Tag Archives: Stories

Be Grateful

Luqman(A.S.) had great love for the Almighty, that it created within him high moral character and exemplary habits. This was a clear sign of his nobility and nearness to Allah. The details of that is described in Surah(Chapter) Luqman in the Glorious Qur’an.

Luqman(A.S.) used to be in the employment of a rich man. The nobility of Luqman(A.S.)’s character had a great effect on his master, so much so that the master considered him as a great friend and a beloved companion. Although he was the master, yet in fact the master became like a slave to his employee.

It became the practice of the master that whenever he had something special to eat, he would first feed Luqman(A.S.) of it and after Luqman(A.S.) had filled himself, he would eat the left overs.

Luqman(A.S.) would consider the love of the master and his habit, so he would eat moderately and send what was left over to the master. One day, during the melon season, the master received a melon from somewhere. At that time Luqman(A.S.) was not present. The master sent one of his slaves to go and call him.

When Luqman(A.S.) arrived, the master cut the melon into slices and slice by slice started giving thereof to Luqman(A.S.) to eat. As he ate the slices, the master inwardly became pleased at the effect his love was having upon Luqman(A.S.). Luqman(A.S.) ate the slices with great PLEASURE and all the time expressed THANKS for the favour shown to him by the master. After having eaten the slices, when just one slice remained, the master said: “Let me eat this slice and see how sweet is this melon.” Saying this, he put the slice into his mouth. Immediately, such bitterness spread from the tip of his tongue down to his throat, that as a result of the extreme bitterness of the melon, he fell down unconscious and remained unconscious for a whole hour.

When he regained consciousness, he questioned Luqman(A.S.): ” O Beloved one, how did you manage to, so heartily eat those slices of melon ? Just one slice of the melon had such an effect on me, then how did you manage to eat so many slices ?”

Luqman(A.S.) replied: “O Friend, from your hands I have received hundreds of gifts. The burden of thanks upon me is so great, that my back has gone crooked. Hence, I felt ashamed that the hand that had granted me so much favours, if one day some distastefulness or bitterness should come, how can I turn away from it? O Friend, the pleasure of knowing that it comes from your hands has changed the bitterness of the melon to sweetness.”

LESSON:

At every given moment there are numerous bounties and favours of Allah upon mankind. But if ever for a moment some such incident takes place which brings with it, a problem and outwardly causes some difficulty, man loses patience and fails to be grateful.

On the other hand, there are those who are granted understanding, so that when sorrows and difficulties touches them, they remain happy, pleased and grateful to their Lord. At such times, they draw strength from their good understanding and realise that this world is like a hospital and we are like patients in it.

There are times when the doctor gives the patient “sweet” medicine and at other times ” bitter” medicine. However, in both these, there are beneficial results for the patient. Similarly, Allah is the “Al Hakeem”, the All-Wise and at the same time is the ” Haakim”- Ruler. He is also “Ar- Raheem”, the Merciful One. Hence, whether it brings out comfort or discomfort, all these are for our benefit and interest.

So be Grateful and Thankful under ALL circumstances and conditions to the Almighty.

Source: Ma’arif-e-Mathnawi (Vol.1)

The Lonely Ember

A Musalli of a certain Masjid, who previously had been attending salaah in congregation regularly, stopped going.� After a few weeks, the Imaam decided to visit him. It was a chilly evening. The Imaam found the man at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire. Guessing the reason for the Imaam’s visit, the man welcomed him, led him to a big chair near the fireplace and waited. The Imaam made himself comfortable but said nothing. In the grave silence, he contemplated the play of the flames around the burning logs.

After some minutes, the Imaam took the fire tongs, carefully picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it to one side of the hearth all alone. Then he sat back in his chair, still silent. The host watched all this in quiet fascination. As the one lone ember’s flame diminished, there was a momentary glow and then its fire was no more. Soon it was cold and “dead as a doornail.” Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting.

Just before the Imaam was ready to leave, he picked up the cold, dead ember and placed it back in the middle of the fire. Immediately it began to glow once more with the light and warmth of the burning coals around it.

As the Imaam reached the door to leave, his host said, “May Allah reward you so much for your visit and especially for the “fiery” sermon. I shall be back for salaah in the Masjid at Fajr.”
Invite (all) to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and reason with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for your Lord knows best, who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance. (Qur’an Surah An-Nahl: 125)

Sayyidina Abdullah bin Umar(R.A.) reported that Rasullullah(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) has said that Allah created some of his creatures in order that they may fulfil the needs of people. When people face any difficulty they get worried and (enquire about them). Such people are protected from the punishment of Allah. (Tabaraani, Jama’al Fawa’id)
Adapted and edited by Al-Islaah Publications (www.everymuslim.com)

Success of a farmer

There was a farmer who grew superior quality, award-winning corn in his farm. Each year, he entered his corn in the state fair where it won honors and prizes.

