A SALIENT STORY ABOUT LATERAL AND LOGICAL THINKING

Many years ago in a small Indian village, A farmer Ebrahim had the
misfortune Of owing a large sum of money to a village moneylender.

The Moneylender, who was old and ugly, fancied the farmer’s beautiful
Daughter Fatima. So he proposed a bargain.

He said he would forgo the farmer Ebrahim’s debt if he could marry his
Daughter Fatima. Both the farmer and his daughter were horrified by the
Proposal.

So the cunning money-lender suggested that they let Destiny[fate] decide
the matter.

He told them that he would put a black Pebble and a white pebble into an
empty money bag. Then the girl would Have to pick one pebble from the bag.

1) If she picked the black pebble, she would become his wife and her
father’s debt would be forgiven.

2) If she picked the white pebble she need not marry him and her
father’s debt would still be forgiven.

3) But if she refused to pick a pebble, her father would be thrown into Jail.

They were standing on a pebble strewn path in the farmer’s field. As They
talked, the moneylender bent over to pick up two pebbles. As he Picked
them up, the sharp-eyed pious girl Fatima noticed that he had picked up
two Black pebbles and put  them into the bag.

He then asked the girl Fatima to pick A pebble from the bag.

Now, imagine that you were standing in the field. What would you have Done
if you were Fatima? If you had to advise her, what would you Have told
her?

Careful analysis would produce three possibilities:

1. Fatima should refuse to take a pebble.

2. Fatima should show that there were two black pebbles in the bag And
expose the money-lender as a cheat.

3. Fatima should pick a black pebble and sacrifice herself in order To
save her father Ebrahim from his debt and imprisonment.

Take a moment to ponder over the story. The above story is used with The
hope that it will make us appreciate the difference between lateral,
logical thinking.

The girl’s dilemma cannot be solved with Traditional logical thinking.
Think of the consequences if she chooses The above logical answers.

What would you recommend to Fatima to do?

Well, here is what  she did ….

Being pious,she put her trust in Allah and said Bismillah[I begin in the
name of Allah] she then…..

put her hand into the moneybag and drew out a pebble. Without Looking at
it, she fumbled and let it fall onto the pebble-strewn path Where it
immediately became lost among all the other pebbles….

“Oh, how clumsy of me,” Fatima said. …”But never mind, if you look into
the Bag for the one that is left, you will be able to tell which pebble I
Picked.”

Since the remaining pebble is black, it must be assumed that she had
Picked the white one. And since the money-lender dared not admit his
Dishonesty, the girl changed with Allah’s Help what seemed an impossible
situation into An extremely advantageous one.

*MORAL OF THE STORY:*

Most complex problems do have a solution. It is only that we don’t Attempt
to think and Trust in Allah.

“And when someone puts all his trust in Allah, He will be enough for him.”
(Surah at-Talaaq:3)

The Prophet (sallallaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:”If you put your trust
completely in Allah, He will arrange for your sustenance in the same way
as He provides for the birds. They go out in the morning with their
stomachs empty and return filled in the evening.” (Tirmidhi-saheeh).

So trust in Allah alone… Calamities and disasters are a test, and they
are a sign of Allaah’s love for a person. They are like medicine: even
though it is bitter, yet, in spite of its bitterness you still give it to
the one whom you love..

“The greatest reward comes with the greatest trial. When Allaah loves a
people He tests them. Whoever accepts that wins His pleasure but whoever
is discontent with that earns His wrath.” (Saheeh al-Tirmidhi)

Allaah says:”.and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you
and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allaah knows but you do
not know.” (Surah Baqarah: 216)

Ibn Taymiyah said: A calamity that makes you turn to Allaah is better for
you than a blessing which makes you forget the remembrance of Allaah.”