Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Story of a Man and His Truck

This story first appeared at islamonline.net

The Story of A Man and His Truck



My mobile rang late that evening. ‘As Salaamu ‘alaykum’ I answered as I picked up the phone. The next thing I heard was a sobbing sound on the other line. I immediately recognized that voice.

A dear friend was in tears after being yelled by her boss over some administrative mistakes which she admitted done accidentally. She knew that she was wrong and deserved to be corrected. As a professional, she could admit and accept her wrongs gracefully, and had no qualms correcting them. However, according to her, that was not why she was crying.

What hurt her was more of the way it was handled. The yelling and shouting by the boss, plus the throwing of the document file towards her direction. That was what shattered her that day. And who could blame her? Anyone would be shaken if treated in such a way. I know I would. Calming her down took some time but the pep talk to build up her self esteem and motivation again took longer, much longer.

As I sat there, thinking sadly of my friend’s experience that day, I could not help but to ponder on why some people took pleasure in being harsh when getting their points across. Why people choose aggressiveness over a simple advice?



Did they enjoy watching the other person squirm? What was in their mind during the yelling and shouting? Is the mistake worthy of the humiliation they received? Would they, themselves, accept being embarrassed and disgraced that way? Couldn’t a simple discussion, done in a civilized manner do the job for them? Couldn’t the advice be given privately instead of making sure that his voice was heard through the four walls of his office?

It was a heartbreaking moment for me when I was reminded of my Lord’s attribute…

'A'isha reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Allah is kind and loves kindness and gives for gentleness what he does not give for harshness nor for anything else." [Muslim]


Subhanallaah. Allaah is kind and gentle. Allaah, the AlMighty, the Creator and Owner of everything and everyone between the heaven and the earth, is kind and gentle. Who are we? The one who do not even own the cloth we wear, the eyes we use, the air we breathe, the smile we show, the eyelid we batter, the teeth we chew with, the water we drink. Who are we to act in such harsh manner as if we are the perfect one? As if we are the one who has never done and would never do any mistake? As if we are so great? Astaghfirullaah. My heart beats sadly for my friend…

I remembered a hadeeth of my Prophet (SAW) who said that…

Narrated Jarir: The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: He who is deprived of gentleness is deprived of good. (Sunan Abudawud Book #41, Hadith #4791)


Ya Allaah, that is so scary. A person who is deprived of gentleness is deprived of good? Who in their right mind would want to be deprived of good, right?

I want to understand this better. Let me think, what does good mean here? Good if defined by the dictionary would mean high-quality, first class, first rate, superior, fine, excellent. Wow, this is really something. So, a harsh person would be deprived of excellent in his dealings?

I need to put it into a context here so that I can understand this better. Say, I am boarding on a plane and facing a problem with my seating. I have two ways to deal with this matter, right? One is to get angry and show my anger, and second is to stay calm and deal with the airline in a gentle and peaceful manner. Which behavior would give me superiority? If you are the person who is handling me, would you like me better if I am calm or if I am angry? That is one question.

Then, say, there is another person with similar problem as me. And he is angry and cursing, while I am calm and smiling. Then, you as the airline rep found 2 seats; one is the first class seat, while the other is at the economy class. Let us all honestly ask ourselves, who would we rather bumped into at the first class? Hmm…




He who is deprived of gentleness is deprived of good.. I got it now, alhamdulillaah…

I remembered reading the Quranic verse which has become one of my compasses in dealing with others

“And speak to him [i.e., Pharaoh] with gentle speech that perhaps he may be reminded or fear [Allaah].”” [Quran 20: 44]


Ya Allaah, when I first read this ayah, it surprised me.



What did Allaah tell us to do? Even to Pharaoh, we are asked to speak gently. You know Pharaoh? Yes, the Pharaoh who chased after our Prophet Moses (AS), who had wronged his people, killed babies. Yes, that one. And how should we conduct ourselves with him? With gentle speech! Can you believe that? Even to a person with such history like Pharaoh,we are asked to deal with gentle speech. Subhanallaah…

And why was the reason given? So that perhaps (no guarantee because it was still Pharoah’s choice), he could be reminded of Allaah through our gentle speech. Subhanallaah. What did that tell us? A person regardless of his current behaviour and action is entitled to be addressed gently. Allaah…

Maybe my friend’s boss should be reminded of this ayah. Maybe he should ask himself, was my friend worse than Pharaoh, because even Pharaoh who denied Allaah and His Prophet was asked by Allaah to be handled gently! Surely, my friend is nothing close to Pharaoh, right?

I reminded myself of this quote I read somewhere before…

Extract The Honey, But Do Not Break The Hive....

How true this quote is. To get to the honey, we should not break the beehive. Instead, we should carefully, systematically and gently approach the hive. Failure to do so would result in us getting bee stings all over, qualify us for a hospital admission and if severe, we might even land ourselves into the a new home 6 feet under! I knew it seems a little bit far fetched here, but these things do happen.

