By Mumtaz Saley
Wow, we’ve reached the 22nd fast and I can’t help but feel sad as the blessed month is coming to an end.
Alhumdulillah, I had, stumbled, upon someone who was in dire need of our help and who lived close by but who was also completely overlooked by the community. During my attendance at some of the community functions, I had seen an older woman who was very helpful, polite and very much to herself. Little did I know that she had accepted Deen a few years back and had been shunned by her family.
We were introduced by a mutual friend and as I sat chatting to her, I learned of her sad tale and the circumstances she was now facing. I was amazed at her firm belief, steadfastness and perseverance under the difficulty she was experiencing. Her story made me weep and I realised that here was our answer to where we could assist with our zakaah.
Entering her little apartment, I was left with no doubt that Allah had favoured me by allowing this gentle and kind soul to cross my path. The room was empty, no furniture, no curtains, nothing but a few items of clothing neatly folded and kept on a cardboard box, a threadbare mat with a pillow and a few blankets neatly set on one side. She was living at the mercy of the few people who gave her some cash or food when they could.
On the floor was a prayer mat, old and well used and an English Qur’an which she was reading when I arrived. She invited me in but was embarrassed as there was no place for me to sit. I was happy to sit beside her on her prayer mat. She informed me that she attended Qur’an classes thrice a week at the masjid and attended the ladies halaqas as this was her only way to learn about Islam and it provided her with a sense of belonging.
After I explained why I had come to visit and handed her the envelope of money, she thanked me tearfully. She took my hand and told me that she had been unable to ask for help at the masjid or from the people she had met as she didn’t really know them and didn’t want to be a burden to others. “I have faith that Allah will provide as He promises, so I have made do and here you have come to help me. Allahu akbar.”
My heartfelt joyous and yet I also felt a little envious of this woman. Her staunch faith in Allah was better than mine.
As I was leaving I invited her to visit me whenever she wanted and was welcome to a meal at my home every day.
That evening, I related the day events to Ahmed who was pleased we had found someone to assist regularly. We both realised that in the busy lives we lead, we had forgotten how to be a part of the community and had lost touch. We no longer greet, smile or communicate with our neighbours and other members of the community. This needed to change and this was a good start.
Having met this wonderful sister today, I learnt a valuable lesson - Allah tells us to trust Him but how many of us really do. Allah is al-Wakeel, the Disposer of affairs, the One entrusted, relied upon, depended upon and sufficient to take care of all matters. Tawakkul means putting one’s trust and acceptance of the divine will, which no one knows, understands or controls except Allah.
“And whoever relies upon Allah – He will be sufficient for him.” (Qur’an, 65:3)