In the Eid of the year 2012, I came across a little event that shook me to the extent that it will always remain as one of those clear memories we have of certain things.
I was late for Maghrib prayer and was scurrying along the way to the mosque in hope of not losing the congregational prayer. As I approached the masjid, I realized that the last rak’ah had already started.
Just when I was about to climb the steps to the entrance into the masjid, I heard a voice calling from behind me. “Bhaiya, zara madad kariye (Brother, please help me)”, the voice said politely. I was in no state to attend to the voices needs as I was already making haste to catch the ongoing prayer, but I just gave a glance over my shoulder to notice a man sitting under the shadows of a tree that made it difficult for me to see him. My first assumption (in the fraction of a second of time that I had looked at him for) was that he was a beggar so desperately in need of money that he couldn’t wait for the prayer to end.
I quickly made my way up the steps but he called again with an even greater politeness than before, “Bhaiya zara madad kardijiye (Brother, please help me)”.
Now helping someone in need is considered to be a great deal in Islam, or in any other humanitarian aspect for that matter, but here I was trying to catch a more important deal which was prayer. Even so, something at the back of my mind was telling me to turn around and attend to this man. I turned around to further notice that he was sitting on a tri bike, the kind of bikes mostly handicapped people ride. Could it be?, I asked myself. I gazed a little higher up and sure enough this man who was in a neatly dressed attire of an attractive kurta, a sparkling white cap and a well groomed beard, was deprived of everything beneath his knees.
My heart quickly skipped a beat at this point as I quickly understood what the man’s needs were. He wanted some help to get into the masjid.
I ran down the steps like a madman and, together with the help of another passerby, held this man from under one of his arms and climbed the steps. He told us to leave him outside the entrance to the masjid as he would be able to make the rest of the 4 – 5 meters left to the congregation alone and didn’t want us to lose our prayers because of him.
Alhumdulilah, we were able to join the congregational prayer before it ended.
But as I prayed, I couldn’t help holding back the tears that kept flowing from my eyes. I couldn’t stop thinking about how this man managed to face his life, how he was able to make it to the rest of the daily prayers everyday in cases where there was no one around to help, and yet this man managed to look so well dressed and happy.
After prayer, I along with a couple of other people wished him Eid and helped him back onto his bike. Along with unnecessary words of appraisal and much needed dua, he bid me farewell with a smiling face.
I walked back home knowing that it was Allah Azzawajal (All Mighty and Owner of Greatness and Reverence) alone who had made me available for that man. I looked down at my two beautiful feet that helped me walk briskly, effortlessly and without worry unlike that man. I wondered that this man was only one amongst the many people out there who are handicapped in some way or the other. Some whose dreams have shattered because of their lives taking a completely different shape and structure, simply because of the deprivation of legs, hands, eyes, voice etc. Basically, deprivation from the things we take for granted.
The lessons I took from this event were that we need to be a lot more thankful towards Allah Subhaana wa Taa’la (Glory be to Him the Most High) for even the things that may seem simple to some of us, but are a luxury for some others.
I thank Allah Azzawajal for the fine legs he has granted me, amongst many other favours, that allow me to walk to the mosque everyday freely and without the slightest of worry.
I pray for the Muslim brothers who have the luxury of fine legs too, but are ignorant towards using them for good and praying in the masjid everyday earning countless rewards that Allah wants them to have.
Because if that man was diligent enough to make it all the way into the mosque despite of having less than what we do, why can’t we?
Written by Jibran Asif Shareef