“A Hajj Story” by EIslam.co

imageSa’eed was sitting at the waiting area at the Jeddah airport after having just completed the rites of Hajj.

The man next to him said: “I work as a contractor and Allah Ta’ala has blessed me with performing my tenth Hajj.”

Sa’eed told him: ” Hajj mabroor, may Allah accept and forgive your sins.”

The man smiled and said: “Ameen.”

Then he asked : ” Have you performed Hajj before this time?”

Sa’eed was hesitating to tell him, and then he said:

“By Allah, it’s a long story and I don’t want to hurt your head with my talk.”

The man laughed and said: “Please tell me, as you see we have nothing to do, we’re just waiting.”

Sa’eed smiled and said: “Yes, waiting is the start of my story. I’ve been waiting for so many years so that I could go for Hajj. After working for thirty years as a physiotherapist in a private hospital, I was able to save enough money to go for Hajj.

The same day I went to get my savings, I came across a mother, whose paralyzed son I treat. I could see her face was worried and anxious.”

She said: “I leave him to Allah’s keeping, Brother Sa’eed this is our last visit to this hospital”.

I was surprised with her words and I thought she wasn’t happy with my treatment and our service and that she therefore considered moving her son to another hospital.

She told me: “No brother Sa’eed, Allah bears witness that you were to my son like a father, and you helped him in his treatment when we had lost hope.” Then she left very saddened.

The man next to him interrupted and said: “That’s strange, if she was pleased with your treatment and her son was improving then why did she leave?

Sa’eed answered: “That’s what I thought so too, so I went to the administration to find out what happened. They told me the boy’s father had lost his job and was unable to continue paying for his son’s treatment.”

The man next to him said: “There is no Might nor Power except with Allah, poor them, how did you deal with it?

Sa’eed said: “I went to the manager and pleaded with him to continue treating the boy on the hospital’s expense, but he sharply rejected and said, ‘this is a private institution, not a charity’. I left his office sad and broken for this family. Then suddenly, I placed my hands in my pocket which had my money all prepared for Hajj.

I stood in my place for a while, and then I raised my head above and spoke to my Rabb Allah: O Allah, You know how I feel and You know there is nothing more beloved to me than to go to Your House and do Hajj, and to visit Your Messenger’s (peace be upon him) Masjid. You know I have been working all my life for this moment, but I prefer this poor lady and her son over myself, so don’t deprive me of Your favors.

I went to the accounts desk and paid all I had for his treatment which covered the next six months. I begged the accountant to tell the lady that it’s from the hospital expense for special cases. He was affected by this and there were tears in his eyes and said, ‘baarak Allah feek and people like you’”

The man next to him then said: “If you donated all of your money, then how did you come for Hajj?

Sa’eed said: ” I went back to my home sad that day for having lost the opportunity of a lifetime for Hajj. But my heart was filled with happiness that I removed a distress from the lady and her son. I slept that night with a tear on my cheek. I had a dream and I was making tawaf (circumbulating)around the Ka’aba and people were saying salaam to me and they told me: ‘Hajj mabroor O Sa’eed, for you have performed Hajj in the heavens before you performed Hajj on earth’.

I immediately woke up and felt an indescribable happiness. I praised Allah Ta’ala for everything and was pleased with His decree. When I got up from my sleep, my phone rang and it was the hospital’s manager.

He told me the owner of the hospital wants to go to Hajj this year and he won’t go without his personal therapist. But his therapist’s wife is expecting and has reached her final days of pregnancy so he can’t leave her.

‘Would you do me favor, he asked politely. Would you accompany him for Hajj?’

I made sujood shukr (prostrated in gratitude to Allah Ta’ala). As you see, Allah Ta’ala granted me this gift to go to His House without having to pay anything. All praise to Allah, the owner of the hospital insisted on giving me something for his accompaniment.

I told him the story of the lady and her son, and he demanded the boy be treated at the hospital from his own personal expense and to place a donations box in the hospital for the treatment of needy patients. He also gave the boy’s father a job at one of his companies.

