A young, poor friend of mine came to see me from a place some seventy kilometers from Lahore. He had informed me on the phone that morning about his arrival. Incidentally, I had a particularly busy schedule that day and I was not keen about the visit anyway. I therefore asked him not to come. He had probably dropped the phone before I could complete my sentence. He arrived later in the day and made it into my office despite my best efforts. I did not greet him politely, although I did inquire about his welfare and that of his family. He informed me that the ‘khoka’ (kiosk) business that he had started recently was doing reasonably well. He asked me to help him out financially to enable him to install a simple water-pulling motor to ease the water crisis his family was facing. He said that he also needed money to get a simple toilet installation within his house to make things easier for his aging mother. The total amount he requested to get both jobs done was Rs. six thousand. I had the amount with me but I refused to oblige him because I had not liked the way he came to Lahore without prior permission. He, therefore, had to go back, unsuccessful in his mission. I realized later that my attitude had been very inappropriate. The way I behaved with him was completely against the spirit of Islamic teachings. I did make some attempt to seek forgiveness from God.  

Two days later, as I was coming back from downtown, a car made an attempt to overtake mine from the wrong side. It was an old, huge machine and the driver, it seems, was unaware of the large size of the vehicle he was navigating. The result was that, on overtaking, some part of the front portion of my car’s body could be seen hanging on the back of that ‘sixty year old monster’. It all happened so swiftly that I could neither follow the car, nor was I able to note its registration number. On my return home, I immediately contacted my mechanic who advised me to get the car repaired as soon as possible. The job was done within twenty four hours. When I asked for the bill, his response was shocking: It was exactly rupees six thousand. I felt as if God was right in front of me, telling me this: ‘do you think I Myself could not have helped My servant who came to you from a far off place, asking for that amount? I have enough resources at my disposal to take care of all My creations. I just wanted to provide you with the opportunity to help My servant out in his trouble with the resources I had Myself provided you with. It was not he who came to you; it was, in fact, I, your God, Who came to ask for help. And you rejected My request. That is why I deprived you of the exact amount you refused to give to my servant. Do not ever try to imagine in future that what you have belongs to you. It is all due to My blessings. Avail them within decent limits. But do not forget to share them with your fellow human beings who I have given less just to test their and your faith in Me.’ I was really embarrassed. It is amazing how God is able to control every part of His creation in such a subtle way that while on the one hand we are under the impression that we are taking our own decisions, but the truth of the matter is that in reality, God is completely in charge, doing whatever He wants to:

And Allah has full power and control over His affairs; but most among mankind know it not. (12:21) 

(Dr Khalid Zaheer)

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