What goes around comes around. We’ve all heard the saying but how many of us think about it in our daily lives? Do we think about the way we treat other people and whether our ill-treatment of them will come back to haunt us? I haven’t lived long but I’ve had plenty of opportunities to see life in action. To see how Allah metes out punishment on earth. Let me tell you a little story:
There was an older brother I used to see at the masjid. He had to be in his late 60’s or early 70’s. He walked with a cane and appeared to be in poor health. I noticed him because he drove a convertible, cherry-red sports car. Some of us used to joke that he was the masjid’s “cool daddy.” We even called him it from time to time and he’d laugh. Fast forward several months.
I received a call from my halaqah teacher. The older brother was in the hospital. A few sisters, brothers, and I went to visit him. We spent most of the visit joking around with him trying to make him feel better. When it was time for us to leave he looked sad. He thanked us for coming and told us he appreciated it. Then he started crying. Through his tears he told us how he used to be very wealthy. He had several wives, plenty of children, big houses, cars and many expensive things. However, he mistreated his wives and his children. He mistreated other people. He spent money without a care in the world. He did not thank Allah for blessing him with a good life nor did he pray or strive to be a better Muslim. And so it went for many years. Eventually Allah took everything from him except for the little red sports car. And there he was in the hospital surrounded by strangers, in need of our hospitality. It was a very sad but eye-opening experience.
Do we need an extreme like the aforementioned one to whip us into shape? If you pay attention to the lessons Allah is teaching you in your own life then I believe you will receive your wake up call. Like the time I was in the masjid parking lot and saw a pregnant sister struggling to get her kids out of the car. Rather than offer my assistance I judged her. With my nose in the air, I said to myself, why do these sisters have so many kids? Clearly she’s overwhelmed yet she’s still having more. (Astagfirullah). Two seconds later my heel got caught on something and I fell down an entire flight of stairs scraping my arms, hands, and legs.( I also ripped a hole in my brand new abaya). Sitting there, on the bottom of the stairs, heart pounding, I realized the swift message Allah had just sent me. I had to ask for forgiveness (and for Allah to bless that sister and her children. Ameen.)
I’m not saying I’m the best person. I still have many lessons to learn. But Alhamdulillah I try. I reflect. I try to review my actions at the end of the day and ask for Allah’s forgiveness for any wrong I may have committed. And I hope my effort is dually noted by my Lord. I strive to treat people in the best manner (even when they upset me). Yes, I’m a bit of a spitfire but I’m trying. And when it becomes really difficult I think about the older brother and his cherry-red sports car.
May Allah guide us all.
Thanks to my girl Ruqaiyyah for the thought-provoking conversation which led to this post. May Allah increase you.