He even returned the money I had initially spent for the boy’s treatment.

Have you seen greater favours than the favours of my Rabb Allah?.. Subhan Allah.

The man next to him hugged him and told him: “By Allah, I have never felt this kind of embarrassment as I’m feeling now. I would perform Hajj one year after another thinking I was doing something great, and that my place with Allah would be elevated as a result of it. But now I understood that your Hajj is equivalent to a thousand of mine. I went to the house of Allah, but Allah invited you to His house. May Allah accept your Hajj!”

Editor’s Note: Sometimes Allah Ta’ala will give you exactly what you want after he tests your devotion and sincerity. Allah Ta’ala works in the most mysterious ways and we need to place our Trust in Him!

This article published by eislam.co  has NO COPYRIGHT whatsoever. You are free to forward or publish this article in its original form. However they would appreciate it if you could acknowledge the source. http://www.eislam.com

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Tabuk, the Litmus Test

imageThe Surah Tawbah starts without Bismillah. And no wonder. Its a part of the Quran, which talks about hypocrisy. The unusual harshness which Allah (swt) displays within the Surah, shows the importance of the subject. Surah Tawbah partially revolves around the Tabuk incident.

The Tabuk expedition, was a march from Medina to Tabuk in 9 AH, against Roman Armies – in the peak of the summer- which led to their dispersal without any battle. It helped consolidate most of Northern Arabia within Islamic rule, thus creating unity which (the year after) led to the freeing of Mecca, and culminating at Yarmuk (some years later) in a decisive opening of the world to Muslims, via the defeat of Heraclius. Hence, it is one of the most important events in Muslim history. Some have called Tabuk a non-event, because no battle took place. The reality is that this is where the wheat separated from the chaff. Tabuk, was the Litmus Test for the people in Medina.

In focussing on the march to Tabuk, the Surah brings out the problem which had bedevilled the Muslims for long. The hypocrites pulled out all the stops to cause dissension pre the march, even to the extent of using a mosque outside Medina, as a meeting centre, to execute their plans. They caused issues and doubts, but due to the high profile participation of all the big figures of Islam, the Prophet (saw) marched with thirty thousand in the peak of the burning summer. Only three Muslims did not participate and even these three felt great guilt and were eventually pardoned by Allah (swt). However, due to the difficulties and the danger of possible battle, the hypocrites opted out and this led to a decisive parting of the ways. The reality had come out of hiding. The hypocrites would hereafter, either be sidelined or become responsible members of Muslim society. This seminal moment has affected us down these fourteen centuries. That all this was accomplished without any battle or lives lost, is an absolute wonder.

The lessons learnt from Surah Tawbah were simple and apply even today.

– you cannot have an ordered society, till people take responsibility.
– sacrifice is required from the good to fulfil this responsibility.
– there is no tolerating evil, otherwise it overwhelms you.
– hypocrisy is the biggest danger to societies.

If you read Ayat 75-77 of Surah Tawbah, it is a reflection of what has happened to us in Pakistan.

75) And among them are those who made a covenant with Allah [saying], “If He should give us from His bounty, we will surely spend in charity, and we will surely be among the righteous.”
76) But when He gave them from His bounty, they were stingy with it and turned away while they refused.
77) So He penalized them with hypocrisy in their hearts until the Day they will meet Him – because they failed Allah in what they promised Him and because they [habitually] used to lie.

We made this country for greater things, based on an aspiration and a promise of goodness. However, somewhere along the way, in the 1950s and 60s we lost our way. Its a collective derailment; we all are responsible. The punishment for that breaking of a promise has been a full doze of hypocrisy and its repercussions. Hypocrisy is taken here in the religious sense; to lie, break promises, betray a trust and argue unjustly.

May we learn from the events of Tabuk and be guided on a rightful path.

The above write up, while based on Surah Tawbah, has used the interpretations applied by Maulanas Maudoodi and Israr.

The Trials of Ibrahim (as)

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Time – An Enigma….

Reflections — 18 December 2012
Time – An Enigma….