One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned something interesting about how he grew his corn. The reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbours.

“How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbours when they are entering corn in the competition with yours each year?” The reporter asked. “Why bother ? ”

The farmer replied, “Didn’t you know? The wind picks up pollen grains from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbours grow inferior, sub-standard and poor quality corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I have to grow good corn, I must help my neighbours to grow good corn too.”

The farmer gave a superb insight into the connectedness of life. His corn cannot improve unless his neighbours’ corn also improves. So it is in the other dimensions and areas of life!

Those who choose to be in harmony must help their neighbours and colleagues to be at peace. Those who choose to live well must help others live well too. The value of a life is measured by the lives it touches…

Success does not happen in isolation; it is most often a participatory and collective process. So share the good practices, ideas and new knowledge with your family, friends, team members and neighbours and all. As they say: “Success breeds Success.”
Author unknown

Abdullah ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: �The best friend in the Sight of Allah is he who is the well-wisher of his companions, and the best neighbour is one who behaves best towards his neighbours.� (Tirmidhi)

Imam Abu Hanifah and the Atheist

Long ago in the city of Baghdad, there was a Muslim empire. On one side of the River Tigris were the royal palaces and on the other side was the city. The Muslims were gathered in the Royal Palace when an athiest approached them. He said to them, ‘I don’t believe in God, there cannot be a God, you cannot hear Him or see Him, you’re wasting your time! Bring me your best debator and I will debate this issue with him.’

The best debator at the time was Imam Abu Hanifah Rahimullah. A messenger from amongst the Muslims was sent over the River Tigris to the city, where Abu Hanifah Rahimullah was, in order to tell him about the athiest who was awaiting him. On crossing the River Tigris, the messenger conveyed the message to Abu Hanifah Rahimullah saying, ‘Oh Abu Hanifah, an athiest is waiting for you, to debate you, please come!’ Abu Hanifah Rahimullah told the messeneger that he would be on his way.

The messenger went over the River Tigris once again and to the Royal Palaces, where everyone including the athiest awaited the arrival of Abu Hanifah Rahimullah. It was sunset at the time and one hour had passed, but Abu Hanifah Rahimullah still hadn’t arrived. Another hour had passed, but still there was no sign of him. The Muslims started to become tense and worried about his late arrival. They did not want the athiest to think that they were too scared to debate him, yet they did not want to take up the challenge themselves as Abu Hanifah Rahimullah was the best of Debators from amongst the Muslims. Another hour passed, and suddenly the athiest started laughing and said, ‘ Your best debator is too scared! He knows he’s wrong, he is too frightened to come and debate with me. I gurantee he will not turn up today.’

The Muslims increased in apprehension and eventually it had passed midnight, and the athiest had a smile on his face. The clock ticked on, and finally Abu Hanifah Rahimullah had arrived. The Muslims inquired about his lateness and remarked, ‘Oh Abu Hanifah, a messenger sent for you hours ago, and you arrive now, explain your lateness to us.’

Abu Hanifah Rahimullah apologises for his lateness and begins to explain, while the atheist listens to his story.

‘Once the messenger delivered the message to me, I began to make my way to the River Tigris, and on reaching the river bank I realised there was no boat, in order to cross the river. It was getting dark, and I looked around, there was no boat anywhere nor was there a navigator or a sailor in order for me to cross the river to get to the Royal Palaces. I continued to look around for a boat, as I did not want the athiest to think I was running away and did not want to debate with him.

I was standing on the river bank looking for a navigator or a boat when something caught my attention in the middle of the river. I looked forward, and to my amazement I saw planks of wood rising to the surface from the sea bed. I was shocked, amazed, I couldn’t believe what I saw seeing. Ready made planks of wood were rising up to the surface and joining together. They were all the same width and length, I was astounded at what I saw.

I continued to look into the middle of the river, and then I saw nails coming up from the sea floor. They positioned themselves onto the boat and held the planks together, without them being banged. I stood in amazement and thought to myself, ‘Oh Allah, how can this happen, planks of wood rising to the surface by itself, and then nails positioning themselves onto the boat without being banged?’ I could not undertsand what was happening before my eyes.’

