Apr 5, 2011

Have You Paid Your Due Yet?

By Sister Sunshine Smiles

Most of us in today’s world are extremely busy. And Metro life has become a rat race, leaving an individual devoid of their own bare self. It takes an unusual encounter with reality to knock me down and remind me that we are all humans living in this world for a bigger purpose than the one we are desperately running after.

One lucid memory I have of this incident reminds me of the wise words quoted from Sahih Muslim,

"Look at those who stand at a lower level than you but don't look at those who stand at a higher level than you, for this would make the favours (conferred upon you by Allah) insignificant (in your eyes)."

It was a fine morning after random heavy showers the previous night with puddles and water logged everywhere but with the freshness of raw earth that is usually missing in the cities. I was happily on my way to meet my colleagues and finish off some work on an assigned project.

There was water accumulated everywhere as this city was really well known for its messed up drainage infrastructure and this, could be very well established by the overflowing manholes that day.

Nonetheless, it was all expected to recede by late hours of the afternoon. I was walking across the street, just about to cross a road waiting for the ‘Walk’ sign to glow when we saw a little, say maybe a 5 year old boy, run halfway across the road.

This city did have a considerable amount of needy people but this sight was definitely a newbie to the collage of a million other pictures scened up in my mind. A shocker nonetheless because what followed was the little boy’s bath time in the dirty water from the overflowing manhole.

I was too shocked to react at the moment considering the traffic light was still green for cars. Luckily, the road wasn’t too busy at that hour but the little boy seemed to have mastered the act of spotting a car zooming to cross the signal too. He would run back to the pavement and then run back immediately after the car would pass by. From the looks of his expression the water seemed cold but complemented well because the sun was up bright by then already.

I was flabbergasted at the whole scenario that I didn’t realize when our ‘Walk’ sign turned ON and back OFF again. By then, this little boy had finished up his quick, so called bath and ran back to his mother who was busy taking care of another infant on the side of the road. At that moment, I learnt that maybe they didn’t even have even a roof to live under, let alone basic clothing or general food supplies.

That was probably the first day I realized how ‘not’ often I thank Allah for the things I have. Once in a while when I remember, I do. But how many times do I specifically think of how amazingly blessed I am or how blessed we all are?
Have we ever thought how blessed are we to have a roof over our head to shelter us and protect us from adverse weather conditions contrary to the unfortunate who are sleeping on the street tonight.

Or how blessed are we who are provided with 3 meals a day with nutritional value tabs on our intake contrary to those who have been hungry all day and may have been lucky enough to feast on a loaf of bread for dinner.

Or maybe how blessed are we who have a wardrobe stacked of clothes in innumerous shades though sometimes we complain of having nothing to wear as compared to those unfortunate who are dressed in rags for as long as they can even remember.

And, blessed are we to have proper sanitary facilities for going about our business as compared to those who have to find themselves on corners of deserted places to relieve themselves.

Also, blessed are we for all the basic necessities mentioned above and every other little thing that we may or may not realize but nonetheless have been bestowed with unconditionally.

No matter what, if you are reading this, you are from the better half of the scenario because not only do you have all of the above but also an access to a huge database of knowledge on the widespread internet from which you can seek information at your freewill and benefit from the same of course (ignoring the malicious aspect and immense sources of wrong knowledge available too).

When I began to wonder what would it take to improve the status of the poor people around us, I landed up on an enormous barren land of thoughts fighting themselves over each other and before I knew it there was too much to even begin thinking of.

What I settled with, was a hope that from the day I begin to work, I will always remember to find time to give my Zakat more than willingly and required and hasten towards it insha’Allah.

A righteous predecessor once said, “Charity cannot be perfect except with three characteristics: hastening, belittling and concealing it.”

And referencing for the same from the translation of the Noble Quran [2:177] by Sahih International,
“Righteousness is not that you turn your faces toward the east or the west, but [true] righteousness is [in] one who believes in Allah , the Last Day, the angels, the Book, and the prophets and gives wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveler, those who ask [for help], and for freeing slaves; [and who] establishes prayer and gives zakah; [those who] fulfill their promise when they promise; and [those who] are patient in poverty and hardship and during battle. Those are the ones who have been true, and it is those who are the righteous.”

I'd love to hear your views on this article. Please tell me in the comments section below :)


Indeed... a reminder that can never be too much, and a reminder we all can do well with, over and over...


JazakiAllah khayr for the post...

Jazakillahu Khairan Kaseera!

Alhamdolillaahi Rabbil Alaameen!

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