Saturday, 1 October 2011

A Touching Story of a Father & his Son (Rashed and Salem)

{If you rather watch than read, the video link of this story is provided on the bottom}

This is a true story about a man named Rashed. He tells his story as follows…

"I was not more than 30 years old when my wife gave birth to our first child. I still remember that night. I had stayed out all night long with my friends, as was my habit. It was a night filled with useless talk, I remember on that night that Id made them laugh a lot. I had an amazing ability to imitate others. I could change the sound of my voice until I sounded exactly like the person I was mocking. No one was safe from my biting mockery, even my friends; some people started avoiding me just to be safe from my tongue.

I remember on that night, I had made fun of a blind man who Id seen begging in the market. What was worse, I had put my foot out in front of him he tripped and fell and starting turning his head around not knowing what to say

I went back to my house late as usual, and I found my wife waiting for me. She was in a terrible state, and said in a quivering voice, "Rashed…where were you?”. "Where would I be, on Mars?’ I said sarcastically, ‘With my friends of course.” She was visibily exhausted and holding back tears, she said: ‘Rashed, Im so tired. It seems the baby is going to come soon.” A silent tear fell on her cheek.

I felt that I had neglected my wife. I should have taken care of her and not stayed out so much all those nights especially since she was in her ninth month. I quickly took her to the hospital; she went into the delivery room, and suffered through long hours of pain. I waited patiently for her to give birth…but her delivery was difficult, and I waited a long time until I got tired. I went home and left my phone number with the hospital so they could call with good news. So they called me to congratulate me on the birth of Salem

As soon as they saw me, they asked me to go see the doctor who had overlooked my wife’s delivery. ‘What doctor?’ I cried out, ‘I just want to see my son Salem!” “First go see the doctor,” they said. I went to the doctor and she started talking to me with sadness. I was shocked to know that my son had a serious deformity in his eyes, and it seemed that he had no vision. I remembered that blind man begging in the market who I tripped and made other laugh at. SubhanAllah, you get what you give!

But my wife wasn’t sad. She believed in the decree of Allah, was content. How often had she advised me to stop mocking people! No, she does not call it mocking but backbiting, and she has all the right. In reality though, I didn’t pay much attention to Salem. I pretended that he wasn’t in the home with us. When he started crying loudly, Id leave to the living room to sleep there. My wife took good care of him, and love him dearly. As for myself, I didn’t hate him but I couldn’t love him either

My wife celebrated when he started to crawl. When he was almost two years old, he started trying to walk and we discovered that he was (also) crippled. The lesser Id be near him the more my wife would love and care for him. Even after she would give birth to our two other boys, Umar and Khalid

The years passed, with the group of friends I had, I was like a plaything at their disposal (entertaining them whenever they wanted) In reality, I thought the other way around. My wife never gave up on my reform. She always made dua for my guidance. She never got angry with my reckless behavior, but she would get really sad if she saw me neglecting Salem and paying attention to the rest of his brothers. Salem grew. I didn’t mind when my wife asked to enroll him a special school for the handicapped.

I didn’t really feel the passing of the years. My days were all the same. Working, sleeping, eating and hanging out with my friends. Until that day. It was Friday, I woke up at 11am. This was early for me. I was invited to a gathering, so I got dressed and perfumed and was about to go out. As I passed by and was startled by the sight of Salem…he was sobbing! This was the first time I had noticed Salem crying since he was a baby. Should I go out or should I check what is bothering him? I said No, how can I leave him in this position? ‘Salem! Why are you crying?’ I asked. When he heard my voice, he stopped crying. He started feeling around him, what was wrong with him I thought. I discovered that he was trying to move away from me! It was as if he was saying, ‘Now, you’ve decided to notice me? Where were you for the past 10 years?” I followed him. He had gone into his room.

At first, he refused to tell me why he had been crying. I tried to be gentle with him, I knew what was wrong. His brother Umar, the one who used to take him to the masjid was late. And because it was Jumuah prayer, Salem was afraid he wouldn’t find a place in the first row. He called out to his mother, but nobody answered. I put my hand over his mouth as if I was saying “Is this why you were crying, Salem!” Then I cried O’ Salem…I do not know what made me tell him ‘Don’t be sad Salem. Do you know who’s going to take you to the masjid today?” - “Umar of course,” he said, “I wish I knew where he went”. “No, Salem” I said, “Im going to take you.”

