2 Extremes, 1 Day
"No, I’m good. I’ve been canning all night and I’ve got enough. Really. Thanks anyway. You’re young; you don’t know what the real world is like out here, just wait until you get to be 45. I’m 51 and I’ll tell you this, don’t trust anyone, there is no meaning; especially the ***** (a nationality) and *****, but the ***** too. This guy has been working my area, if you see him, don’t tell him you saw me. He has no nerve; everyone knows this is my location. Just run the other way, he’s no good, none of them are. He got on my radio frequency. See you don’t know because you’re so young. I got my friend a job yesterday, she really needed it. But I’m all good. No, I don’t know anyone who would need it. I’m ok; you need not worry about me. Just one more week of this cold weather to go. You should get going, because it’s so brutal out here. 20 or 30 years out here you learn to survive, but you just learn to be careful. Don’t trust anyone."
Waking up that morning there was a plan. A master plan was already set for me to come across this woman on my way into the skilled nursing & rehab facility I work in. Everyone has a different take on life, and it’s so ironic how 2 precious newborns end up with minds and thoughts poles apart from one another as adults. This woman, only a few years younger than my own mother, has no belief in “trust”, and mocked the idea of God creating humanity with a purpose to worship throughout every detail of our lives. Perhaps one day she will see, that even with her, God has imparted Mercy upon. She was dressed warm, and her canning earned her 3 trash bags full of potential money, to eat a warm meal rather heading to the local soup kitchen.
All day I thought of this other soul roaming the streets. That night my husband, the kids & I were invited over another Muslim family’s home, not their house. Little did I know I would be exposed to a reverse situation. Masha’Allah what God wills, happens. A house of royalty, no less it was, at least for this donia/life. This house was a mansion filled with jeweled details embedded in the fabrics of curtains, marble floors with crystal chandeliers floating on top, glass doors with high textile ceilings and lofty yet plush furniture. Not very child friendly (‘Strong Believer’, my almost 3 year old son was a little too excited!!)
I’m really into listening to Imam Anwar Al-Awlaki’s stuff. A few days before this extreme day came, he explained the first 4 things all of will be asked upon. 1. Prayer: did we pray 5xs/day as prescribed? 2. Time: what did we do with it? Waste it & procrastinate? 3. Earnings: How did we get the money we have? Did we steal, gamble, partake in interest, or sell forbidden goods of this world like alcohol etc. & 4. Spend: How did we distribute our money? Did we spend it carelessly and use it just for amusements without expecting judgment? This makes me think of all the times I order this or that from Gap Online, even the clearance items.
Let us be reminded that for everything we think own, it is given and it is a trust, it is not something that belongs to us, but something that is on loan as a trial. By keeping this thought in mind we will find ourselves being more grateful to Allah, our Creator, the Most Generous. Accountability will happen. Praise God for what you have, because there is no assurance you will have it tomorrow. What is easy on the eyes and hearts is not in this world, it is only in Jannah/Paradise. So let that be it our goal. Think, did we pass those quizzes today, or should we study through reflection for the next day? I know I need to study, and hopefully I'll get it tomorrow inshaAllah/God-willing..
May Allah forgive our shortcomings and keep us on the Straight Path. Ameen.