Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem
There was once a young girl, who, as Qadr would have it, would need to spend long periods at a hospital. In doing so, late one afternoon, she went to offer her ‘Asr salaah in the hospital multi-faith room. Upon entering she saw an elderly Muslim lady sitting on a chair. The lady smiled when the girl walked in, and the girl returned the smile and conveyed salaam. There was some chat about the direction of Qiblah and where to find prayer mats, before the girl turned away from the lady and offered her prayer. Completing it, she noticed the lady still sat there, as though she’d been waiting for her. They made further conversation, and soon it was established that the elderly lady was visiting her son, whilst the girl had come to spend time with her mother. The lady, to the surprise of the girl, continued to ask questions, comparing notes on their respective patients, and then requested to meet with the girl’s mother.
Dutifully, the girl arrived back at her mother’s bedside, her new guest in tow. Her mother, ever the entertainer, welcomed the lady, sat her by her side and indulged her in friendly banter. The mother instructed the girl to serve their guest, and soon after, asked that their elderly companion be safely seen all the way back down to her own son’s ward. The girl did as she was told, thus bidding the lady farewell.
Three weeks later, Allah [swt] took what was His, and the girl’s mother returned to her Creator. Amidst the grief and anguish during the funeral, the girl, inspired by something, looked up from the coffin to the frail hand on her shoulder. Smiling back at her, her face wearing a weak, warm smile, was the elderly lady. Astonished, the girl smiled back.
Upon reflection of this story, one cannot help but bring to mind the verse in Surah Rahmaan, where Allah [swt] asks, “Is there any reward for good other than good?” [55:60]. When the mother of the girl, irrespective of the circumstances, honoured her guest with good treatment, did Allah not reward her with something better? That you meet with someone once in your life, a brevity of 15 minutes, and 3 weeks later, that same elderly someone, weak in the knees and with the help of a walking stick, that same someone attends your janaazah. Subhan’Allah.
You see, just like a droplet causes lasting ripples in water, our character as Muslims also has a lasting effect. Good character ripples and resounds in someone until they do nothing but esteem you, and you won’t even realise it. You may do something, that to you seems so small, requiring no real effort, and yet to the recipient it means more than you’ll ever know.
Indeed Allah is a witness over us, and Allah [swt] knows best.