In Helping Others, You Help Yourself.
A few days back when I wrote about the story of a blessed janitor, I promised you all to share with you another story from the blessed city.
The story I am writing today is not something that I read somewhere or listened from a friend of a friend. Nope! This is the story that is coming straight from the horse’s mouth. I know this lady inside out who went for Umrah sometime back and experienced something wonderful. Though her story is quite long but definitely to share worthwhile. So, here it goes…
Riyadh ul Jannah: A Garden from the Gardens of Paradise
Sad and tired she came back to her room in a hotel that was quite adjacent to the Prophet’s Mosque in blessed city Medina (peace be upon him). She was coming from Riyadh ul Jannat. Praying salat in there is a dream to every Muslim and I assume that virtues of praying there are known to all. And, we know that this area is carpeted green in contrast to the rest of the mosque carpeted red. Though it was not her first visit to Rawdha (another name for Riyadh ul Jannah), the struggle to be able to offer salaah there was real.
Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (ﷺ) said:
“Between my house and my pulpit lays a garden from the gardens of Paradise, and my pulpit is upon my fountain (Al-Kauthar).” [Bukhari]
If you are someone who has been there before must know what it is like to reach there. Though men also have to have lots of patience there, women need some extra. The area allocated for women is open for limited hours only while that of men for the whole day. Moreover, the space for women is much less as compared to brothers (No Judgements Plz, O my feminist readers, it has some reasons, not biases). Anyways, you have to be both physically fit and mentally prepared to withstand the thrust of a very large crowd confined in a small area and people shoving you to go forward.
The lady tells that she waited for almost two hours standing on her feet to reach there but unfortunately got crammed against a wall inside a very large crowd who out of ignorance, were not ready to move an inch from there, kissing and touching the wall viewing it blessed. After a very long struggle when she finally found a way out to reach the green carpet, she couldn’t reach it; partly because all her energy had drained out. Moreover, space has already been taken by those who managed to reach there immediately once the gates were open. She was still standing on the red carpet along with a huge mass of women with their eyes on the green. Finally, after a very long wait when she managed somehow to step on the green carpet, she quickly started praying. However, she could hardly bow down in rukuh or sujood as somebody (may Allaah forgive her) selfishly started praying right infront of her leaving no space at all for her to even move. To make it worse there were lots of pushes from the back. Lastly, when she realized, she had no other choice, she said salaam in whatever position she was and left.
“We have been there many times. It never happened like this. I gave up. I can’t push and hurt others for praying myself. But feeling very bad.”
The lady, obviously feeling extremely unfortunate told everything to her husband.
“No worries. We are here for one more day ❤️. Try again tomorrow”, her husband said.
Exhausted, the lady fell asleep immediately.
The lady saw a dream
The lady tells that as she dozed off, she saw a dream like a clip being played in a flash.
She saw herself in Riyadh ul Jannat near the same wall where she got crammed. A woman in charge there unrolls the green carpet and says to her spreading it, “all yours”.
She woke up and told the same to her husband.
“Maybe it’s on your mind, that’s why.”
“Hmm”, she also thought so.
The Next Day
She was again standing in a temporary partition before entering the actual green carpet area. Partitions opened many times but to confine them in another segment only. The crowd for Rawdha was perhaps more than ever in this visit. After two hours they were finally amassed in the last segment. She knew that the green carpet won’t be far to reach once they would open the gate and she was very happy being in front rows. She could easily reach green carpets this time.
“Assalaamuayk. Are you a Pakistani?”, a lady who was standing next to her asked.
“Wa alykumasslaam. No, Indian”, she replied.
They exchanged smiles and talked for a while.
“I need a favour please, if you don’t mind”, the lady asked her after a momentarily pause between conversation.
“Yes, sure, tell me,” she asked.
“This is my first time in Rawdha. Please escort me while I offer salaah…I heard…the shoves really get bad inside….hmm…I am pregnant, actually.”
“Are you kidding me. Who advised you to come here in this state?
“You have any idea how they would run over each other as gates….”, the lady tried to convince her that it was not a good idea to take this risk.
“And, you must know that it is not even obligatory, it is not even part of Umrah…it was fine even if you would haven’t…”
“Ok. I will try my best but I am not sure if the crowd pushes me away from you”
The lady says she always loves to help others; however, that day she felt a tightness for a moment. She realized that she might lose the chance again to reach the green carpet. However, she felt bad to ignore the plight of the pregnant lady.
The temporary curtain finally lifted and a dam of women broke along with their patience flooding the green carpets within minutes. If the pregnant lady wouldn’t have come in the picture, the Indian lady must have reached green carpet by then too. However, with the hand of pregnant lady in her hand, she was still standing on the red carpet holding her in a corner.
“Let them finish, we can try again, it might really hurt you right now…”
Suddenly she noticed an empty lot of green carpets inside barricades at some distance. It was reserved for ladies on wheelchairs only and perhaps was waiting for the next herd to come.
“Come with me,” she rushed dragging her behind.
“That Way, That Way, Go Back, For Wheelchairs Only” the woman in charge there tried to stop seeing them two coming on their feet.
“Please. She is pregnant.”
“Haamilaah, Haamilaah,” she tried to convince in Arabic.
The ladies in charge looked at the slim lady as if they were trying to find her baby-bump if any. Her pregnancy was not at all visible being at a very early stage. The lady who narrates this story says that for a moment she felt as if crew saw her as somebody who was trying to cheat them making a false story of pregnancy just to get an easy entry inside.
“I am not asking for myself, just let her pray…I will go backkkk….” She could hardly finish what she was saying, one of them removed the barricade and took the mom-to-be inside.
“Yallaa. You too.”
And, the next moment the woman in charge with her hand took inside that Indian lady too who was just going to step back.
“I am not pregnant,” perplexed lady mumbled.
“Yallaa. Pray”, stroking her back gently with her hand the lady officer affirmed.
Without wasting any more time, the lady took her position to pray. And, when she tried to focus her gaze on the place of prostration beneath, all she could see was the green carpet.
As if the dream which she saw came true ditto. A woman in charge there gave the whole green carpet to her and said, “all yours.”
That’s how Allaah SWT fulfills His promises. The lady fulfilled the need of her sister and Allaah fulfilled her need.
Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “A Muslim is a brother of another Muslim. So he should neither oppress him nor hand him over to an oppressor. And whoever fulfilled the needs of his brother, Allah will fulfill his needs.”
Her story ends here.
I really wonder what was more special; the pregnant lady or the deed of selfless help. Maybe the pregnant lady had something special about her that just by taking care of her helped the Indian lady earn such a special favor by Allaah SWT. Or, maybe Allaah loved the deed of giving precedence to others so much that He rewarded the lady instantly.
Beautiful Lessons Learnt
What I learned is that whatever good we send ahead, Allaah SWT sends it back to us. This deed of helping others is so beloved to the Most Gracious that in helping others you always help yourself.
I also learned to never take anything or anybody lightly. You never know whom Allaah loves and what Allaah loves. As Imam al Haddad mentions in his book, “God has hidden his special slaves under the cloak of His possessiveness and surrounded them with veils of obscurity.”
The Might of Pen 🌹
[Stay tuned for more such tales for life, death & beyond. Happy Reading!]