Uzma Saeed Khan
‘Assalamualaikum wa Rahmatullah!’ I turned my head to left saying Salam, ending my Taraweeh and then hurried opening my bag. She was sniffing and I knew she was having a hard time praying. I thought to give her my tissue pack as soon as our prayer ends. And then, it had ended but I was unable to handle her that. I was shy. That was a new place for me. I did not know their language. And above all, there were two girls between us, I wasn’t even sure if I could cross them and hand her the tissues. ‘What if it’s impolite here? I don’t even know their culture.’ She sniffed again.
‘Just give her. If you intend good, go for it.’ thinking this I leaned forward. Just when I was about to hand her a tissue pack, the girl between us handed her one. She took it and gave her a beautiful Dua. I sat back with my tissue pack and a saddened heart.
This wasn’t the first time I had lost my chance.
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“…Then of them are some who wrong their ownselves, and of them are some who follow a middle course, and of them are some who are, by Allah’s Leave, foremost in good deeds. That (inheritance of the Qur’an), that is indeed a great grace…” (Fatir35:32)
Sitting in the lawn and having my lunch, I was still engrossed in that day’s lesson. The Ayah had left me in awe. Just the thought of the companions of Prophet Muhammad (sa) running for good deeds, in order to surpass in goodness, made me smile. ‘I won’t lose my chance of a good deed ever again, I will forerun, Insha’Allah!’ I promised myself and continued eating.
After a little while, I saw somebody dropping some trash near the classroom. It was a little away from where I was sitting with friends. “Let me get up and throw it in the dust bin. I will keep this place clean; this is where we learn about Allah (swt).” I had my next bite thinking. “Yeah just this last bite, I am going to get up.” I wiped my hands, drank few sips of water. “I am going to do this for Allah (swt) because cleanliness is my Deen. He gave me a chance to do this, I am so lucky.” Muttering as I was walking towards it slowly, feeling happy about this little good deed I was about to do. Just when I reached closer, someone picked it up seconds before me and threw it in the bin. She turned back and smiled, “Did I just win?” She was my teacher and was referring to the lesson she had taught earlier.
“I thought I will pick it up after a bite. I was coming here anyway.” I explained myself. The truth is, I hated it. I wanted to fore-run her.
“When He gives you a chance to do something good, do not give it a second thought. He has His mighty army. Always ready. If you hesitate, someone else will take over. Remember, it’s a competition!” She tapped my shoulder and walked away.
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We are sent to this Dunya for a trial period. We are being tested every day, every moment. Sometimes, we go through happy moments, and other times we are afflicted with hardships. We are taught to face these times with gratitude, patience and sacrifice. It is our connection with His Majesty that matters in every situation. However, there are some other times when we are tested with the chances to do good deeds. These are the times when we have option to either perform a certain action of goodness or go past it. The fact is, though usually not considered- this is also a form of test.
When He gives you a chance to perform a virtue, He actually has chosen you over entire mankind. He wants you to get up and do it. He has opened the door for you. He has let the angels write your name in their Book, while you perform the act of goodness. He has blessed you with His mercy. This is your moment to pick. However, if you delay your performance by ignoring it or over thinking due to the pinches of Satan, then know that Allah (swt) does not need your service. There are people whose hearts are full of Iman. Their eagerness to do good deeds is like a gushing stream. They are ready to die in His way. They would run and compete with others just for the sake of His pleasure. When you lose your chances of goodness, remember that Allah (swt) is not dependent on your choices. That deed will be done, anyway. But you, my friend, have lost your chance!
“For every nation there is a direction to which they face (in their prayers). So hasten towards all that is good. Wheresoever you may be, Allah will bring you together (on the Day of Resurrection). Truly, Allah is Able to do all things.” (Al-Baqarah 2:148)
Next time, when you see an old lady wanting to cross road, do not delay. Go hold her hand and help. When you see an injured cat, mumbling on roadside, do not go past it. When you see two people fighting, do not ignore. When you see a hungry man crying, do not hesitate. When you see an orphan with no clothes, do not neglect. When you are invited for charity work, do not overlook.
When you see, a chance to do good, do not think twice, Be a forerunner!