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  • 3/16/2013

Confessions of a Pencil (Part 2)


The Pencil: I will become blunt. I will not look good. I will be sharpened. I will be in pain. But I will look great again.

We need that sharpener alongside the pencil. At different times, we will peel the skin of the pencil. Be it the most expensive or the cheapest, it is bound to be sharpened. The pencil has to endure the pain. Why? To fix a broken tip. Or to become sharp and elegant in writing again. Either way, the pain, the sharpening, has benefitted the pencil.

And this life is no different. We go through trials and tribulations. We suffer from calamities. But this is our sharpening. If we have been good, these calamities will make us better. And if we have been wrongdoers, just like a broken tip, the calamities will fix us. Life is not meant to be easy all the way. Even our Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) says, "No prophet was hurt the way I was hurt." (Bihar al-Anwar)

So we should withstand the pains of this life and be very patient, so we can succeed in this life and the next.

The Pencil: I will be used. I will become shorter. And I will be thrown away. But what I have written will remain.

The pencil cannot just go on forever. That is why we use of lots of them. It will become so short that we can barely write with it. It may break beyond repair. It may get lost. The pencil is bound to an end.

And when we think about humans, who are not bound to end? Allah says in the Qur’an, "Everyone upon the earth will perish." (55:26) No matter how strong we are or how rich we are, a grave awaits us. People may never remember us. Imam Ali (peace be upon him) says, "Everyone who is born has to die, and once dead, he is as good as having not come into existence." (Nahj al-Balagha)

With the end in mind, our deeds and their effects will live on. People will remember our achievements. Some characters are famous for being good. Others are notorious for being evil. Just like the pencil. Yes, it will wear out. But if it was used to write falsehood and lies, the falsehood will remain even after the pencil is disposed of. The pencil's mark will continue to exist. We should aim to leave a very good mark on this world before our time comes to end.

The Pencil: On my own, I am worthless without the hand that uses me and the mind that guides me.

The pencil is an object after all. It is a nonliving thing. It will not write unless a force makes it write. It will not do its job if there is no guide for it.

And we humans are no different in that regard. We may have some free will in this world, but none of our achievements or everything we do is possible without having a guide. That guide is God.

God gave us the ability to walk, to talk, to write, to see, and to learn. Even when we are able to thank Him, it is because He has given us the ability to do so. Without God, we are worthless.

In the Qur’an, Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) says, "Our Lord is He who gave each thing its form and then guided [it]." (20:50)


The pencil surely says a lot. This insignificant object contains a lot of wisdom. It is up to us to realize it. It is up to us to learn from it. And more importantly, it is up to us to apply it properly.

But remember, the pencil is not the only object we can learn from. Look around you. What other confessions can you hear?

Source: islamicinsights.com

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The art of being satisfied with your life

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