Old School
Remedy For the Relief of Stress While Residing in the Belly of The Beast

By: Hajj Haroon

(March 2003)

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In light of today’s recognition of Holistic Medicine, many alternative approaches to health and healing have become fashionable. Aside from Herbs, Acupuncture, Network Chiropractic, Reflexology and a host of other healing techniques there remains looming in the background the ancient techniques involving Prayer, Meditation and Invocation.

Prayer and Worship need no introduction or explanation to what is referred to these days as “Old School”.  High-button shoes, tradition bound old timers from the “Old Schools” are still around despite the arrival of the Millennium and the propensity of the New School of high tech fashions and fads.

The drug stores (pharmacies) are filled with various remedies that offer relief from the pain and the frustrations of modern contemporary life. Pain which in some cases is accompanied by mental anguish, which may be a result from feeling somewhat out of sync with the times. Millions of dollars are spent weekly in advertisements by the leading pharmaceutical companies, offering relief from “the pain and misery of the fast pace of modern living”.

I am aware of the fact that many people in the world today have returned to brushing their teeth with baking soda and table salt, definitely “Old School” and as a result have reduced tooth decay – are experiencing cleaner teeth, pleasant breath –and are inclined to smile more often. You will now see the leading toothpaste makers offering brands that contain these older remedies.

I guess that we can classify Pain and Anguish as “old School” phenomena, since they have been around for so long – but we as aware human beings don’t seem to be able to get a handle on their eradication. The advertising world has captured our imaginations and our pocketbooks away from “Old School” remedies. Meanwhile our teeth (our bodies) and our souls are deteriorating at a rapid pace.

The School of Hard Knocks is really a relic from the past that we haven’t been able to bypass – I must assume that the curriculum is still valid and refuses to be replaced by Doctor Spock and the exponents of what might be called “The New School” – everything is new nowadays even the much lauded “New World Order”, which if you take a good look at it – it is really negative old school:  power, greed and world control –that’s really Old School isn’t it.

Looks like we might need “Old School” remedies for “Old School” problems.

But be aware that before we jettison the fuel tanks of those really old school Prophets of God – like Abraham, and Jonah we must be careful that we don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate the efficacy of formula’s used and prescribed by the Prophets of old –our Spiritual fathers and the fathers of true healing techniques. We as spiritual aspirants must also be reminded that the Qur`an is the time honored Manual for healing on all levels, and it contains these prayers and utterances of the Prophets’ that have helped to heal mankind for centuries. We must recognize that we are ALL in dire straits and we need to learn how to call out for help from the only source of all help, and that is Allah. Let us begin to pore through the manual (Qur`an) for the remedies. Let us search for those ancient formulas that were helpful not only in healing individual bodies but of also restoring whole communities and nations of believers. In light of our present precarious position - I think it’s worth a try –don’t you?

Two verses of the Qur`an immediately stand out as prescriptions for healing – eminent Mujtahids have commented in their Tafsir (‘s) that these two verses of the Qur`an carry a guarantee and an endorsement from the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and the Righteous Imams.  That’s better than a money back guarantee on a prescription bottle by any stretch of the imagination.

The first ayat to be examined is verse 87 of Surah Anbiyyah, which is the heart-rending appeal (duah) of the Prophet Yunus when he found himself in the stomach of the giant whale (beast), which is very much like our present day situation – in the process of being digested by the great beast –the Quran states that: “Remember Yunus (Dhul Nun), when he went away in anger and imagined that We would never straighten him; then he cried out from the darkness: “La ila ha ila ant - subhanaka innee kuntoo, minal dhaalimeen.”    A literal translation would read: “There is no God but You. Glory belongs to You –surely I was of the Unjust”.  Accordingly the following verse, #88 is the fulfillment of the prayer, the translation reads as follows: “Then We responded to him and delivered him from grief, thus do We deliver the believers.”

S.V. Mir Ahmed Ali and Maulana Agha Pooyah Yazdi remark that the efficacy of this particular duah has been confirmed by the prophet Muhammad and the Imams – in other words it comes with a Spiritual Guarantee, all that is required is that you have faith and embark upon using it with a clear purpose. (Old School).

Let us take a close look at the circumstances that preceded this event and the amazing scenario that follows immediately in its wake.

Yunus was sent to the City of Nineveh to inform the people to worship God and to warn them to change their iniquitous ways –the people utterly and thoroughly ignored him to the extent that in his anger and frustration he asked God to destroy them.  As a result of his anger and his curse on the people Allah placed him in a situation by which he was able to discern his mistakes and lack of patience – but he was also given the opportunity to rectify his mistakes and re-establish himself as a fully confident emissary of his Lord.

I will not attempt to relay the full story at this time but I strongly recommend that you gentle reader make it a point to study this story in depth. There are several good sources that I am familiar with one such account is given in the Tafsir of Qur`an by Mir S.V Ali, Surahs Al Anbiyyah (The Prophets) verses #87 & 88 and Al Saffat (The Purity) verses 139 thru 148. And there is a very fine recounting and analysis of the story done by his Excellency Bawa Muhaiyadeen that I read many years ago.

The gist of the appeal is to be released from the constraints and the accompanying horrors of being devoured (assimilated?) in the Belly of the beast in which one has found themselves. This situation could have been brought about as a result of ignorance and or a lack of faith or patience – the situations of course can vary according to the particular intransigence (personal dilemma) of the believer who is being tested.

It may be advisable to keep in mind that the digestive juices that were being secreted by the beast as a result of Yunus being in it’s stomach – had begun to take effect on his body –he was in fact being dissolved in preparation of being digested and assimilated. A very painful situation, to say the least.

During the course of my research I have uncovered manyl Duah’s from the Noble Quran that have the Prophets and the Imams seal of approval, and as such, provide those of us who honor the ways of the Old School Prophets a guarantee of efficacy. As is the case with most herbal and natural medicines, it is safe and there are no disturbing or painful side effects, as you might find in the readily available prescription and non-prescription drugs readily available on your local drug store shelves.

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Sources

  1. The Holy Qur`an:   English translation and commentary by S.V. Mir Ahmed Ali, with special notes from Ayatollah Agha Hajji Mirza Mahdi Pooyah Yazdi. First U.S. Edition. Tahrike Tarsile Quran Inc. Elmhurst, N.Y. 1988. 

  2. Bawa Muhaiyadeen: Commentary on the story of the trial of Yunus (Jonah) in the whale, taken from an early publication issued from The Bawa Muhaiyadeen Fellowship, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

  3. C. G Jung: Memories, Dreams, Reflections. Chapter VIII (The Tower) pages 235-237. Vintage Books, New York, 1989.