The story of Qannas [Archives:2005/867/Community]

August 11 2005

Posted By Bassim Aulaqi
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Over eight years ago, two male cats were born in our garden. One was a real cute brown-stripped lion-looking cat, his brother was a white and grey stripped tiger-looking cat. As the brown one got bigger he left us to live out in the streets, assuming that he managed to live in the chaos streets of Sana'a! His brother was smart enough to settle on living with us. The white-grey cat, which stayed, was in global standards a good look. He had sharp looking eyes, his walk was elegant, and his moves showed a calm and polite personality. I named him Qannas, the “Sniper”!

Do not get surprised if you see me describing him as if he was a close friend because he really was, and you all know how the Prophet, peace be upon him, liked them! Haven't you heard of the companion Abu-Huraira?

My relation with Qannas was strong and I always thought that we understood each other. When it is lunchtime, he would come and sit like the Sphinx “Abul Hool” far enough from us and would wait until we finish. If a family member comes back from a trip out of town, Qannas would come to the living room, sit for a while to greet and then leave.

Qannas was a strong and brave cat, when friends used to see him they used to say that I raised a leopard not a cat! He used to take up full control over the garden, no other cat dared to come in with out his permission. In addition he tried to seize up full control of the neighborhood that I thought was a little dangerous because of the many dogs around who picked, in many occasions, a fight with him.

I missed Qannas when I traveled to the U.S. and missed him even more when my family called once to tell me that Qannas got killed after a dog injured him in the arm. He was so brave that he did not give up fighting dogs and his braveness killed him! Or that is what I thought.

But Qannas left a son in the garden; we named him Qannas too, Qannas Jr.

When I came back to Yemen I saw him, he looked just like his father but he is never like him. He is not as well mannered as his father, and more importantly he is not as brave as his father. Most of the time he stayed in the house, which made him, lose his father's control over the garden and we started to see all kinds of cats patrolling and cruising the garden and with time, got braver to get into the house! Day after day he lost more control, he reached a point where his ex-wife started to bring her very big and strong yellow husband into the garden and even the house to share Qannas' food. Being very coward, Qannas couldn't get his food sometimes. Things got worse everyday; Qannas Jr. couldn't even defend his right to share the food with the invading cats! In an effort to help Qannas Jr. gain his ancestors' control and power I took the ex-wife of Qannas Jr. and her daughter to exile! I drove the car about five km and let them go into a Qat farm.

A week ago the Yellow cat came into the garden and took revenge for his wife and daughter by hitting Qannas so viciously and ate his fur and skin in his neck and cut the muscles of his lower jaw. Qannas Jr. came into the house crying, he came and sat on the blanket of the bed, his blood was all over his chest. His eyes were saying “Come help me, protect me from the Yellow cat” I took him out and while I was carrying him I remembered the braveness of his father. Before, I blamed his father's braveness and accused its death on it, but today I believe that braveness does not kill anyone, it allows you to live with dignity only and that living as a coward does not save you from death but only makes you live with humility. I, for long thought that being a coward will keep him away from trouble but today I see how it brought him into trouble!

Today, for the first time since a week, Qannas Jr. was able to eat a small piece of meat. His injury was so deep that he couldn't eat, or clean himself. After strength and pride Qannas Jr. became a dirty very thin cat, only because he wasn't a brave cat!

Why do I blame Qannas Jr.? Am I not like him? Am I not staying inside the house, living happily while the other stranger cats are eating my food in the outside?

Am I not waiting for the same day when I can't even get my right to eat? To live?

Am I not like Qannas Jr.? I recall my ancestors' pride conquering the world and spreading justice while I can't even control my land?

Am I not like Qannas Jr.? Being a coward and thinking that this is the reason behind my happy living? Thinking that the brave brothers and sisters who are defending themselves and defending the Muslim Ummah are only bringing trouble to themselves?

Why do I blame Qannas Jr.? Didn't he and his father teach me and teach us an important lesson? The lesson that being brave will only guarantee you a life with dignity and that if you die you will be remembered as a strong leopard-looking creature! While living in fear and humility will only bring fear and humility and at the end you will die skinny and weak and will only be remembered as a coward by coming generations?

The above story is a real story and the lessons we learn are more real and serious. I wonder? Will our story end like Qannas Jrs'.

I just ask Allah to forgive our weakness and ask him to cure Qannas Jr. maybe he will learn the lesson and be like his father!