It was a little red fish in a round jar-like aquarium. Like a bride it was browsing as it wiggled its curtain tail to taste the vegetation on the aquarium floor. Every no and then little bits of tasty feed would glide down and it would gobble them up. Were they tasty. .  It didn’t know where they came from.  . . It was as if they were precipitating from above. .  But  to itself he  said “Oh come on now”. . what difference does it make? ” “what’s important is that they are tasty and I am getting nourished."


It was as if time just would not pass . . he new every inch of the aquarium like the lines in his fins. And he bored stiff. From time to time he would play with the other fish in the aquarium but still this did not help his boredom. . The other fish were fighting to eat the bits of feed gliding  down from  above. “ How stupid,” he said to himself “ there is plenty for us gliding down from above. . we all are ultimately fed.” Why all this violence. . .


The other fish in the aquarium were larger and stronger than he was. From time to time they would jump and grab the bits of feed from his mouth and if he objected they would nab him. This aquarium had become intolerable for him. It was as if he was  suffocating. . “I must rescue myself from here," he thought to himself.  But no matter what part of the aquarium he would go, there was a glass barrier. And every time he would knock his head on glass and come back.


Then he had an idea. There had to be an exit at the top from where the feed precipitated. Of course, if something could enter, something should be able to exit, too. So, there was a way. . He quickly swam upwards. Yes, he was not wrong. There was no glass barrier there. . But what was that? Suddenly he felt he could no longer breathe. He blacked out, he became dizzy. It was as if he was suffocating so he put his head back into the water. . He was perplexed. The medium outside of the aquarium was life threatening for him. . .Whereas, he had hoped to rescue himself from there. . .Unfortunately,  he had to live together with those wild and aggressive fish. Whether he liked it or not.


He no longer approached them. . . he preferred to be alone and to think. “That means this medium which I do not like, is the only option where I can live. . And I think that who ever put me here, put me because this is the only medium where I can live. . .To protect me from the external medium's life threatening effect.  . Also, I think that the bits of feed do not precipitate by themselves. Whoever it is who put me here, must be throwing them from above,” he thought.


Then, he thought of the person who had put him there so he might live. He thought of why he fed him, and protected him so he might live and not be harmed from the external medium and what he wanted from him in return. The aggressiveness of the other fish around him no longer disappointed him so much. .  Because he knew that he had  a master that protected him against all danger and nourished him. He wanted to thank him for all he had done. But how could he access him? There was a barrier between them difficult to assail. He was in a glass jar and the external medium was life threatening for him. He yearned to see, touch and give him a kiss with his tiny lips. From time to time he pressed his head against the glass of the aquarium and hopelessly expected to know what was happening out there and see his master.


He no longer would eat. . He would only think. The surrounding fish happily gobbled down the feed he would not eat and would  make fun of him as a retard. But he could care less about them. He only had one thought: To be by his master. And with this thought, one day as the bits of feed precipitated from above, he quickly jumped out of the aquarium to touch the hand that fed him. .This was such a jump that at once he found himself in a medium he was not accustomed to.

He could not breathe. He was fluttering on the table which supported the aquarium. He was about to die. He looked around him. This was a place different from the inside of the aquarium where he came from. Whereas, for a long time since he had been confined to  a small aquarium he had thought the whole world was only that  aquarium.



Then, suddenly, he felt a hand lift him from where he lay. This must be my master he thought. »

« And he lay motionless. He was dead.


If you think this world is enormously large, just know that you are wrong. . If the world is spherical aquarium, we are the small fish inside it. . And there is a great world beyond this aquarium. . .


O society of jinns and men Cross the bounds of the heavens and the earth if you have the ability, then pass beyond them But you cannot unless you acquire the law. VERSE 33, RAHMAN, SURA 55


If we could view the life we live with the eye of  a fish. . .We would acknowledge how helpless we are in that tiny aquarium and instead of eating each other, we would  feel indebted to our master who has sent us to this world to live and who protects with an invisible glass and nourishes us. And for  a little kiss of gratitude, we would be prepared to die.


O man, you have to strive and go on striving towards your Lord, then you will meet Him. VERSE 6, THE CLEAVING AL-INSHIQAQ, SURA 84




(AKIN ÖRSMEN 8.28.2006)




.* The Coranic verses have been taken from the Holy Qu’ran, Ahmed Ali, Fifth printing with revisions, 1994 Princeton University Press.