The athiest meanwhile was listening with a smile on his face. Abu Hanifah Rahimullah continued, ‘I was still standing on the river bank watching these planks of wood join together with nails. I could see water seeping through the gaps in the wood, and suddenly I saw a sealant appear from the river and it began sealing the gaps without someone having poured it, again I thought, ‘Ya Allah, how is this possible, how can sealant appear and seal the gaps without someone having poured it, and nails appear without someone having banged them.’ I looked closer and I could see a boat forming before my eyes, I stood in amazement and was filled with shock. All of a sudden a sail appeared and I thought to myself, ‘How is this happening, a boat has appeared before my eyes by itself, planks of wood, nails, sealant and now a sail, but how can I use this boat in order to cross the river to the Royal Palaces?’ I stood staring in wonderment and suddenly the boat began to move. It came towards me against the current. It stood floating beside me while I was on the river bank, as if telling me to embark onto it. I went on the boat and yet again it began to move. There was no navigator or sailor on the boat, and the boat began to travel towards the direction of the royal palaces, without anyone having programmed it as to where to go. I could not understand what was happening, and how this boat had formed and was taking me to my destination against the flow of water. The boat eventually reached the other side of the River Tigris and I disembarked. I turned around and the boat had disappeared, and that is why I am late.’

At this moment, the athiest brust out laughing and remarked, ‘Oh Abu Hanifah, I heard that you were the best debator from amongst the Muslims, I heard that you were the wisest, the most knowledgable from amongst your people. From seeing you today, I can say that you show none of these qualities. You speak of a boat appearing from nowhere, without someone having built it. Nails positioning themselves without someone having banged them, sealant being poured without someone having poured it, and the boat taking you to your destination without a navigator against the tide, your taking childish, your talking rediculous, I swear I do not belive a word of it!’

Abu Hanifah Rahimullah turned to the athiest and replied, ‘You don’t believe a word of it? You dont believe that nails can appear by themselves? You dont believe sealant can be poured by itself? You dont believe that a boat can move without a navigator, hence you don’t believe that a boat can appear without a boat maker?’

The athiest remarked defiantly, ‘Yes I dont believe a word of it!’

Abu Hanifah Rahimullah replied, ‘If you cannot believe that a boat came into being without a boat maker, than this is only a boat, how can you believe that the whole world, the universe, the stars, the oceans, and the planets came into being without a creator?

The athiest astonished at his reply got up and fled.

Transcribed from a lecture delivered by Shaykh Ahmad Ali.

Sultan Mahmood Ghaznawi and the Thieves

One night Sultan Mahmood Ghaznawi went walking among his subjects after taking off his royal clothes and putting on ordinary clothes. He chanced to come upon a group of thieves who were consulting amongst themselves. On seeing him they asked: “Who are you?”

The King (Sultan) replied: “I am also one like yourselves.” They understood that to mean that he was also a thief like themselves and allowed him to join their company. They then continued the conversation amongst themselves and it was decided that each one of them should explain what speciality or skill he possesses so that at the time of need a task could be put before him to show that special skill.

One of the thieves said: “Friends, I have a special gift in my ears, that whenever a dog barks, I fully understand what he says.”

The second one said: “I have a special gift in my eyes, that whatever I see in the darkness of night, I am able to recognize it in the light of day.”

The third one said: “I have this speciality in my arms that through the strength that lies in my arms, I can make a hole in the strongest wall, to enter a house.”

The fourth one said: “I have this special gift in my nose that by smelling the sand on the ground I am able to ascertain whether there is any treasure buried underneath it or not. It is just like in the case of Majnoon, who without being told, merely by smelling the ground, got to know where Layla was buried.”

The fifth one said: “I have such strength in my hands that no matter how high a building is, I can climb along its wall with my rope ladder and easily enter the building in this manner.”

Thereafter they all asked the King: “O man, what special gift do you possess which we can make use of in our thieving activities?”

The King replied: “I have this speciality in my beard that when criminals are handed over to their executioner, I merely shake my beard and such criminals are immediately set free.” (In other words, if as a show of mercy I shake my beard, the criminals found guilty of murder, are set free).

On hearing this the thieves said: “O dear Qutub, on the day of difficulty, you will be our one means of salvation.” (In other words, if we are arrested, then through you blessings we will be saved. Now we do not have to fear, because the rest of us had the special gift which would help us in our thieving exploits, but none of us had the means of granting safety from punishment. This speciality lies only with you. Now we need not have any fear of punishment. Now we can get on with our work).

They all went in the direction of the palace of Shah Mahmood with the King in their midst. Along the way a dog barked and the one who understood the dog’s language translated: “The King is also in you midst.” Although they heard it, no one paid any attention to this information, as their greed was uppermost in their minds. One of them smelled the ground and explained that this is the Royal Palace . There is a treasure in this place. The other one threw a rope ladder against the wall. The other one made a hole in the wall and they all entered to burgle. Afterwards they divided the loot amongst themselves and hastily each one of them went to hide his share of the spoils.

The King noted each one’s description and found out where each of them resided. He left them and secretly re-entered the Royal Palace . The following day the King related the entire story to his courtiers and thereafter sent the policemen to arrest them and to inform them of their death sentence.

