Chinese Stories/The frog of the well
By Tariq Al Jadidi
In the name Of Allah the most Gracious the Most Merciful
The frog of the well is a fable by Chuang-tzu, sometimes known as Looking at a sky down in a well.
The frog lived down in a well where there was all he had to live. One day, a soft-shelled turtle came by and told him about the sea. 'The sea! Hah! It's paradise in here. Nothing can be better than this well. Why don't you come down and share my joy?'
The turtle tried, and failed as the mouth of the well was too small. 'Why don't you go see the sea instead? During Yu the Great's reign, mome out of ten of the years were flooded, yet it barely grew an inch. During Tang of Shang's reign, droughts were experienced in seven out of eight years, yet the sea hardly shrank. Being unaffected by such disasters is the joy of living in the sea.'
Moral: Some ignorant people know nothing aside from their own world.
Now there are variations to the story one being a bird lands and talk to the frog etc… However the result is the same.
This story makes me think how people can be rather ignorant and arrogant about what we know.
For example some think that there is no possibility that Allah (SWT) exists, there is no heaven or hell etc… This is due to us being like the frog, which can only see the inside of the well and a tiny portion of the sky.
It has been said that we know more about the surface of the moon than our oceans and that we are make scientific advances all the time as well as finding new species from time to time and that the universe is forever expanding.
I would say that what we do actually know is very little and therefore unable to make such judgments that there is “Nothing out there”.
This also comes down to how we are programmed as human beings from birth to adulthood in our environments.
We believe what we see i.e. “seeing is believing” as well as our understanding how things are/should be, and work.
An example of this is, we are programmed that everything must have a beginning and an end, such and food that is grown and has an expiry date, thing we make and indeed us as Human beings all have an end. Therefore some find it difficult to accept the Allah (SWT) has no beginning or end, The Miracles that have been attributed to Allah, his Angels, etc… And perhaps things out in the universe that work/operate in a different manner to us and our understanding.
Similarly the frog has never seen anything outside the well, and therefore would not believe in its existence. The frog has an understanding of the well (its world) and life within and that life has indeed shaped its programming and beliefs.
We can either be like the frog and not accept anything we cant see, or we can understand that we are but a tiny spec in the milky way which in turn is a tiny spec in the universe.
Please see http://theislamicummah.weebly.com/uploads/5/5/8/3/5583193/things_in_proportion.pdf
The Islamic Ummah