(Being a chapter from my forth coming book "BEYOND IMAN")
How often have you observed this scene: Someone comes to a place, looking completely uncomposed due to a certain problem that has rendered him and all his smartness utterly useless? He stands and gazes into space, focusing on to nothing in particular, yet deeply engaged with a vision nobody else is seeing but his mind’s eye. Upon careful consideration of all his possible options, he decides to go and meet a close relative of his for assistance. After divulging his heart’s content to the attentive relative, he is told that he has just missed a perfect opportunity. If only he had come 5 minutes earlier, all his problems would have been solved. Unfortunately, there is nothing that can be done about his predicament at that particular moment in time as all extras reserve for assisting people has been used. Sad and further dejected, he gets up and drags his weak body out of the place.
He comes back out and had you seen him a second time, one would see him looking exactly the same as he did earlier on or even worse. He keeps quiet for a while, only for another "good" friend of his to come into focus and without much ado he takes off to the friend’s house, only to be told the person has travelled the week before. Again he is back to “Square A” as the saying goes. This time around, a neighbour comes into his mind and against his pride and better judgement he forces himself to go and table his case, per chance he might find the relief he has been looking for, a loan. Once more after hearing him out, the neighbor cooks up an excuse and pleasantly denies him the much needed assistance.
Almost frustrated, he thought to himself “And the most annoying part of it all is, they always let me tell them the ugly development first, exposing my intimate fears and secret, then they tell me ‘Sorry, there nothing I can do for you’. Why do they listen to my pains first? May be they even enjoying it, watching me suffer. And my friend just travelled out of town without informing me. Yet he calls himself a friend. Even though, so and so owes me money, its going to be the same story if I should go asking for it. ‘I don’t have anything to pay you, please come next week, or next month, or even next year’ Wicked people all over the place, feeling comfortable with people money in their hands ” So he thinks on and on and on.
Now, while in this critical dilemma as he walks absent mindedly across a road, a man driving a very expensive car hits him. He gets hauled into the air, falling on top of some crate of eggs just delivered and waiting to be moved into a grocery store. Dazed and bruised from the fall, with raw eggs splattered all over him, the car driver after stopping comes to him in a rush amidst other passersby. They help him to his feet, with the driver expressing his sincere apologies and at the same time enquiring if the man is hurt anywhere worriedly looking him all over to see any sign of a wound. From no where, the store owner emerges and seeing the poor shaking man covered in egg shells, yolk and all, holds on to the man's pants, demanding to be paid every single egg that has broken, at the same time shouting on the poor man to clean up the mess.
The car driver, though aware of the fact the it is the man’s fault that the accident has happened, pleads on his behalf, explaining that the man must be in shock and should not be shaken further by the shop owner, who continues the shouting session any way, demanding to be paid for his crates of eggs. The driver, as sympathetic and involved in the incident as he is could not afford to pay the shop owner. So he begs the shop owner further, all to no avail. Other passersby try to calm the shop owner down but no one seem to be succeeding. The estranged man is obviously in another fresh fix and upon realising the situation at hand, he sits back on the road tar mark, resigning his fate to whatever might wish to befall him further.
As things seem to progress from bad to worse, a kind hearted man among the on-lookers decides to interfere and immediately offers to pay off the damage. He then takes the still shocked man aside and gives him some money to help him with possible medication bill, just in case it is discovered that the man might need to go to the hospital after getting home. He even offers to take him home to which the man politely decline. Assured the man is alright, the driver is relived and quickly gets in his car drives off. The man, though still covered in raw eggs, wipes off tears from his eyes with his messy yolk covered right hand and focus on the content in his other hand. Seeing money in his hand, he gradually starts to come back to his senses. When the man looks closely at the amount given to him, he discovers that it will completely solve his entire problems with a lot more to spare. So, he could not help but start thanking and smiling at the kind man, who seems much more worried than any others people, still standing all around.
“Alhamdullillah, alhamdullillah. Thank you, thank you, thank you very very much” he keeps saying again and again almost embarrassing his “angel”, who in return says to him “No, please don’t thank me. I should be thanking you for accepting my offer. Honestly, I am the one who is grateful to my Lord and so the one who should be thanking you” But the yolk covered man keeps on thanking him and smiling despite his pains as he struggles to a standing position “No, no, you don’t understand. May be you would not understand, but thank you a 1000 times” says the poor man. Others observing the development become dumb founded at the turn of events. The sudden change in attitude of the poor man seem confusing to the crowd. First he looks so much in distress, but all of a sudden he could not stop smiling and thanking the kind man who seems more grateful to the man for accepting his assistance.
One of them who could not hold his patience taps the kind-hearted man on the shoulder from behind and asks “Why are you thanking him, when it is you who has helped the poor man. You deserve all the thanks” The kind man smiled at the ignorance of the questioner and those other curious and confused faces surrounding them. So he explains; “How often do you get the chance to do good to someone, especially if it is genuinely needed as in this situation and it does not make you feel good yourself? Has any of you ever offered to give something to someone who sincerely needs it, deserves it, favoured to receive it and his offer gets turned down by the recipient? Can any of you tell me the sadness, humiliation, embarrassment, disappointment, pain and regret among other negative feelings you experience from such a rejection?” he pauses briefly for an answer, looking at their faces.
“Don’t you see that it is only someone who wants to hurt you that would reject your offer of anything? If someone you love wants to punish you, they refuse to accept your gift of love. How terrible does that make you feel? If a commoner wants to be famous, he refuses a bountiful offering from a king. If a hero desires to discredit an honor, he refuses to accept it. And if a child wants to make his parents feel guilty for life, he denies them the opportunity to rescue him from imminent danger or death. Need I say more?” He again waits for any one to answer, on getting none he continues “So who should be thanking who?
Now you can understand why I should be the one thanking him for accepting my offer to salvage the chaos. For it is ALLAH Subhanahu wa Ta’ala Who has accepted it from me through him. Had he refused, it would be most painful for me bear the humiliation of the rejection, for I would surely know that my Lord has rejected my offer through this tested man and that would have done more damage to my peace of mind than to the fragile eggs of the store owner or to the peace on this street. As for him (he point to the recipient), he should thank his Lord for using me to save him from the distress he has found himself in”
Recite to them the truth of the story of the two sons of Adam. Behold! They each presented a sacrifice (to Allah): It was accepted from one, but not from the other. Said the latter: “Be sure I will slay thee” “Surely,” said the former, “Allah doth accept of the sacrifice of those who are righteous” Q5:27
So the next time someone asks you for help or assistance or if you go out to give charity, or you find someone attractive and summon the courage to approach and offer your undying love, or you are invited to visit the homeless or you decide to visit the sick in a hospital, do pray to Allah SWT that what you are offering gets accepted, for if the opposite should happen, you might taste a feeling that would leave you forever drained. And when it is accepted be grateful to the recipient and ultimate to your LORD ALLAH AZZA WA JALLAH.
May Allah SWT accept all our good deeds and reward us with the peace of mind associated with our offers being accepted by HIM and every one.