When they were brought before the Court with hands bound together, they were all trembling in fear before the King’s throne. However, the thief who had this special gift of recognizing anybody during the day whom he had seen during the darkness, was quite at ease. In him together with the signs of fear there were also sights of hope. In other words, although he was struck by awe while standing before the King and although fearing the King’s wrath and revenge, he also had the hope, that the King would be true to his word, that when in mercy he shakes his beard, criminals will be set free. Furthermore he also had the hope of setting free al his companions because the King will surely not turn away from all those whom he knew and recognized.

This person’s face was changing from yellow to red, as within himself the feelings of fear and hope alternated. The Sultan Mahmood in Kingly dignity passed judgment that they all should be handed over to the Executioner to be hung on the gallows. As the King himself was witness to their crime, there was no need for any other witnesses.

As soon as the King announced his judgement, this person appealed in great humility: “Sire, with you permission, may I say something?” The King permitted him to speak and he said: “O Master, each one of us had exhibited his special gift which helped in this crime. Now it is time that the Kingly speciality should be exhibited according to the promise. I have all the while recognized you. Remember you had promised that in you beard there is this speciality, that if you cause it to move in mercy, the criminal will be saved from punishment. Hence, O King, shake you beard, so that through the blessings of your grace, all of us can be saved from the punishment of our crimes. Our specialities have brought us to the gallows. Now it is only you special gift that is left which can save us from being punished of our crimes. Our specialities have brought us to the gallows. Now it is only you special gift that is left which can save us from being punished. Now is the time for the exhibition of your speciality. Kindly shake your beard. Because of fear our lives have reached right up to our mouths. Please save us with the special gift that lies in your beard.”

Sultan Mahmood smiled at the plea and became filled with mercy and grace as he heard their pitiful admission of guilt. He said: “Each one of you have exhibited his special quality to such an extent that it has brought you to the brim of destruction, except in the case of this one. He recognized me as the Sultan. He saw me in the darkness of the night and recognized me as the Sultan. Hence for his having recognized me, I set all of you free. I feel ashamed at those eyes which recognized me not to shake my beard and thereby exhibit my special quality.”

Lessons

The first lesson contained is this story is that while a person is committing a crime the true King of Kings is with him, and is fully aware of all that he does. “And He is with you wherever you are.” When a person commits any disobedience to Allah he is actually committing treachery against Him. Anyone who fails in his duty to Allah or in the rights which are due to me, is like a thief committing the theft of Allah’s treasures. For this reason, one should always bear in mind that the Master is the witness, seeing us at all times, and is aware of all that we do. If we commit any disobedience or iniquity, it means that in His very presence His treasury is being looted and robbed.
Think for a moment! Whom are you robbing? That King and Master tells you: “I am seeing what you do. I am with you. My laws have been revealed to you. Today your breaking that law. Today, in this world I will hide your fault, hoping that perhaps you will come upon the right road. But if you do not come to your senses, then tomorrow on the day of Qiyamat when you will be brought before Me, with hands bound together, then who will be able to save you from My anger and revenge?”

The second lesson from this story is that Allah will punish sinners in the hereafter although He may initially overlook them in this world. We see that at the time the thieves were looting the Royal treasury, the Sultan witnessed the entire incident. He was with them and allowed them to proceed without being punished. However in the end, he had them arrested. If, at all times, this thought is uppermost in our minds that Allah sees all our deeds then there will surely be fear in the heart against committing sins.

The third lesson from this story is this that on the day of Qiyamat no special quality will be of any benefit. All those deeds which contravene the laws of Allah will on the day of Qiyamat be bound around man’s neck even though, in this world, they were considered as being special qualities. The thieves mentioned those special gifts and qualities as if the were qualities of virtue, but in reality those very qualities were the cause of their destruction:
“Each one of them exhibited their special quality,
But all their qualities only caused their misfortune to increase.”
Any special quality which does not bring a person nearer to his Creator, and which does not connect the heart to Allah, and which is not a medium towards the remembrance of Allah is no quality of virtue. In fact it is a cure and a misfortune. All the powers and attributes of man which are used in rebellion against Allah and towards disobedience and negligence, will one day cause him to be brought before Allah as a criminal. All those nations who have made great progress and through scientific inventions have made this world subservient to them, but turn away from Allah, passing their lives in disobedience, will realize on the day of Qiyamat, whether the speciality of scientific progress had been the cause of receiving Allah’s grace or His anger.
“Blessed be to you the subjugation of the sun and moon,
But if there is no light in the heart there is no light anywhere.”

