Thursday, July 4, 2013

Small acts of kindness

****************** In the name of Allah, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. ******************** Reflection ********************* "Anyone who obeys the Messenger has obeyed God..." (Nisaa 4:80) ******************** During the walk from Masjid Negara to Padang Merbok for the historic Blackout 505 gathering on the hazy afternoon of June 22th, the sight of a veteran in his wheelchair being pushed by a youth caught my eyes. ************************* He was cheerful; I quickened my pace and when I was walking alongside him, I took the opportunity to get to know him. ********************** Haji Marzuki Ibrahim, 78, from Sungai Petani, Kedah, said Blackout 505 was not his first 'outing' in Kuala Lumpur; he had taken part in all the main Bersih demonstrations and the peoples' gatherings in Stadium Merdeka on the 12th January. ************************* The former tin mining industry worker from Semeling, Kedah, said his heart was always with the 'rakyat'; he could just have sat at home but made an effort to join them at every opportunity he had. ********************** But since he was 'wheelchaired' because of old age, he depended on others for help; and during the Blackout 505 gathering he was lucky as one of his grandchildren, Muhammad Fakhrul Shafiq, 18, had time to spend with him. The young man was in high spirit; he looked jovial while pushing his grandfather's wheelchair. *********************** Haji Marzuki said they had taken a bus in Sungai Petani at 10.00 pm the previous day and arrived in Kuala Lumpur early in the morning. "Even the journey is hard for an old man like me, this is my small contribution for the well being of our younger generation. All things must be placed in order; the people's right must be respected by all but nowadays this aspect is being trampled by certain quarters." ******************** Looking at the 'smart dressed' veteran; I guessed he must be an 'Umno man' during his early days to which Haji Marzuki quickly admitted. He said as he matured through the years (he witnessed Merdeka in 1957 as an Umno member), he somehow realized Umno and Islam 'do not fit'; 'Alhamdulillah' (praise be to Allah) he had found solace in PAS. ********************* Haji Marzuki said he would contribute to the maximum of his capacity including strength for the struggle for Islam through PAS and attending the Blackout 505 gathering was one way to show his support to PAS's stand in fighting for the people's right in demanding for a clean and fair election supervised by a respected election commission (Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya). ************************* "I would like to spend the rest of my days as much as I can for Islam. Islam is for justice and this is why I am here," said the veteran, to whom I quickly added, "I 'du'a' (prayed) that Allah SWT would reward 'jannah' (heaven) to you, Haji Marzuki!" *********************** There was a moment of silence; Haji Marzuki stared at me and I stared at him back. Suddenly his body and head were shaking, tears started flowing from his eyes; I too was almost in tears. I quickly pulled myself up and ran into the crowd. I knew if I stayed longer with Haji Marzuki; 'the road would be flooded' with our tears! ************************** Later on, only did I realized that I had uttered 'a very heavy statement' which many of us take for granted. The words, "I prayed that Allah SWT would reward 'jannah' to you" looked so simple but it has the highest impact on a believer what more a pious person. It is a small act of kindness but with a maximum effect. ************************** I remembered an 'ustaz' during a class at a masjid near my house, saying that as Muslims we should practice uttering 'precious words' instead of using normal phrases such as 'selamat pagi' (good morning) and 'terima kasih'. For 'selamat pagi' or "petang" we should replace in with 'Assalamualaikum...' (peace be upon you) and 'terima kasih' with 'jazakallahu khayran (may Allah reward you with goodness). ************************ When we receive gifts and help, if we say 'terima kasih' it 'would end there' but if we say 'jazakallahu khayran' the rewards would last to the Hereafter, what more if we say "I 'du'a' you would get 'jannah'; the effect is so great, my 'encounter' with Haji Marzuki proved what the 'ustaz' had taught us. ************************* The 'ustaz' too taught us ought not to take for granted doing small acts of kindness; he told us about a great scholar who dreamed that in Hereafter all his good deeds were rejected by the Almighty but he was saved by a small act of kindness. Allah Azzawajal blessed him for the only reason that when he used to wet his pen in ink and would write with it, a house-fly would sit on the pen and drink from the ink and he would hold his pen still till it drank and quenched its thirst. For this small act of kindness, all his good deeds were blessed. **************************** He also told us about a hadith which mentioned Aisha, the Prophet's young wife who one day donated a single grape to a beggar. Yahya related that Malik said: "I heard that a beggar asked for food from Aisha, umm al-muminin, she had some grapes. She told someone to take him one grape. He began to look in amazement. Aisha said, 'Are you amazed? How many atoms' weights do you see in this grape?" (referring to Sura 99 (Az-Zalzalah, ayah 7 - So whoever does an atom's weight of good will see it) ************************ Then he mentioned about a few more hadiths such as: ************************* * Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "One day a man became very thirsty while walking down the road. He came across a well, went down into it, and drank and then climbed out. In front of him he found a dog panting, eating the dust out of thirst. The man said, 'This dog is as thirsty as I was.' He went back down into the well and filled his show, putting it into his mouth (in order to climb back up) and then gave the dog water. Therefore Allah thanked him and forgave him." They said, "Messenger of Allah, will we have a reward on account of animals?" He said, "There is a reward on account of every living thing." *********************** * 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "A woman punished her cat by imprisoning it until it died of hunger and because of it, she entered the Fire. It was said ­ and Allah knows best: 'You did not feed it nor give it water when you imprisoned it nor did you release it and let it eat from the plants of the earth." ************************* So dear readers, remember small acts of kindness earning a great reward, for who knows the true value of a small kindness or small virtue? One may simply say Alhamdulillah (Praise be to Allah) with such an intense feeling that it alone tilts the scale in his or her favor in the Hereafter. Helping a destitute person with small amount of money or just some kind words, greeting a stranger, visiting the sick, joining in the funeral, consoling someone going through difficulty, removing something harmful from the path, making a quiet prayer for someone in need of help, forgiving a person who has hurt us --- none of these will make big headlines but all of them can bring about major change in our lives. ************************* But remember what is true about good is also true about evil. What seems to be a minor evil may not be small in terms of its consequences both here and in the Hereafter. As the Qur'an mentions in Surah Al-Noor, 24:15 which means "You thought it to be a light matter while it was most serious in the sight of Allah."

No comments: