Two Drops

I now want to share you a story from The Arabian Nights and also being told in the book from Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist. After that I will share with you what is the message that I extracted from it, biiznillahi taala. It’s called “Two Drops“.

Two Drops

A merchant sent his son to learn the Secret of Happiness from the wisest of men. The young man wandered through the desert for forty days until he reached a beautiful castle at the top of a mountain. There lived the sage that the young man was looking for.

However, instead of finding a holy man, our hero entered a room and saw a great deal of activity; merchants coming and going, people chatting in the corners, a small orchestra playing sweet melodies, and there was a table laden with the most delectable dishes of that part of the world.

The wise man talked to everybody, and the young man had to wait for two hours until it was time for his audience.

With considerable patience, the Sage listened attentively to the reason for the boy’s visit, but told him that at that moment he did not have the time to explain to him the Secret of Happiness.

He suggested that the young man take a stroll around his palace and come back in two hours’ time.

“However, I want to ask you a favor,” he added, handling the boy a teaspoon, in which he poured two drops of oil. “While you walk, carry this spoon and don’t let the oil spill.”

The young man began to climb up and down the palace staircases, always keeping his eyes fixed on the spoon. At the end of two hours he returned to the presence of the wise man.

“So,” asked the sage, “did you see the Persian tapestries hanging in my dining room? Did you see the garden that the Master of Gardeners took ten years to create? Did you notice the beautiful parchments in my library?”

Embarrassed, the young man confessed that he had seen nothing. His only concern was not to spill the drops of oil that the wise man had entrusted to him.

“So, go back and see the wonders of my world,” said the wise man. “You can’t trust a man if you don’t know his house.”

Now more at ease, the young man took the spoon and strolled again through the palace, this time paying attention to all the works of art that hung from the ceiling and walls. He saw the gardens, the mountains all around the palace, the delicacy of the flowers, the taste with which each work of art was placed in its niche. Returning to the sage, he reported in detail all that he had seen.

“But where are the two drops of oil that I entrusted to you?” asked the sage.

Looking down at the spoon, the young man realized that he had spilled the oil.

“Well, that is the only advice I have to give you,” said the sage of sages. “The Secret of Happiness lies in looking at all the wonders of the world and never forgetting the two drops of oil in the spoon.”

Why do people who seemed like enjoying all the wonders in the world, still got frustrated? Simple, they don’t remember Allah subhana wa taala much, some of them even don’t believe that God exists. 😥

“Verily, in the rememberance of Allah do hearts find rest.” (Ar-Ra’d : 28 )

Then is it because the world is evil? As a muslim, are we allowed to enjoy this world? To go after worldly things? I’ll tell you later 😀

So why do the author said two drops of oil? Why oil? Why two drops? Everybody can contemplate their own way to the story, but this is my version 🙂

Since thousands of years ago, oil is used for many things. Medicine, food, energy, and many more. Oil is beneficial, and very crucial for our lives. Why two drops? As a muslim, what  is the two things we must hold on very tightly on living in this world? Qur’an and Sunnah. Those are the most important things for us to hold on to, to be able to live in this world in the right way, to be the boundaries for us on how far we can enjoy this world. To be the reminders for us that all the adornments in this world are only to be used to get the better ones in Hereafter.

Enjoy this world, but never let go of Qur’an and Sunnah, that is the Secret of Happiness. Wallahu alam.

“But seek, (wealth) which Allah has bestowed on you, the abode of the hereafter, and neglect not your portion of the world, and be kind even as Allah has been kind to you.” (Al-Qasas : 77)

  1. #1 by Muslimah on March 28, 2011 - 2:53 am

    MashaAllah sister, what a benifiacial explanation to that wonderful story. I agree a lot with the first two sisters who commented, thinking the exact same thing. And I never thought of it in that way, jazakillahu khayran for opening my eyes, and seeing thing in a bigger picture. 🙂
    P.S, please visit my blog aswell.

    • #2 by rialive on March 28, 2011 - 7:48 am

      Jazakallahu khair for stopping by,
      if you wanna share different insihts it is more than welcome inshaAlllah 🙂
      i will visit, inshaAllah 🙂

  2. #3 by jabeer pd on March 27, 2011 - 1:31 pm

    masha allah sis, beautiful post for seeking a knowledge and importance about education and healthy.Today, the peoples are acquiring good ideas, thoughts, knowledge, and skills, from all corners of the world. The world is moving very fast, and in this industrialize world, but about healthy it is more essential ,without healthy everything is empty.
    but if we have both without remembernce of allah and sunnat, there is only mourn tears, shatter, sins and finally loose everything.
    jazaakallah khairan sis,for wonderful post with moral story, your every posts makes us to get a new knowledge,please keep write in the same way,
    Assalam alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuhu.

    • #4 by rialive on March 27, 2011 - 2:08 pm

      Jazakallahu khair, Jabeer.
      If we follow Qur’an and sunnah we will be concerned of education and health.
      Many hadith to tell us about taking care of our health and pursue good education.
      Thank you for supporting Jabeer.

      wassalamu alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakaatuhu.

  3. #5 by Halima on March 27, 2011 - 2:11 am

    Jezakallhu kheiran, Sis- thanks for sharing this story, and I like your insights!

    Your blog is always so refreshing and uplifting, mashallah- I always look forward to visiting you.
    So many muslimas have depressing blogs where they confess all their sins and moan about all their problems in a most un-Islamic way- some of it even verges on the haram. They claim that they are being “real” and that they don’t deal in “happyhappylifeisallrainbows” thoughts. But they indulge their nafs and forget Allah SWT, the blessings he has bestowed on all of us and the blessing of being a muslima. Subhanallah.
    I think you mange to keep it “real”, but at the same time positive and encouraging, and always with the Qur’an and sunnah in mind. Jezakallahu kheiran for that, Sister- keep spreading the smiles and maybe there will be more like you, inshallah!

    • #6 by rialive on March 27, 2011 - 7:06 am

      Sister Halima, I am looking forward to read your insights and comments as well! 😀 And I know what you are talking about, about the’negative-claimed-to-be-muslim-blogs’. It sometimes make me sad.
      About sins, we should not expose what had been kept as secret by Allah. I would love for you to remind me wherever my blog is getting negative and embarassing for muslim blogs, sister Halima.

      Jazakallahu khair for your support.

  4. #7 by jck on March 27, 2011 - 12:04 am

    hi again,
    i heard this story before, and i have different opinion. i think the two drops are education and health.
    well, it’s good to know other views.
    just want to share you my thoughts.
    anyway i bumped in your blog because i saw it from the early posts of wordpress.

    • #8 by rialive on March 27, 2011 - 6:53 am

      Hi again, Jessica. Ah very nice 😀 That is a very good insights too, Jessica. Education and health.
      The prophet Muhammad said : “The seeking of knowledge is obligatory for every Muslim.” – Al-Tirmidhi.
      and also
      Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) mounted the pulpit, then wept and said, “Ask Allah (swt) for forgiveness and health, for after being granted certainty, one is given nothing better than health.”- Al-Tirmidhi.

      Sunnah means, the sayings and action of the Prophet Muhammad. So I do believe (as a muslim), holding on to Qur’an and Sunnah one will get also focused on knowledge and health.
      Thanks for visiting again, Jessica 😀

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