Salem was shocked…he couldn’t believe it. He thought I was mocking him. His tears came and he started crying. I wiped his tears with my hand then took hold of his hand. I wanted to take him to the masjid by car. He refused and said, “Father, the masjid is near…I want to walk there for every step I take is accounted.”

I couldn’t remember when was the last time I had entered the masjid and the last time I made sujud. It has been the first time that I felt fear and regret. Regret for what Id neglected in the long years that had passed. The masjid was filled with worshippers, but I still found a place for Salem in the first row. We listened to the Jumuah khutbah together, and I prayed next to him. After the prayer, Salem asked me for a Quran. I was surprised. How was he going to read when he was blind? I almost ignored his request, but I decided to humor him out of fear of hurting his feelings. He asked me to open the Quran to surah al-Kahf. I did what he wanted, he took the Quran from me, put it in front of him and started reading the surah. Ya Allah! He had the whole surah memorized.

I was ashamed of myself. I picked up a Quran. I felt my limbs tremble…I read and I read. I asked Allah to forgive me and guide me. This time I was the one who cried. I cried out of sadness & regret for what I have wasted. The only thing I felt was a small hand reaching out to my face and then wiping the tears away. It was Salem, wiping away my tears! We went back home. My wife was extremely worried about Salem, but her worry turned into tears [of joys] when she found out I had prayed Jumuah with Salem.

From that day on, I never missed the congregational prayer in the masjid. I left my bad friends…and I made righteous friends among people I met at the masjid. I tasted the sweetness of Iman with them. I learned things from them that distracted me from this world. I never missed out on gatherings of remembrance [halaqas], or on the witr prayer. I recited the entire Quran, several times, in one month. And I was the same person that left it for years. I moistened my tongue with the remembrance of Allah, that He might forgive my backbiting and mocking of people. I felt closer to my family. The looks of fear and pity that had occupied my wife’s eyes disappeared. A smile now never parted from the face of my son Salem. Anyone who saw him would have felt that he owned the world and everything in it. I praised and thanked Allah a lot for His blessings.

One day, my righteous friends decided to travel far for dawah. I hesitated about going. I prayed istikharah, and consulted with my wife. I thought she would refuse…but the opposite happened! She was extremely happy, and even encouraged me. I went to Salem, and told him I would be traveling. He wrapped me up in his small arms and if he could’ve he would’ve kissed my head. After that, I put my trust in Allah began with the process and praise be to Allah everything was good. I was away from home for three and a half months. In that period, whenever I got a chance I called my wife and spoke to my children. I missed them so much, and oh how I missed Salem! I wanted to hear his voice, he was the only one who hadn’t talked to me since I left. He was either at school or at the masjid whenever I called them. Whenever I would tell my wife, I would tell her to kiss him and to give him my salam, she would laugh happily, joyfully, except for the last time I called her. I didn’t hear her expected laugh. He voice changed. I said to her, “give my salam to Salem,” and she said, “InshaAllah”

At last I went back home. I knocked on the door. I hoped that it was Salem who would open up for me, but was surprised to find my son Khalid, who was not more than 4 years old. I picked him up in my arms while he squealed, “Baba! Baba!” I don’t know why my heart tensed when I entered the home. I sought refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan. I approached my wife, there was something that had changed. I inspected her closely then noticed it was the look of sadness she had on years ago, it was back on her face.

“Whats bothering you?”
“nothing” she said

Suddenly, I remembered Salem. “Where’s Salem?” I asked. She lowered her head. She didn’t answer. At that moment, I only heard the sound my son Khalid that still rings in my ears till this moment.

He said: ”Baba…Salem went to paradise…with Allah”

My wife couldn’t take it. She broke down crying and left the room. Later I found out that Salem had contracted a fever two weeks before I returned, so my wife took him to the hospital. The fever became more and more severe and didn’t leave him until his soul left his body. I felt like what happened was trails and tests from Allah. It is a great ordeal, a great ordeal it was. I had patience with my fate and praised Allah with many praises.

I still feel his hand wiping away at my tears. And his arms wrapped around me.

How sad did I become for Salem, the blind crippled one.

He was not blind! But I was the one blind! When I befriended a company of poor friends.

And Salem wasn’t crippled for he stood on the right path!

I still remember what he used to say: “Allah possesses infinite Mercy”

Salem...the one whose love I was once abstained from. Now I discovered that I loved him even more than his brothers...

I cried a lot and still am sad.

How can I not be sad? For my guidance was upon his hands! [Allah guided Rashed through Salem]

"O Allah accept from Salem through your Mercy!"