I remember my fascination with time when I read Einstein’s theory. It was difficult to visualize, us traveling around Andromeda in 56 years (at speed of light) to return to Earth. But lo! When we return, the Earth will be gone, as 3bn years would have passed. The whole concept seemed surreal. Then the Time Tunnel program and mans capability to travel back. So what would happen if I went back and changed history? The concept of a parallel universe where another ‘ME’ could be living a different life, in a similar world just blew one’s mind out.

 

Now, almost 38 years later, as I reach the end of my career, the relativity attributes and quality of time has become apparent. These 50 plus years of life seem like a whisper, which soundlessly slipped by. I could swear it was only yesterday, one was being entered in the daily class register in early school. One can remember the teacher’s voice; smell the scents and the murmur of chatter. Yet the days have long gone. Worse, now they seem to move at breakneck speed week to week; we wish to stop time, but it is hurtling along at a pace of a train downhill without breaks. And therefore comes a time, when we too shall depart this world.  The question to be answered then is ‘have we done enough with our elusive time?’

 

For me the benchmark description has become Surah Al-Asr in the Quran and I translate:-

 

I swear by the time, Most surely man is in loss, Except those who believe and do  good, and enjoin on each other truth, and enjoin on each other patience.

 

The above is the description which has given some realistic shape to that enigma called time.

 

Imam Sha’fi explained that he would often wonder about Surah Al-Asr, till one day in the market he came across an ice-vendor. Remember those were the days of non-refrigeration. What the Imam saw was that the ice was melting and for the vendor, the race was that he could somehow get the best out of his time and be able to sell off the highest possible amount of ice. If he did that, he would go home successful. If he failed, well the ice would melt and he would fail. Substitute time for the ice and good deeds for the act of selling.  And there you have our life’s struggle. We are like that ice vendor, fighting a losing battle, unless we can perform meaningful deeds within the time we have. Time, which is elapsing fast!

 

Of course it is easier said than done, especially when ones commercial life is all encompassing. Most of us do have good intentions. We come across so many youngsters who are idealists by nature. But they are hampered by the need to earn ample legal tender, so they can achieve the legitimate aim of fulfilling responsibilities. These young idealists get involved more and more into the commercial world. Soon they are running pillar to post to fulfill their professional duties. Time is sucked out of their day, tiredness and jadedness sets in and soon decades pass. These idealists lose their original reason to live and begin to chase a profit mirage. Alas one day soon, Father Time will be up and they will depart this world, having missed out on the opportunity to fulfill their passion, dreams and goodness.

 

A classic example of this loss of opportunity occurred during the time of our Prophet (saw). In the early days of the mission, a man from Taif came to Mecca for business. Of course he went to the Haram. There he saw a man, a woman and a young boy praying in an unusual fashion. His curiosity aroused, he enquired from a prominent resident Abbas (ra), as to their background. Abbas (ra) replied that the subject people were his nephew Muhammad (saw), who claimed to be a prophet, his wife Khadijah (ra) and his cousin Ali (ra). They were praying to their God, Allah (sbt), who they claimed was The One God and they rejected polytheism. The man was intrigued and wished to speak to them, but was also short of ‘time’ and hurried off to Taif, knowing full well that his business shall bring him to Mecca again and he would learn more!! 20 years later after the conquest of Mecca, as Arabia converted to Islam in droves, a group of tribesmen came to Medina to accept Islam at the hands of the Prophet (saw). Amongst this group was a man who cried uncontrollably! When asked about the reason for his tears, he replied that 20 years earlier he had the opportunity of being among the pioneers of Islam, but allowed that moment to slip by. This man lost an opportunity given to a handful in human history. Today history while recording the event does not even recognize his name or his whereabouts – an opportunity lost indeed.   

 

Let’s not be like that poor man, who is lost in the folds of time.   May Allah make us like a successful ice-vendor, where we have seized the opportunity and done what we believe good and worthwhile, for time slips away. 

 

This note has been inspired and influenced by www.eislam.co.za. I totally acknowledge using their article as a base for creating this blog. 

photo credit: ToniVC via photopin cc

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