The fourth lesson from this story is that no special quality will be of benefit except that which leads towards recognizing Allah, just like the person who having seen the Sultan, recognized him and through this special quality, he not only saved himself but was also able to intercede on behalf of this companions. As for his other companions, their special quality became a means towards earning Allah’s punishment.
“Only the sight of the fortunate one was of any use
Who recognized the Sultan during darkness of night.”
The lesson derived is that this world is like a place of darkness. In the darkness of this world, every servant of Allah who follows the Divine Laws of Shariat and through its blessings recognizes Allah, will be provided with salvation against the punishment on hell-fire, on the day of Qiyamat. This recognition will also be a means towards intercession on behalf of other criminals, from among the sinners of the people of faith. However, there should not be any pride and over confidence in this recognition. In fact, one should alternate between fear and hope and in utmost humility beg for this intercession. Then Allah will accept this intercession from whomever He wishes according to His Mercy . For those whom He will not accept this intercession, He will in perfect justice exhibit His overwhelming vengeance. Hence, fortunate indeed is the person who, in the world, created within himself the knowledge of recognizing Allah. The Aarifeen (True knowers of Allah) who through their spiritual efforts and exercises recognize Allah with their souls, will tomorrow on the day of Qiyamat see Allah and attain salvation. Furthermore their intercession on behalf of other sinners will also be accepted. But the disbelievers and criminals will through their special qualities be admitted into hell-fire. On that day these poor starving ones with pale faces, patched coarse clothing, who today are being ridiculed and jeered at, will feast their eyes upon the countenance of Allah. On that day, the criminals will envy them:
“Would that we had lived like them in the world and acquired their qualities.
Would that we had recognized Allah properly!”

The fifth lesson is this that the story also illustrates the high position these righteous and saintly ones have as far as their humanity is concerned. What a pity that nations and people, just like those thieves, spend their short span of worldly lives looking upon means of delight and comfort as special gift and accomplishment, and look upon material progress as being actual progress. Whereas on the other hand, they have adopted uncouth habits like urinating while standing and cleansing themselves with paper after defecating. They also consider it normal to take a bath sitting in a tub and allow the water, which had become dirtied through being in contact with the anus to be drawn into their mouth and nose. They consider those actions as the norms of society. Can such people ever be considered to be cultured and people of progress? What a pity it is that the beloved cultural ways of Muslims should be cast aside and that such despicable ways of these people should be adopted.

Source: Khanqah

Allah is the Provider

Shaykh Sa’eed ibn Musfir narrates the following account:

I was walking out of the Haram (the Ka’bah in Makkah) when I saw a man begging from everyone that passed by him.

Just then a man who had parked his tinted Mercedes excessively close to the Haram in a designated VIP parking walked passed the beggar on his way to his car. As he pulled the keys out and the alarm did the ‘whup whup’, the beggar raised his finger to the sky and said, “Please, for the sake of Allah!”

Trying to end the moment and avoid a dip into the pocket, the Mercedes man said back, “Allah will provide!”

The beggar replied: “What! Did you at any moment think that I thought YOU were my provider! I’m not asking for your provision, I KNOW Allah will provide for me.”

Shaykh Misfir continues. The two stood there staring at one another for a moment and then the Mercedes tinted windows came up and the man drove away.

A needy African sister who was sitting nearby on the street selling textiles was moved by the incident. She did not have much, but from what she did have, she pulled out 1 riyal and placed it in the hands of that beggar.

He smiled and went on his way.

Meanwhile the Mercedes man could not drive on with the choke of guilt.

He turned the car around and made his way through the crowd to the place where the incident had happened.

Shaykh Misfir says…I saw with my own eyes as he pulled out a 10 riyal bill from his briefcase to give to the beggar. But he looked left and right and could not find him. What was he to do? He had already pulled out the bill to give for the sake of Allah and was not going to put it back. So he found the nearest person he thought was worthy of the bill, placed it in her lap and went on his way.

The 10 riyals sat in the lap of the sister that had given the beggar!

Hazrat Abu Hurairah reported that Rasulullah has said that Allah’s injunction is:

“O my servants ! Spend and you will be given.” [Bukhari, Muslim]

Hazrat Abdullah bin Abbas reported that Rasulullah has said that “Charity does not diminish wealth.” [Tibrani]

(Source: Al-Islaah publications)

The Bitter Harvest

by Muhammad Al-Shareef

I was a teacher in the Qur’anic study circle at our neighborhood Masjid at the time. I would see this young boy after Maghrib prayers, you might say he was about fifteen years old. He held a pocket Qur’an and sat alone reading from it – no, he wasn’t actually reading from it, he was just trying to make it seem as if he was. Now and again, he would shyly steal a few glances at us, curious to know what we were doing. Once in awhile, you might see him straining to make out what we were talking about.

Every time I caught his eye, he would avert his head and continue with his recitation, as if he had not intended to look this way.

