When Prophet Muhammad met the Pope in heaven

2014-01-08 14:42

If heaven were a place entered on account of one’s good deeds, heaven must be a very interesting place. If the eulogies and tributes that pour in at the death of any icon as labelled by the world were anything to go by, I imagine a myriad of personalities who may have had their fair share of squabbles in the land of the living, converging to live peaceably. Historical figures great and small we have seen, deemed great on account of how much credit they had in comparison to their failures to live up to expectations. As the human race, we balance off the accounts and carry them forward to where we see fit. The greater the computable balance, the larger the degree greatness. A greatness tainted by biased comparison and human desires, for the greater part. “If he or she didn't do anything that pleases me, he or she can go where we all know where!”

Looking back at years past, many have sung praises for many a fallen hero on account of what we have been told, read and seen that adds to his or her “good” account.  Sainted according to human standards upon their death, the only thing short at their send off are chariots of fire drawn by six white horses to escort them to heaven’s pearly gates. As if possessing a telescope that sees beyond the universe into heaven’s courtyard, the picture that has been painted of many a fallen hero or heroine is that of a figure walking on red carpets, receiving a magnificent reception, comes to mind. Probably with Mother Theresa, Princess Diana and Ghandi forming part of the welcoming committee. Choirs upon choirs made up of Protestants, Baptists, NG Kerk, Quackers and Charismatics alternate between somber hymns and alternative rock.

If heaven is a place for heroes, and heroism lies in the eye of the beholder, surely Elvis is crooning away, Michael Jackson thrilling the crowds, Shakespeare scribbles on, with Chairman Mao Zedong perhaps translating the proceedings into Mandarin. Perhaps Prophet Muhammad is also there with his brides and in another corner, Pope John Paul II and his predecessors, carry out mass. Maybe, just maybe, Neil Armstrong and Yuri Gagarin are happily bouncing along in their spacesuits giving air high fives to the Wilberforce brothers. The Kennedy’s stroll along the streets of gold, chatting with Martin Luther King Jnr, Malcom X, Haile Selassie, Dedan Kimathi, Bob Marley, ANC cadres and other such movements. Paul Walker shows Christopher Columbus what adventure has become in modern times while Sir Isaac Newton engages Plato and Socrates on deducing the IQ of heaven's infant citizens (who probably constitute the majority since the innocent apparently get a green flag hassle free). Perhaps, Napoleon Bonaparte and Julius Caesar playfully engage in a duel from time to time. Quite a sight to behold!

Heaven is so laid back, apparently, one stroll in the park similar to hanging with the Kardashians…with a dash of serious discussions here and there of course. They may at one point sit at a table and discuss what the whole beef between one of heaven’s latest occupants, Nelson Mandela with Robert Mugabe was all about. They may even go on to mention Hitler, whom  Winston Churchill and Teddy Roosevelt spotted shoveling coal into the fiery furnace with the help of Idi Amin, Saddam Hussein and Muammar al-Gaddafi. “Oh those rogues!”…say some. No one quite knows where Margaret Thatcher is, many assume she sent herself into self imposed solitary confinement, and so did Che Guevara…

If heaven were what we made it out to be, would you and I, ordinary people have enough good on our accounts to earn the right of passage? Would we have enough soothsayers at our gravesides to shower our paths with praises to change our fate that perhaps the owner of heaven won't deem us trespassers? If heaven were a guarantee for the rich and famous, would the poor and the unknown ever stand a chance of making it as far as the highway to heaven? If heaven were a place where the great make it in hands down, would you and I have achieved enough greatness to earn inner circle tickets for this supposed eternal party? In our heart of hearts, if heaven were entered on our terms, would you and I be happy sharing it for all eternity with some of the do-gooders we know?

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