Good Old-Fashioned Decency is alive and well….
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
So, there I was walking towards my building (I live in an apartment), having just returned from a class.
We have two parking lots that we use – a small one right in front of the building and a large one that is beyond that. Both of the parking lots are separated by a small road.
I had parked in the large one as the small one was full. I reached the side of the small road (it has 2 lanes) and waited for it to clear (it’s usually busy) so that I could cross over to the small parking lot (which I need to then cross in order to get to my building).
Right around this time, something very horrible happened.
I use a large folder (with multiple packets) for all my class notes. It’s one of those that can be carried around like a briefcase.
In the past, I’ve had two instances where the contents poured out of it (because it’s stuffed). Alhamdulillah, that had happened in a safe place, and at a time when there was no wind, so I had no problem picking up my papers.
Today, it decided to do it again – by the side of the road.
I watched in horror as the folder opened and the contents poured out on the road – and flew to the other side of the road!
I was in complete shock. My heart sunk, my blood pressure dropped and I completely froze.
[Yeah, I know I should have done dua (supplication) but my mind went blank.]
I didn’t know what to do. Both my hands were full and I saw a car coming towards me (he was driving on my side of the road).
I quickly grabbed some of the papers that were close to me. That was about all I could do because I already had so many things in my hands.
Meanwhile, the guy in the car (actually, it turned out to be a DHL van) stopped and put on his indicator. This meant that nobody could drive over my papers from that side of the road.
He walked over and picked up all my papers for me.
Meanwhile, there was another guy, who had been riding a bicycle on the other side of the road, who started to pick up all the papers on his side (i.e. the side close to my building). I saw him checking underneath the cars (in the small parking lot) because some of the papers had flown that far.
[Alhamdulillah, from what I recall, no cars passed from his side of the road either. So my papers did not get run over.]
I was stunned and very relieved.
I took the papers from the first guy and thanked him. Then I crossed the road and took the papers from the other guy and thanked him as well.
That’s all I could do. And dua for them, of course.
I think I recovered 95%-100% of my papers, alhamdulillah.
Lessons that I learned today:
1) Truly, Allah is Most Merciful and the One who can do all things.
Subhan Allah, when I saw my papers flying away, I thought that was it.
It never occurred to me that I might recover them and that someone (let alone two people) would actually help me.
2) Good Old Fashioned Decency is still alive and well, alhamdulillah.
Between those horrid newspapers and the Grandmas that keep telling us about the “good old days” where everyone was noble and honest, we’ve become negative and jaded. We suspect that every person is some sort of closet criminal.
However, as I saw today and in the past as well, there is still lots of good in people.
[Note: As I've always pointed out, goodness is based on tawheed (worshipping Allah alone). Only the one who is upon tawheed (i.e. a Muslim) gets the reward for their deeds, due to the fact that they have a relationship with Allah.
This is the main reason we need to invite people to Islam and to tawheed, so that their good deeds lead to them getting the Mercy of Allah and Paradise.
If someone dies upon a religion other than Islam, there is no forgiveness for them and their good deeds are not accepted. Allah has mentioned this over and over again in the Quran. This post explains more about this issue.]
3) The “little” stuff is important too.
You know, we’re in Ramadan preparation mode now so we think of prayers, fasts, reciting the Quran, giving charity, etc. And all of these are very, very important.
However, I feel that despite all the knowledge that we have about Islam, we sometimes tend to forget about the little stuff.
We forget that prayers and all the other acts of worship should lead us to being more aware of Allah and to taking ourselves into account.
We also forget that this should lead us to doing “little” things like keeping public bathrooms (or whatever you call them) clean, helping old ladies cross the road, helping someone who is carrying a lot of bags, returning people’s pens to them (which we borrow because we forget our own pens!), thanking the cashier when we take our purchased items, not littering, etc.
We always think that the major stuff will get us into Paradise. Well, a prostitute entered Paradise because she helped a dog (here’s the full story). [Obviously she was on tawheed,]
What got her Allah’s Forgiveness? She helped a dog.
Today, if someone did this, people would say “So what?? It’s just a dog!”
Well, the Lord of the Worlds, the Owner of the Day of Judgement, was pleased with her act and that is all that matters.
So, my advice to myself and you: Let’s not forget the little things. They might seem little to us but perhaps these are the deeds that will be accepted from us.
These two men did a great favour for me today. Perhaps it was a little deed from their perspective but it certainly wasn’t from my perspective, given the fact that I have exams for that class coming up.
4) Don’t stuff files.
So, what about you? Did you have any of these “good old-fashioned decency” stories to share? If so, please do!