Allah in the Shawshank Redemption: The Law of Balance

One movie that I absolutely LOVE as a muslim woman, is the Shawshank Redemption by Frank Darabont. It is not a fantasy film by any means (which I do love the most), but there is a strong spiritual theme that glows softly in this film.

Once again, I am in home in bed, I have a pinched nerve in the back and it gave me a painful case of sciatica.  I am watching movies to try to keep my mind off the discomfort and pain, and last night I ended up finishing this movie which I have seen before, but never went through the entire end of it, until last night.

Morgan Freeman is phenomenal in this movie, I enjoy his narrative in telling the story about Andy, the banker who was convicted of murdering his wife and her lover. I do not want to ruin the movie, so I won’t give too much away for those who truly have not seen this movie yet. It’s an oldie, but a goodie that everyone should watch.

Yes, it is extremely brutal and sad in some parts, but so beautiful in others. It reminded me much about life and how you need to see the glimmers of “heaven” while on earth in order to keep you going. Cause reality is often times very cold, dense, and seems so far away from God. But when you truly look at the subtleties of human behavior and nature around you, you can see glimpses of our amazing Creator.

Although, the theme of hope, forgiveness, and redemption is very clear in this film as far as criminals and convicts finding their morality in a place that is almost void of it, there is another theme that I have not seen others talk about on the internet pertaining to this movie, that I would like to: Balance.

There is much confusion as to what or who is God. And in this movie, it is entirely clear to me WHAT is God. Although the image of God is very misty in my mind, as the creator force behind this beautiful universe, I still can see a trait shining through that has shown up in my life and in others.

It’s the LAW of truth. As Gandhi once said, “There is no God higher than Truth.”

But what does this really mean? For me it means that all things are balanced in the end. Some may call it karma and some may call it “balancing of the universe”. Either way it is clear in this movie, that when bad things happen to a good person, AND they still remain honest, kind, and patient. God will always show them the way.

Andy was in prison for a crime he did not commit for 20 years. He was patient, kind and put forth the effort to help others around him even in his predicament.  He did not judge the other prisoners for what they have done and I thought it was a beautiful moment when he asked for the name of the new prisoner that died that first night. While nobody else seemed to care, Andy was open and vulnerable to showing that he did. God showed him the way out of that prison because he did not deserve being there. It was an imbalance of the universe for an innocent man to be locked up and treated so badly.

Andy’s good fortune at the end, seemed to make up for all the bad misfortunes. It was as if the scales all of a sudden have been leveled and now for the rest of his life, he could live out his years in peace and getting back the “love” that he showed others.

Yes, Andy was a very loving person. He was not expressive, nor really a warm person, but he genuinely CARED about his fellow inmates and made it a point to give them the little moments of joy he physically could provide. Such as asking for beers for them to have on their last days of working for the guards, and playing the beautiful opera music across the prison that day for all to enjoy for a brief time. He also helped others by teaching them, and setting up a great library for the prisoners to enrich their mind while in the cell.

It is such an amazing contrast to the religious warden, who seemed to believe in God, yet he never even followed his own Bible. He was a cruel man, in lip service to God. And in the end, you see who truly was blessed by God/Allah for the things they have done for others. The warden received his karma and took the cowardly way out of it, while Andy truly did receive his redemption he so deserved.

God is the balancer. The subtle guidance towards finding a way out towards freedom. The force behind this universe, that creates the good to check the bad in the world. The force behind this world, and your consciousness that guides you to creating balance again once you make the wrong choices. If you follow the straight path of kindness, truth, selflessness, and love, you will always see things balanced out in your favor. I have seen it in mine. I have seen it in others, and now I have seen it in countless films including this one that observe the human condition of karma.

There is no escaping from the truth, just as there is no escaping from God as the Ultimate Reality. If an innocent person is wronged, they will be righted eventually. The time is not known when they will break free of the illusion of bad things happening to them. But if they remain true to themselves and don’t follow Satan (ego or dark desires), they will not help, but be able to find peace and see the rewards that they have earned in this life or the next state of existence.

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What is the Inevitable Reality?

God.

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That Day will be the sure Reality: Therefore, whoso will, let him take a (straight) return to his Lord!

What is God?

the Truth of everything hidden, concealed, manipulated, twisted, made as an illusion to oppress, hurt, take from others.

God will NOT let the truth be unknown forever. Eventually the Ultimate Reality will be known. We do not know when this will be, but we should strive to align ourselves to it by being truthful with ourselves and others.

In the end, truth will always become your redeemer and eventually your liberator.

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