Day after day, he sat in the same reserved manner, revealing the same timid glance. Finally after Isha Salah one day, I resolved to confront him.

“As Salamu ‘Alaykum, my name is Salman, I teach the Qur’anic study circle in this Masjid.”

‘And my name is Khalid.’

Strange, he replied so fast, as if he had been waiting to share this piece of information for such a long time and expected to be asked.

“Where do you study Khalid?”

‘In the Eighth grade…and I…I love the Qur’an a lot.’

Strange indeed, why did he add that last sentence?

Confidently, I asked him, “Listen Khalid, have you got any free time after Maghrib? We would be honored to have you join us in the class.”

‘What? The Qur’an? The Halaqah? Yes…why, yes of course (happiness overcame him). I’ll be there, Insha’Allah.’

That night, I couldn’t think of anything other than this young boy and the haze that surrounded his behavior. Sleep would just not come.

I attempted to interpret an answer for what I saw and heard, but there was none. A verse of poetry came to mind: ‘the coming days shall unravel the mystery / and the news may appear from where you could never see.’

I turned on my right side and slipped my right hand under my cheek. O Allah, I have surrendered myself to You and to You I turn over my affairs.

*** Subhan Allah, how the calendar was jogging by. Khalid was now a regular in our Qur’anic circle, energetic and successful in memorization. He was friends with everyone and everyone was friends with him. You could never catch him without a Qur’an in his hand, or find him in any other line in Salah other than the first. There was nothing wrong with him except for his occasional long lapses of attention. There were times when his stoned eyes would reflect the fathomless thought going on in his mind. Sometimes we knew his body was with us, but his soul was somewhere else, suffocating in another world. Occasionally, I would startle him. All he had was a mumble to reply with, he would have been the first to admit its fabrication.

One night, I walked with him after class to the beach shore. Maybe his big secret might meet something equally large, relax somewhat, and release its distress and pain.

We arrived at the beach and traced the waves. The full moon was out.

A strange sight. The darkness of the night found the darkness of the sea, with a lit moon in-between them.

It sat somewhat embarrassed at its intrusion, similar to my shyness towards Khalid right then.

The rays of the silent moon rested on the silent waves of the sea. I stood behind the silent boy. The scene was silence.

Just then! It all shattered and crushed to the ground as the young boy fell to the bottom, bleeding his heart with tears. I chose not to interrupt Khalid’s emotional release, perhaps the saltiness of his tears might help him relax and cleanse his distress.

After a few moments he said from behind his tears, ‘I love you all…I love the Qur’an…and those who love it. I love pious brothers, moral, pure brothers.’

‘But…my father…it’s my father.’

“Your father? What is wrong with your father Khalid?”

‘My father always warned me not to hang around with you people. He’s afraid. He hates you all. And he always tries to convince me that I should hate you too. At any chance he gets, he’ll try to prove his point with stories and tales.’

‘But…when I saw you people in the Halaqah reciting Qur’an, I saw something entirely different. I saw the light in your faces, the light in your clothes, the light in your words, even when you were silent I could see the light even then.’

‘I doubted my father’s tales and that’s why I would sit after Maghrib, watching you, pretending that I was part of the circle, trying to share in the light.’

‘I…I remember Ustadh Salman…I remember the time you approached me after ‘Isha prayer. I’d been waiting for that moment for such a long time. When I began the classes, my soul locked itself into a world of purity with your souls. I began the circle and was persistent. I wouldn’t sleep, my days and nights became Qur’an. My father noticed the change in my routine. He found out, one way or another, that I had joined the circle and that I was now hanging out with “terrorists.”

‘Then, on a dark night…

‘We were waiting for father to come home from the coffee shop, his daily ritual, so that we could all have dinner together.’

‘He entered the house with his hardened face and slaps of anger.’

‘We all sat together at the dinner mat. Silence settled on the gathering as usual, all of us were afraid to speak in his presence.’

‘He knifed the silence with his roaring and immediate voice. “I heard you’ re hanging out with the fundamentalists.”

‘I was caught red. My tongue looped and failed. All the words in my mouth attempted to come out at the same time. But, he didn’t wait for the answer…

‘He snatched the teakettle and threw it maliciously at my face.’

‘The room spun and the colors united before my eyes. I stopped distinguishing the ceiling from the walls from the floor, and fell.’

‘My mother held me.’

‘A damp cloth on my forehead reminded me of where I was. The vicious voice turned on my mother, “Leave him alone, or you’ll be in the same lot.”

‘I crawled out of my mother’s lap and whimpered away to my room. He followed me down the corridor with the cruelest curses.’

‘There was not a day that he didn’t beat me in some way. Curses, kicks, throwing whatever was nearest to his hand. My body had finally become a shiver of fear, grotesque colors formed all over. I hated him.’

