The Sneeze Challenge

One day, Human was looking at himself in the mirror and marvelling at his own beauty. Every part of himself that he looked at presented a picture of perfection: the lidded eyes he could blink, the cute nose he could wrinkle, the rosy lips he could curve, the silky hair he could style, the hands and the feet…

“What a wonderful thing I am and how amazingly do I have control over what to do while I live!” he thought. Time, who usually kept silent couldn’t resist and chuckling, said, “Nope. Not true. I control the wrinkles on your face, the colour of your hair, the strength of your bones…”

“Ha! You think?” Human interrupted. “Anti-ageing cream!” he exclaimed picking up one from the dresser. “Hair dyes! Calcium supplements!” he kept shoving them one by one in Time’s face, who looked a little punctured.

Pain was passing by and seeing his friend’s upset face, he said to Time, “Hold on buddy! I’ll teach this Human a lesson. Hey Human! I can take control of your limbs, your organs, and even affect your five precious senses!”

Pain folded his arms in triumph and waited. Human, smiling slyly, picked up a book from a shelf. “Surgeries, medicines, injections, antidotes, therapies… you name it man!”

Stumped, Pain and Time curled their lips and looked at Human through narrowed eyes. Human was tall with pride and was playing with his fingernails when suddenly, he heard heavy footsteps. Dreading a new visitor, he looked up and saw … Voice. His smile returned. Voice had lost many arguments to him before.

Without prelude, Voice started listing what he thought Human couldn’t control.

Voice: “Beauty, scars, pimples, acne…”

Human quickly retorted: “Make up! Plastic surgery! Creams! Lotions!”

“Bacteria, viruses…”

“Immune system! Vaccinations!”

“Thoughts, memories…”

“Hypnosis! Brainwashing!”

Voice heaved a sigh and went quiet.

“Wow, you people are becoming more and more pathetic every day. There’s nothing you can challenge me with!” and laughing, he turned to leave.

Voice, Pain and Time watched him walk to the door. Human reached for the door knob. Softly, from behind him, Voice spoke again: “Here’s a challenge then. Next time you sneeze, keep your eyes open.

“O mankind, you are those in need of Allah, while Allah is the Free of need, the Praiseworthy.”


“O mankind, you are those in need of Allah, while Allah is the Free of need, the Praiseworthy.”
Al-Quran Surah Fatir (35:15)