Ehsan (name changed) is feeling disappointed by the way people close to him are behaving with him. He has made a request for a loan. Perhaps, his stature in society is the roadblock. After all, his monthly family income has crossed Rs. 1.30 lakhs now. And, it maybe his bad luck that no one amongst his nears and dears is actually having the bucks in hand. Moreover, he is naïve enough to expect bailout in times of mutual fund investments, alluring fixed-deposits blah blah. And above all this is the age of materialism where human values and religious beliefs have been mostly limited to show-off. He is on the verge of bankruptcy. Alas! Trying out in utter desperation all means to bounce back to respectful life. He wonders what being a Muslim is. I cried aloud on hearing his sobs. He showed me a text message that was full of pathos. Ah! The intended recipients- including a millionaire acquaintance – were unmoved, and had callously ignored his request on one pretext or the other. The message reads:
Writing with the hope that u will help. Yes, it is beyond one's imagination if a person whose monthly family income is more than 1lakh asks for financial assistance. But I am desperate, in a state of helplessness. Don't know how to come out of this life of debasement and financial mess. Until recent past, my inner courage kept me going , but now I have no energy to hold myself .I have some awful financial secrets deep buried in my heart. And it will be a disaster if things come to fore. Yes, there is hope that things will turn partially in half a year's time, and inshallah by year or so I will be a relieved soul. Please, please, please lend me Rs. 75000 for a period of 5/6 months. THINK I AM ASKING FOR ZAKAAT.
It reminded me of the glorious times of Prophet (SAW) and the legacy that had been left. Where are the men who preferred others above themselves, even though poverty was there lot? A whole family would remain hungry to provide for the guest. Where has that love of deen gone that would entice and obsess men in outdoing their compatriots in acts of righteousness?
Umar ibn Al-Khattab reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, ordered us to give charity and at the time I possessed some wealth. I said to myself, "Today I will outdo Abu Bakr, if ever there were a day to outdo him." I went with half of my wealth to the Prophet and he said, "What have you left for your family?" I said, "The same amount." Then, Abu Bakr came with everything he had. The Prophet said, "O Abu Bakr, what have you left for your family?" Abu Bakr said, "Allah and his messenger." I said, "By Allah, I will never do better than Abu Bakr." Sunan al-Tirmidhī 3675.
Ehsan, during his good times used to be staunchly charitable. But, he badly regrets finding about the following Quranic verse late: do not hold your hand back when it is time to give, nor give all you have so that you throw yourself in need Al –Quran, 17:29).He, in utter disappointment, has expressed on his FB page the possible reasons for failing to get support in the hour of need.
It sent chills down my spine on learning that one of the recipients of the above mentioned message had invited a qazi sahib for calculating his zakat that amounted to around Rs. 89,000 Rs. Is this being a Muslim? If we can't realize the pain of our brother, all is not well. Given the fact that we are in possession of miraculous Quran, can't we work on removing the deficiencies and imperfections in our characters? It is high time we relook at our rights and duties in perspective of Quran. Hackal, in his book, The Life of Muhammad beautifully depicts the Quranic notion of being a Muslim – an ideal Muslim, a perfect man. Surah Al-Isra by no means aims at giving a full description of the perfect man but only at reminding men of a fraction of the duties imposed upon them. God says:
"Your Lord commands you to worship none but Him and to be kind to your parents. Should any one of them or both of them be under your care until they reach old age, do not say to them as much as 'Fie' and do not speak harshly to them but rather speak kindly. Humble yourself to your parents in love, and pray: `May God have mercy on them as they nursed me when I was young.' Your Lord knows well that which is in your soul, especially whether or not you are truly virtuous. God forgives those who repent. Give the next of kin his due, as well as the poor and the wayfarer, but do not be a spendthrift. The spendthrifts are associates of the devil, and the latter is disobedient to God. Even if you have to avoid your parents on account of your fulfilment of God's call, give them a kind and compassionate explanation. Do not hold your hand back when it is time to give, nor give all you have so that you throw yourself in need. God spreads His bounty to whomsoever He wishes. He measures it carefully, for He cares for His servants and knows their need. Do not kill your children for fear of poverty. We shall provide for them as well as for you. Moreover, to kill them is a great misdeed. Do not commit adultery. It is an evil and its consequences are always bad. Do not kill any man-That is God's prohibition!-except after due process of law. To the heir of whoever is killed unjustly, a right of revenge is established. But he may not take that revenge wantonly, for his right shall be recognized. Do not touch the wealth of the orphan, unless it be to increase it. Be true to your covenants, for to covenant is a serious and responsible affair. Fill the measure when you measure, and when you weigh, weigh with the true weight; for that is better and more rewarding. Do not claim that of which you have no knowledge, and remember that as cognitive faculties, your hearing, sight, and heart were given to you for a responsible function. Do not walk around with impudence and false pride, for you can neither rend the earth nor can you measure up to the mountains in height. All these actions are evil and deemed undesirable by your Lord."
Hope sustains life. Let us hope Ehsan finds takers for his heart-rending plight.
(The author is is Assistant Professor, AAA Memorial Degree College, Bemina)