‘One day while we were sitting at the dinner mat, he said, “Get up, don’t eat with us.”

‘Before I could get up though, he pounced immediately and kicked me in the back, making me slam into the pots.’

‘At that moment, lying there on there on the ground, I pretended to stand taller than him and shout back in his face…’

‘One day, I’ll pay you back. I’ll beat you just like you beat me, and curse you just like you cursed me.’

‘I’ll grow up and become strong. And you’ll get old and become feeble.’

‘And then…I’ll treat you just like you treated me. I’ll pay you back.’

‘After that, I left home and ran away. I just ran, anywhere, it didn’t matter anymore.’

‘I found my way to this beach. It helped me wash away some of the sadness. I held my pocket Qur’an and began reciting until I could continue no longer because of my excessive crying.’

And here, a few of those innocent tears descended again, tears that sparkled under the moon like pearls under a lamp. I couldn’t say anything, the surprise had arrested my tongue. Should I be aghast at this beast of a father, whose heart knew nothing about mercy? Or, should I be amazed at this patient young lad, whom Allah had wished guidance for and inspired with faith. Or, should I be shocked at them both, at the father-son bond that had broken, causing their relationship to transform into that of a lion and a tiger, or a wolf and a fox.

I held his warm hand and wiped away a tear from his cheek. I reassured him, prayed for him, and advised him to remain obedient to his father. I told him to remain patient and that he was not alone. I promised that I would meet his father, speak to him, and try to evoke his mercy.

*** That incident slipped further away with each passing day. I tried thinking of ways to open Khalid’s case with his father. How should I speak to him? How was I going to be convincing? To be frank, how was I even going to knock on his door? Then finally, I collected my courage, rehearsed my plan, and resolved that the confrontation…uh, meeting…would be that day at five o’clock.

When the time arrived, I left for Khalid’s house with all my ideas and questions for his father dangling from my pockets.

I rang the doorbell. My fingers trembled and my knees were melting. The door opened. There it was, standing in the shadow with it’s frowned lips and veins beating with anger.

I tried beginning with a candid smile. Maybe it might smooth out some of the wrinkles before we even started.

He snatched my collar and jerked me towards him. ‘You’re that fundamentalist that teaches Khalid at the Masjid, aren’t you?’

“Well…uh…yes.”

‘God help me, if I ever see you walking with him again, I’ll break your legs. Khalid won’t be coming to your class anymore.’

And then, he mustered all the saliva in his mouth and spit on my face. The door slammed behind it.

Slowly, I unfolded a tissue that was in my pocket, wiped what he had honored me with, and retreated down the stairs consoling myself. Allah’s Messenger – sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam – suffered more than this. They called him a liar, cursed him, stoned him with rocks and caused his feet to bleed. They broke his teeth and placed dung on his back and expelled him from his house.

*** Day after day. Month after month. No sign of Khalid. His father forbade him from leaving the house, even for the congregational prayer. He even forbade us from seeing or meeting him. We prayed for Khalid…Until we forgot about him. Years passed away. One night, after the ‘Isha’ prayer, a shadow walked behind me in the Masjid and rested a familiar harsh hand on my shoulder. The same hand that held me years ago. The same face, the same wrinkles and the same mouth that honored me with what I was not deserving of.

But … something had changed. The savage face had shattered. The angry veins had subsided, belittled and still. The body looked tired of all the pain and conflict, weakened by sadness and grief.

“How are you?” I kissed his forehead and welcomed him. We took a corner of the Masjid. He collapsed on my lap sobbing.

Subhan Allah, I never thought that that lion would one day become a kitten.

Speak up. What’s wrong? How is Khalid?

‘Khalid!’ The name was like a dagger piercing his heart, twisting inside, and breaking off. His head slumped.

‘Khalid is no longer the same boy that you used to know. Khalid is no longer the generous, calm and humble young lad.

‘After he left your circle he befriended a pack of evil boys, ever since he was little he loved to socialize. They caught him at that time of life when a youth wants to leave the house. Vanity, jokes.’

‘He began with cigarettes. I cursed him, beat him. But there was no use, his body had grown accustomed to the beatings, his ears were used to the curses.’

‘He grew quickly. He started staying up with them all night, not coming home until dawn. His school expelled him.’

‘Some nights he would come home to us speaking abnormally, his face loose, his tongue confused, his hands shivering.’

‘That body, which used to be strong, full, and tender, passed away. What remained was a feeble worn frame. That pure frosty face of his transformed. It became dark and filthy. The scum of misguidance and sin clung to it.’

‘Those shy and simple eyes of his changed. They shot red like fire as if everything he drank or took showed immediately in his eyes like some sort of punishment, in this life before the next.’

