Maulana Wahiduddin Khan I Creation Plan of God

Although Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) started his career as a military officer, he so distinguished himself whenever opportunities came his way that he finally succeeded in ascending the French throne, having himself proclaimed Emperor of France in 1804. He then set out to conquer the world. In a remarkably short time, he had dominated the whole of Europe except for England. In 1796, he married a charm­ing French lady, Josephine, but divorced her in 1809 as she had failed to bear a successor to the Emperor of Europe.

One year later, Napoleon married Marie-Louise, daughter of the King of Austria, who, greatly to the satisfaction of Napoleon, bore him a son and heir, Francois Joseph Charles, who would continue the monarchy. Before long, however, his excessive greed for territorial power led him to clash with Russia. Although the latter’s army failed to repulse him, the Russian climate came to their rescue. When the snow started falling, and temperatures went far below zero, Napoleon’s army, unaccustomed to such severe winter, were unable to advance any further. Napoleon was compelled to retreat in such a state of disarray that a major part of his army perished on the way. With his army so greatly reduced, he was defeated by Germany at Leipzig in 1813 and abdicated in 1814. He was then exiled to the Island of Elba. He did, however, manage to escape, but returned to power only to suffer a crushing defeat at the hands of the British at Waterloo in 1815. He was taken captive and sent off to the Island of St. Helena. There, the man who had been the idol of his countrymen–“the greatest adventurer the world has seen”–died in imprisonment in the year 1921, in a state of utter despair.

Man dreams of glory and splendour not only for himself but also as a priceless treasure to be passed on to his children; he remains blissfully unaware that before long he himself is to be divested of all his glory, shorn of his titles, and reduced to a heap of dust. Each day, in this world, one ‘Napoleon’ or the other disappears from life’s stage, but scant attention is paid to this fact.

In the present world, man is given opportunities which are strictly defined in their scope and timespan in the context of the divine scheme of things. In terms of human life, they have their limitations. But man’s ambition knows no bounds and he lives his life in the most incautious and unrestrained manner. And at the end of it all, what happens to the personal glory on which he was wont to pride himself? It is simply buried in the dust.

Everyone sets out to blaze the same trails, write the same books, climb the same mountains as his predecessors. No one considers that the end will be the same, no matter how illustrious the life, and that not the smallest trace of former glory can pass with us into the life hereafter.