Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Story of Parachute Packers - A Motivational Story about The Impact of Other People in Our Lives

Bismillaah

As Salaamu 'alaykum and Peace to all,


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Last Sunday, i spend my evening watching Formula 1 Car Racing. The race was full of suspense, and to my disappointment, my favourite team did not make it to the podium, again. Ahh, well, next week in Monaco, i hope! Insya'Allaah.

Although some people say Formula 1 ('watching 22 cars going in circles') is as silly as watching '11 men chasing after one ball' , my adrenaline just refuses to accept that. I love the thrill, suspense, glory and frustrations that come with the race.

From the first day i fell in love with Formula 1, i understood that to win a race, every single tiny little bolts, screws and nuts are as important and critical as the engine, tyres and even the drivers. Every person in the crew plays a major role, even if his responsibility is just to pump gas into the car! No one is less significant than the other.

That makes me think. If a success of a team is so interdependent on each other, perhaps the success of a person needed the same kind of support too. Could it be that way? Let us see…

When we were born, we surely were born to someone, right? We were these innocent babies, and our brains are these eager learning little ‘sponges’, ready to absorb anything that passed by us. And Al Mighty Allaah has provided us with some ready-made ‘tools’ to help us learn. Who are these God-given tools? They are our dear parents (who teach us from right or wrong) , brothers (who teach us that fire does burn that tree!), sisters (who teach us that it is ok to use mum’s lipstick on our Barbie, and later get grounded, still it will be fun!) , teachers ( from whom we understand that homework is critical to learning!) and so many more people which I cannot mention here. They help prepare us for the many smiles, tears, laughter and pain that we will face in this world. And we can’t deny, that, if that is the case, we ourselves, are a ‘tool’ of learning to someone else.

Prophet Muhammad has made it clear that we are accountable and responsible to someone, somewhere, sometime.

The Messenger of Allaah said, “Every one of you is a guardian and is responsible for his charges. The ruler who has authority over people, is a guardian and is responsible for them, a man is a guardian of his family and is responsible for them; a woman is a guardian of her husband's house and children and is responsible for them; a slave is a guardian of his master's property and is responsible for it; so all of you are guardians and are responsible for your charges.” (Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim)


The idea and concept of interdependence, living our lives as a part of a whole, is very 'sexy' indeed. If we can each perform our roles, duties and responsibilities given to us, regardless of what it is, and understand the importance and significance of our roles, we will have many winning teams in this world and hereafter, Insya’Allaah.

For an example, if a man understands his role as a father to his son, he would know that every action and decisions that he makes shall have an impact on his son. There is a relationship here. His son is then is dependent on his father’s good judgment to shape his future. Interdependence. That’s the keyword. His son's future thinking and behaviour will depend on his father’s input. How the father wants to 'color' his son's canvas is really up to him.

Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, "Every child is born with a true faith of Islam (i.e. to worship none but Allah Alone) and his parents convert him to Judaism or Christianity or Magianism, as an animal delivers a perfect baby animal. Do you find it mutilated?"
Volume: 2, Book Number: 23, Hadith Number: 467 Sahih Bukhari


Therefore, if parents uphold their responsibilities, their children will then received proper upbringing and thus, Insya'Allaah become successful Muslim. And later, that pious son shall be a tremendous asset to the ummah, and the parents shall be rewarded by Allaah. I acknowledged that i am being a little bit simplistic here, but, then again, this is just a linear example to demonstrate the concept of interdependence.

Let me share with you a story I found that beautifully captures the concept of interdependence in life…

Charles Plumb was a US Navy jet pilot in Vietnam. After 75 combat missions, his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb ejected and parachuted into enemy hands. He was captured and spent 6 years in a communist Vietnamese prison. He survived the ordeal and now lectures on lessons learned from that experience!

One day, when Plumb and his wife were sitting in a restaurant, a man at another table came up and said, "You're Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down!"

"How in the world did you know that?" asked Plumb

"I packed your parachute," the man replied. Plumb gasped in surprise and gratitude.