‘Hostility and disrespect replaced that shyness and cowardice he once knew. Gone was that soft, respectful young heart. In it’s place grew a hardened center, like a rock, if not harder.’

‘Seldom a day would pass without incident. He would either curse, kick, or hit me. Imagine it, my own son. I’m his father, yet he still hits me.’

After releasing all that, his eyes returned wet and bitter. But, he added quickly, ‘I beg you Salman, visit Khalid. Take him with you, you have my blessing, the door is open.’

‘Pass by him sometime. He loves you. Register him in the Qur’anic study circle. He could go with you on field trips. I have no objection. In fact, I am even willing to allow him to live in your homes and sleep over.’

‘The important thing, Salman…the important thing is that Khalid returns to the way he was.’

‘I beg you lad, I’ll kiss your hands, warm your feet, I beg you and beg you…’

He collapsed, crying and wheezing, into the memories of the grief and pain. I allowed him to complete everything he had to say.

Then I addressed him…

“Despite what has passed, let me try. Brother, you planted this seed. And this is your harvest.”

The Wisdom of the Shaykh

An incident once took place when a student of Knowledge was taking a walk with his teachers in one of the gardens of their Madrassah. During this walk, the student decided to address a problem he was facing and seek its remedy from his teacher. He began to tell his teacher, ‘I have a spiritual ailment; I am habitual of talking ill of others and mentioning matters about them behind their backs.’

The teacher carried on walking for a moment and then asked him, ‘do you have a mobile phone?’ The student answered affirmatively and took out his phone to show his teacher. The phone was one of the latest models on the market and he had just purchased it recently.

Upon seeing the phone and the student’s attachment to it, he asked the student to throw the phone in a nearby mud patch and trample upon it. Whilst astonished by the teacher’s request, the student questioned, ‘how can I throw this phone on the floor? It has cost me a lot of money and is worth a lot to me.’

The teacher replied to him with the following words of wisdom, ‘So too is the respect and honour of your brother as sanctified and valuable as this in the eyes of Allah. How can it be easy for you to trample upon this honour and respect with such ease?’

The student realised how he had never understood nor appreciated the true value of a Muslim brother; and from that day onwards he never failed to compare the respect of his brothers to all those items which were the most valuable to him.

Jazakallah to Maulana Zain for his help in putting together this story.

The Worms

A king was once passing along his way when he saw some animal droppings. And he saw some worms in those droppings. The thought came to his mind that there is no purpose behind the creation of these worms. They are useless, with no real job.

Very soon thereafter he lost his eyesight. Being rich, he spent thousands of rands trying different treatments to restore his eyesight. All to no avail. Then it was mentioned to him that a certain pious Hakeem (natural medical practioner) was very good. The king sent for him.

The Hakeem refused to go to the king and asked that the king come to him. On examining the king, the Hakeem prescribed a powder that was to be put in the king’s eyes three times a day. Gradually the king’s eyesight returned until he was fully cured.

He went to the Hakeem with lavish gifts which the Hakeem refused. The king said, ‘At least tell me what you used in that wonderful medicine.’ The Hakeem replied that he used the worms which one finds in animal droppings. He dried them out, crushed them into powder and made the king apply that to his eyes. The king bowed his head in submission to Allah, Who created every atom with a definite purpose.

Never look down on any creation of Allah Ta’ala, for everything is there for a reason. The events that happen to us also have definite purpose. Every human is a valuable treasure who can benefit the world.
Source: http://islamicfocus.blogspot.com

Be Observant

Chuan and Jing joined a wholesale company together just after graduation. Both worked very hard. After several years, the boss promoted Jing to sales executive but Chuan remained a sales rep.

One day Chuan could not take it anymore, tender resignation to the boss and complained the boss did not value hard working staff, but only promoted those who flattered him.
The boss knew that Chuan worked very hard for the years, but in order to help Chuan realise the difference between him and Jing, the boss asked Chuan to do the following. Go and find out if anyone is selling water melon in the market?
Chuan returned and said yes. The boss asked how much per kg?
Chuan went back to the market to ask and returned to inform the boss the price is $12 per kg.
Boss told Chuan, I will ask Jing the same question?
Jing went, returned and said, boss, Only one person selling water melon.
Price is $12 per kg, $100 for 10 kg, he has inventory of 340 melons.
On the table 58 melons, every melon weighs about 15 kg, bought from the South two days ago, they are fresh and red, good quality.
Chuan was very impressed and realised the difference between himself and Jing.
He decided not to resign but to learn from Jing.

My dear friends, a more successful person is more observant, thinks more and understands in depth.
For the same matter, a more successful person sees several years ahead, while we see only tomorrow.
The difference between a year and a day is 365 times.
Think! how far have you seen ahead in your life?
How thoughtful in depth are you?