Let me share with you a story I read sometime ago about a man and his son…

A man came out of his home to admire his new truck. To his puzzlement, his three-year-old son was happily hammering dents into the shiny paint.

The man ran to his son, knocked him away, hammered the little boy's hands into a pulp as punishment. When the father calmed down, he rushed his son to the hospital.

Although the doctor tried desperately to save the crushed bones, he finally had to amputate the fingers from both the boy's hands. When the boy woke up from the surgery & saw his bandaged stubs, he innocently said, "Daddy, I'm sorry about your truck." Then he asked, "but when are my fingers going to grow back?"

Astaghfirullaah. When are my fingers growing back? I could not imagine the regret this father must have in his heart. Could you even imagine it? Was the satisfaction worth the pain after? Was the action during rage by the father justified? Could the finger ever grow back? How could the father answer his son?



As I sat there thinking of my friend and this poor boy, I asked myself this question. Have I ever hammered someone else’s fingers? If yes, why did I do it? If yes, whose fingers were they? Why do I have to get that hammer and hurt those fingers? What if their fingers were beyond repair and had to be amputated? Was it a finger or a few fingers? Astaghfirullaah…

I felt a heavy feeling in my heart and I pray to Allaah to forgive me if I have done something unthinkable as such. And to all my friends out there, forgive me if I have hammered your fingers. Please find somewhere in your heart to forgive me whenever you looked at your amputated your fingers, if any…




What about you my friends? Have you ever hammered anyone’s finger simply because you could not control your temper? Just to satisfy your anger? Think about it. Think hard because always, the doer forgets but the receiver does not. Just imagine that your fingers are amputated.. How would you feel? Do you want to make others feel that way too?

In the end, whenever you feel like showing your anger, remember this – pharaoh and finger. Yes, my friends. Pharaoh and fingers. May we all take heed. Ameen…


Copyright © Sis Zabrina 2007


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8 comments:

D said...

Indeed, something to be 'hammered' into our heads... Ramadhan wishes and blessings to you sis! (ps: rinduuuulaaaaaa...)

Sis Zabrina said...

Bismillaah

As Salaamu 'alaykum and peace to all,

Sis D, Ramadhan Mubarak to you too! I miss you too dear. It has been so long since our usual chat, right? We have got to re-start that again soon, inshaAllaah.

Hope that we will always remember the hammer thingy before we open our mouth...

Salaam and Love

bluewonder said...

salam,

will "hammer" this story into this head of mine and remember whenever I feel like scolding my kids!

Sis Zabrina said...

Bismillaah

As Salaamu 'alaykum and peace to all,

Sis Bluewonder *hugs*, LOL, i am sure you are a wonderful mother. And May Allaah bless you with patience when handling your kids.

I dont know much about kids, but, my deepest respect goes to all mummies in the world as being mums, is the toughest job in the world! May Allaah reward us all even for our tiniest effort to shape our akhlaq to reflect Muslim identity... Ameen...

Hugs and Love

Anonymous said...

As Salaamu Alaykum sis,
I finally got the chance to sit down and the pleasure to read your last two stories. I am so taking advantage of this big sale. Al Hamdu Lilah I love to smile at people or for no reason, so now I know how much credit I get for doing what i love. I always believed in being gentel, even though sometimes I forget. Thank you for the reminder.
Salaam, and may the greatest peace be upon you in Ramadan. Ramadan Kareem.
Young Reader.

Sis Zabrina said...

Bismillaah

As Salaamu 'alaykum and peace to all,

Dearest Young Reader *hugs*,

Ameen to your prayers... and Great to see your post here! And yes, i believe that you have the sweetest smile, so, please do give them away :))And by just doing that, your heart will smile too thinking of the rewards Allaah is giving you for the smiles you gave away...

Oh yes, did you check my slides pictures? One of the pictures there would make you laugh. You will know which one once you see them!

Take care sweetum and hope to talk to you again soon!

Hugs
Sis Zabrina

Anonymous said...

mashaa allah.. i know i had a bad day today when i started it of with a yelling at my daughter all because of some noise she made when i was having a nap after fajr prayer..thanks sis for your lovely words that made me realised how crooked i was acting towards my daughter. she's only 5.. and i'm expecting her to behave as if she is 25. i was wrong... thanks for teaching me how to think and act like a muslimah. Syukran..

Sis Zabrina said...

Bismillaah

As Salaamu 'alaykum and peace to all,

Dear Sis Anonymous *hugs*, Afwan ya ukhti... we are here to remind each other so that all of us can earn His Forgiveness, His Mercy and His Love. All that we have are from Him. Please pray for me that Allaah keep on blessing me with His Love, His Blessings so that i can keep on writing, inshaAllaah. Dont be too hard on yourself sis, having a kid is a real challenging task, but, you know what Prophet SAW says about raising daughters, right? Daughters are like barriers that could protect us from hell, if we raised them properly. I pray that one day, Allaah would bless me with daughters (and sons of course!)too, inshaAllaah.

You take care dearest sis, and please keep on reading my blog and share the address with others, we never know who would benefit from it!

Hugs
Sis Zabrina