - it spans for more than 8 years, this book.
He describes how he grew closer and fonder of the Rabbi, the very being he was so afraid of and always avoided when he was young.

He described how well mannered, patient, peaceful, determined and kind hearted his Rabbi was.
The Man of God - that's how he always describe this man.
And I really really admired this Rabbi character - and I silently wish we have more Islamic preachers with these characteristics.
He keeps track of people in his congregation, made phone calls to the respective families when he heard of any weddings / child birth / deaths within, if he cannot attend the function.
He does house visits until he was too old to do so.
And he was well educated as well.

I like it that he MAKES phone calls, a rather dying trend of our society nowadays.
We WhatsApp, message, emails - which are actually not real conversations.
We can misunderstood and hid emotions with written conversations. We can always add "Haha" at the end of any sentence, to make it sound better, even if the sentence before might break our or the receiver's heart.
But when you call, you can hear the person's laughter, sorrow or even silence when the person at the end of the line tried to swallow her tears.

And anyone who have read my blog long enough will have noticed - I hate Zionism.
I hate them for oppressing and occupying the Palestinian lands illegally - and they hide behind the name "Israel" - which also equals to Jewish.
But not all Jews are Zionists though.
And the main character of this book is the Reb - someone of a different religion with me.
Someone of the religion that the Zionists hide behind.
Anyway, this sentence of mine can be politically challenged - lets put that aside for now.

The writer also talked about Pastor Henry Covington.
A determined, dedicated Christian pastor who was involved with lots of crime during his younger days - including drugs and was also jailed for some time.
And he formed and became the pastor of the My Brothers Keeper's Church - and has turned a new leaf. He described the man very well, and I believe Pastor Covington IS a miracle and a living proof  of what determination and faith can bring into a person's life.

Albom managed to make me fall in love with the characters, but of course, not the religions.
Most of the teachings are the same anyway, the Abrahamic religions.
Hence there was no reason for me to fall in love with the religions.

I hesitated though during the process of reading the book.
It took me more than one week, not because of the hesitations but rather due to the limited time I had.
And I thought of stopping myself from reading this book as it was too Jewish.
Will it benefit me more if read a more Islamic book instead?
Will this put me in the danger of Shirk?
I kept my mind open though - I am reading this book for the sake of reading it, and I already buy it anyway.
I will not let the book shakes my faith in whatever way.
And of course, it didn't.

I was very much absorbed into the story half way thru the book.
In fact, it taught me a lot about life and perseverance and having and keeping that strong faith.
And I am glad I did not stop reading it - just because I am scared it might make me turn my back towards Islam or, what will other people say if they know I read these kinds of books?
I was quite disappointed - oh why is Albom, the writer I admired is a Jew? I can accept him being a Christian or Hindu or Taoist. But Jewish?

But, come to think of it again, that was silly ain't it?
To think that my faith can be shattered from reading a non-fiction, non-biased book?
How thin was my faith?
If anything, after reading this book I felt my faith towards Islam just grew stronger.
I now have a better and more imaginable character to adopt into my life.
And I look forward to Albom's other works.

Let me end with a quote from the Reb

“Mitch, that's what faith is. If they spit in your face, you say it must be raining. But you still come back tomorrow.” 

-Because life is a test-


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