The man pumped his hand and said, "I guess it worked!"

Plumb assured him, "It sure did. If your chute hadn't worked, I wouldn't be here today."

Plumb couldn't sleep that night, thinking about that man. Plumb says, "I kept wondering what he had looked like in a Navy uniform: a white hat; a bib in the back; and bell-bottom trousers. I wonder how many times I might have seen him and not even said 'Good morning, how are you?' or anything because, you see, I was a fighter pilot and he was just a sailor."

Plumb thought of the many hours the sailor had spent at a long wooden table in the bowels of the ship, carefully weaving the shrouds and folding the silks of
each chute, holding in his hands each time, the fate of someone he didn't know.

Now, Plumb asks his audience, "Who's packing your parachute?" Everyone has someone who provides what they need to make it through the day. He also points out that he needed many kinds of parachutes when his plane was shot down over enemy territory -- he needed his physical parachute, his mental parachute, his emotional parachute, and his spiritual parachute. He called on all these supports before reaching to safety.

There you go. Have we ever given a thought of who packs our parachutes? Who are these people who had made or still making significant contributions to our lives? And how do we, as another being, contributed to someone else’s life?

Islam has recognizes the critical role that the concept of interdependence and brotherhood play in the life of a Muslim. But first, to receive the benefit of interdependence, we should make peace with each other and fear Allaah.

The Believers are but a single Brotherhood: so make peace and reconciliation between your two (contending) brothers; and fear Allah, that ye may receive Mercy. Surah 49 : 10.

Then, only then we can support each other.

Narrated Abu Musa:
The Prophet said, "A faithful believer to a faithful believer is like the bricks of a wall, enforcing each other." While (saying that) the Prophet clasped his hands, by interlacing his fingers. Volume: 1, Book Number: 8, Hadith Number: 468


Subhanallaah, can you imagine how interdependent we are of each other? Like fingers that are being laced together… tightly…

Not only that we are reminded that we should be supporting each other, but, we are also warned not to harm one another.

Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Amr:
The Prophet said, "A Muslim is the one who avoids harming Muslims with his tongue and hands. And a Muhajir (emigrant) is the one who gives up (abandons) all what Allah has forbidden." Volume: 1, Book Number: 2, Hadith Number: 9


However, we should all understand that no matter how interdependent we are with each other, the ultimate and only dependence that we should have is only to Allaah, the AlMighty.

Nay, Allah is your Protector, and He is the best of helpers. Surah 3 : 150
Knowest thou not that to Allah belongeth the dominion of the heavens and the earth? And besides Him ye have neither patron nor helper. Surah 2 : Verse 107

But Allah hath full knowledge of your enemies: Allah is enough for a protector, and Allah is enough for a helper. Surah 4 : Verse 45


You (alone) we worship; and You (alone) we rely for help. Surah Number: 1, Ayah Number: 5

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So, my dear friends, let us take a moment to think and reflect on who are our parachutes packers. Do we know them? Do we acknowledge them? Have we said thanks to them? Or have we actually hurt them, in any way? I am going to sit down now, and list the names of all my parachute packers. Care to join me?

Oh yes, I already know one. You. You are one of my parachute packers. For being a friend, for your lovely emails to me, for being a reader to my writing, for being a fan to my blog. You know who you are. You have a part in inspiring me to be where I am now and become what I what to be, Insya’Allaah. Thank you to you, my parachute packers. Alhamdulillaah. I cannot thank Allaah enough :)))

Sis Zabrina
~ Your Source for Islamic Motivational and Inspirational Stories ~

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16 comments:

Anonymous said...

u r indeed talented. mashallah. u write in a way that indeed is unique.

Anonymous said...

Mashallah, thats was avey beauiul sory.Ur writing style is very beautiful and captivating and u hit he point right on.I really loved it mashallah. I look forward to seeing new posts.

edyan7 said...

Salaam Sis,

An entry worth waiting :D...

Sister Zabrina said...

