Mark you this, Bassanio, the devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
An evil soul producing holy witness is like a villain with a smiling cheek.
A goodly apple rotten at the heart.
Oh, what a goodly outside falsehood hath!Shakespeare
Merchant of Venice
Act 1 Scene 3
If you are in the middle of an ocean in the darkness of night, do you know which way to go? But there is a compass in the boat that tells you exactly which direction you should be going. So this material existence is compared to an ocean, ‘bhavasagar’. The human life is compared to a boat, which actually has the potential to cross over this ocean. The guru is like the captain of the boat and the teachings of the Vedas and other holy scriptures are like the breezes. If we have the right captain, he or she can teach us how to actually move forward with the help of these breezes of the great teachings.
An old American Muslim lived on a farm in the mountains of eastern Kentucky with his young grandson.
Each morning Grandpa was up early sitting at the kitchen table reading his Quran. His grandson wanted to be just like him and tried to imitate him in every way he could.
One day the grandson asked, “Grandpa! I try to read the Quran just like you but I don’t understand it, and what I do understand I forget as soon as I close the book. What good does reading the Qur’an do?” The Grandfather quietly turned from putting coal in the stove and replied, “Take this coal basket down to the river and bring me back a basket of water.”
The boy did as he was told, but all the water leaked out before he got back to the house. The grandfather laughed and said, “You’ll have to move a little faster next time,” and sent him back to the river with the basket to try again. This time the boy ran faster, but again the basket was empty before he returned home. Out of breath, he told his grandfather that it was impossible to carry water in a basket, and he went to get a bucket instead.
The old man said, “I don’t want a bucket of water; I want a basket of water. You’re just not trying hard enough,” and he went out the door to watch the boy try again. At this point, the boy knew it was impossible, but he wanted to show his grandfather that even if he ran as fast as he could, the water would leak out before he got back to the house.
The boy again dipped the basket into river and ran hard, but when he reached his grandfather the basket was again empty. Out of breath, he said, “See Grandpa, it’s useless!” “So you think it is useless?” The old man said, “Look at the basket.”
The boy looked at the basket and for the first time realized that the basket was different. It had been transformed from a dirty old coal basket and was now clean, inside and out.
“Son, that’s what happens when you read the Qur’an. You might not understand or remember everything, but when you read it, you will be changed, inside and out. That is the work of Allah in our lives.”
Muslims would encourage everyone to share this story, for Prophet Muhammad had said : “The one who guides to good would be rewarded equally”.