Mercy like the rain...

BismiAllahir Rahmanir Raheem

Written July 5, 2007 - Selected portions of an e-mail...

So you might be wondering why I'm online at this time, that is if you figured out this isn't my normal online time. It's 9 PM now. I had been online before Maghrib. I was talking to someone and it was pourrring. Well guess what? When it came time to leave the Internet cafe all I saw was a flooded street. So for me to leave I would have to walk right in the rain water that poured down the street. It was fine the first couple of steps until I stepped off the curb and onto the road, which of course was deeper. My shoes and bottom of my pants were, of course, soaked! And I had to go buy some dinner.. So I went to the supermarket with my completely soaked shoes, bought some tomatoes, tuna, water, and juice. Then I went to the bakery, and finally made my way home. [Btw, I didn't mind walking in the flood waters... the closest to swimming I'll get for some time.] SubhanAllah, in front of the supermarket there are the regular people who sit at the curb there, beggars and vendors. Their faces are all too familiar to me now. One of the beggars, who has a crippled hand saw me coming toward the curb near the supermarket and told me to go around a bit because of the drain. There were a few people there trying to direct me so I could avoid the drain that was of course in a big spiral with all the water. SubhanAllah... every day I pass these people and feel such a shame overcome me when I leave their opened hands empty. SubhanAllah. I really have to go to a bank and get some change. I can't live like this where I pass them everyday and give them nothing.

As I left the bakery, an old (and I mean old!) man asked me for money. I dug into my bag and gave him a handful of coins. I think he was surprised cuz most ppl just give one coin. SubhanAllah.. really it's something. When something different from the norm strikes, the reality of our existence kind of sets in. Meaning in this context, I pass these people everyday, and somehow I manage to sleep at night having given them no money. Yet when it poured and the street was flooded, without any benefit to themselves, they advised me how to get to the curb in a way that would keep me safer. SubhanAllah. We're all just people. We all come from different walks of life and we have different challenges ahead of us. Yet if we forget to use our resources or we make excuses for using our resources to benefit others, we really have missed the point entirely. SubhanAllah. I can't get over it.

That's the first time I've been in the "flood." (The water has since subsided. The entire street wasn't flooded, just this side of the road... a good few meters from the curb of the stores I came out of and needed to go into). Oh, so why am I back at the Internet cafe? Well, cuz I went home and I was thinking about the files I sent to my sister from the MP3 player and remembered that in my fascination with the rain, I neglected to take the MP3 player out of the USB port. But the dudes here know me. And when I came in and asked him if he saw my MP3 player, he was already reaching into the drawer to get it for me.

Most of the people that I've encountered here in Sana'a are really, really good... masha'Allah. As people tried to find some shallow water with the flooded streets, we walked at the edges, on the 'sidewalk' (slightly elevated ground). I was walking towards my gate (by my house) and there were some men in front of me walking towards me. One stood in the crook of a doorway so I could pass easily, and the other literally stepped into the flooded water on the road so I could pass. I didn't mind stepping into it, but the fact that he did was a display of good adab... masha'Allah. May Allah reward them all, ameen.

As I go to sleep tonight, bed bugs and/or mosquitos will likely meet me... and that's okay because I know that today the people of the streets are going to have an even more difficult night. There's a makeshift house here on the street... I wish you could see it... I thank Allah every time for what I have..alhamduliAllah.

When I went home and made wudhu for Esha just now (before coming here to the Internet cafe), I saw a cockroach in my bathtub again. I decided to ignore it. It crawls out from the drain, and as I watched it, it crawled back in. They have their space, and I have mine. AlhamduliAllah for all. But yes, I know, if it gets further than the vicinity of the drain, I will have to kill it... and hopefully it will be a short ordeal for the both of us.

With that my dears, consider this ramble over. Take care of yourselves. Be happy, safe, and keep striving. May Allah guide us all, ameen!

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"Do you think that you will enter the Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They encountered suffering and adversity and were so shaken in spirit that even the Apostle and those of faith who were with him cried: 'When (will come) the help of God?' Ah! Verily the help of God is (always) near!" [2:214]



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"Be mindful of God, and God will protect you. Be mindful of God, and you will find Him in front of you. If you ask, ask of God. If you seek help, seek help of God. Know that if the whole world were to gather together to benefit you with anything, it would benefit you only with something that God had already prescribed for you. And if the whole world were to gather together to harm you, it would harm you only with something that God has already prescribed for you. The pens have been lifted and the ink has dried."
--Prophet Muhammad [peace be upon him]