Bismillaah

As Salaamu 'alaykum and Peace to all,

@ Anonymous #1 --> Subhanallaah, all that is good is from Allaah. I truly thank Him for blessing me with a way to express myself. Indeed, with this, i carry a responsibility, Insya'Allaah. Please drop by my blog again, i would really appreciate it. Salaam.

Sis Zabrina

Sister Zabrina said...

Bismillaah

As Salaamu 'alaykum and peace to all,

@ Anonymous #2 --> Masya'Allaah, All praise is to Allaah. Alhamdulillaah, i am glad that the story managed to arrive where it is suppose to be. :))) I am glad that you will be coming back to my blog for future postings. Thank you so much. I appreciate that. Salaam

Sister Zabrina said...

Bismillaah

As Salaamu 'alaykum and Peace to all,

Thanks sis Edyan! :))) I am sorry that my entry was a little bit late this time around. Alhamdulillaah, it took me a few weeks to find time in between, but, as they say, bit by bit, everything will arrive at its destination. I am glad you enjoyed it sis! Take care and drop by again :))

Sis Zabrina

Anonymous said...

Assalaamu 'Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakaatuh

Masha'Allah sis Zab, your writing is beautiful! It really moves me masha'Allah.
And this entry was just *wub*. :)

I am now listing down the names of my Parachute Packers ^_^

Jazaakillah kheyr sis. Looking forward to the next entry inshaa'Allah!

Sr. Sarraa

Sister Zabrina said...

Bismillaah

As Salaamu 'alaykum and peace to all,

Sarra! Wa eyyakum sis. Thanks for dropping by. Have you finished off your list? Am i in it? :))) Glad you loved this entry. Took me sometime to write it. Drop by again sis. Salaam

Sis Zabrina

Anonymous said...

Assalaamu 'Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakaatuh

I still haven't finished the list. I'm trying to think of everyone I can. The list goes on.
And of course you are in it. I was actually thinking that while reading the last part of your entry. :)

~Sarraa

Sister Zabrina said...

Bismillaah

As Salaamu 'alaykum Sarraa'*hugs*,

Aww... i am so honoured to be on your list. You are definitely on my list too.. How is it going? My list is getting longer now! lolz

Sis Zabrina

Anonymous said...

Assalam Alaikum
I am a revert sister in Islam.
Its really wonderful stories.
And it motivated me also to write more about my experiences in the stories form.
And i feel your stories will help me in my classes for childrens and new Muslims.
Can i please use your stories to built up others Personality and reflect them how a Mumin should be..
I take a topic call "Purification of soul", I feel your stories will help them in lot of ways.
I wanna seek permission of yours before using it in my classes and websites too.
Waiting for your reply.

Assalam Alaikum,
Zara

Sis Zabrina said...

Bismillaah

As Salaamu 'alaykum sis Zara *hugs*,

You have made my day today, alhamdulillaah with your great intention, Masha Allaah. May Allaah reward your habibty for your efforts in educating children and our new brothers and sisters. If you like my stories, please use them Insha Allaah. I just hope for one thing, maybe you can refer them and mention my blog name so that they can read other stories and share them too. We never know who would benefit from these stories you know. And the reward, Masha Allaah, only Allaah knows. :)

Also, if you dont mind, you can write to me at my email address, which i think is available on my blog. I really hope to hear from you soon sis. Insha Allaah, there is strength in unity.*hugs*

Sis Zabrina

Anonymous said...

Walekum Salam Sis Zabrina!

JazakAllah wa khair for giving me permission to utilize your stories.
Inshallah i will give your blog references to everyone i know.

Alhumdullilah well said Strength is in unity.Since unity is Power.
So lets move the wheel together. Wheel of spreading the message of Allah.

I tried searching your email id in the blogs but could get through.
So you can mail me at kalpanasurve@hotmail.com
Waiting to hear from you.

Assalam Alaikum
Zara

Sis Zabrina said...

Bismillaah

As Salaamu 'alaykum Sis Zara,

I have to check my setting for the blog. I used to have the email here but i think since i changed the template, some information went missing. Anyway, i have written you see, so, you have got mail!*wink*

Sis Zabrina

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