If you have read or watched Oliver Twist then you’d be familiar with the title of this post.
Human beings are dignified creatures. We’ve been honoured in many ways other creatures haven’t and I’m not even referring to the fact that Allah asked the angels to prostate themselves before Adam.
I speak more of the fact that we are given things called clothes and adornments; something no other animal has been blessed with. However, it seems these days humans don’t recognise the honour given to them and wish to become like animals by taking off their clothes and exposing their sacred parts for everyone to see as found in the animal kingdom. Every living thing excretes but we are the only ones blessed to be able to clean up after ourselves…a dog would simply do its business and run along. Do we actually think about these things?
The world was created for us to live in and Allah left everything in it at our disposal. Any other thing we want or desire, He said we should ask Him and He would give; for He is Ar Razzaq (the Provider).
I would like to draw your attention to something incredible that is happening. Is it normal to find a honoured human being by Allah that’s made up of the same molecules as you, out on the streets begging for money to be able to purchase the basic things in life? Of cause its not really incredible cause it is something you see happening every day. But what is incredible is that as dignified creatures of Allah, we do something other animals don’t; beg.
For example if a dog has 4 legs with one wounded hind, it will still go out to search for food and continue to do so until it can or cannot, it does not wait for another dog to come and bring food to him nor does he go to meet other dogs and beg them for a portion of their food.
I watch the national geographic channel and the only time I find an animal eating from another animal’s plate is if they went hunting together, are a part of a bigger family so they eat together or they are caged animals that wait to be fed, if you ask me all circumstances are valid. Never would you find a dog or fly sit idly and beg for sustenance.
There’s something very low about begging other humans for something, the act itself rids the idea of tawakkul (putting one’s trust in Allah) cause instead of looking to Allah for sustenance (the only Person who should be looked to and depended on for sustenance) you depend on man. I now understand why begging is a forbidden act in Islam.
The Prophet (SAW) stated begging is permitted to only three people. A man who is in debt is permitted to beg until the debt is paid in full, a man whose property was all destroyed in a disaster (such as an earthquake or tornado) is allowed to beg until he is able to work once more, a man who became destitute and whose poverty is acknowledged by the people around him (3 witnesses). Muslim, Zakat 109.
It is said if a man lacks the education to find a proper job, he should find a job where his legs and hands would be useful. If he is physically handicapped in both ways, he should find a job where his eyes, ears and mouth would suffice. If he is blind, deaf and dumb Allah fully understand his condition and the effort s/he took by not seeking help from other humans, when he could easily have was all noted and seen by Allah and verily Allah will open ways for him in ways he never imagined; because he placed his whole trust and depended only on Allah. Allah will never disappoint such a person.
It’s unquestionably different when you look to Allah for help and when you look to mankind for help. Oftentimes desperation and laziness are the two things that drive a person to beg; either way it’s a cheap and downgrading way to get something.
You can never fully understand what a person is going through. So even if a person asks you for something, that shouldn’t cause you to mistreat or look down on them. If anything the act of begging should be the only thing to be looked down upon, not the individual for they may still be greater than you in the eyes of Allah.
If you know anyone in need of something you can help with, please save them the shame of having to beg or ask for the thing because it doesn’t make you a higher person. Allah will bless you so much more and cover up for you the way you did for them. It’s no secret some people are shameless and will beg for things they don’t even really need from other people; a poor transaction where they loose their respect and dignity for each beg. But for some it takes a lot for them to ask for a cent and I believe these people are those mentioned in the narration above.
Now I would like to recount something that happened to me some months ago. I was initially going to take this to the grave but I was so impressed by this man, I have to let others understand why.
It was on a Tuesday, I remember clearly because it was my day off uni. Usually on Tuesdays I remain at home, rest and work from there but out of the blue I decided I wanted to continue the rest of my study at the university’s library. I got the next train and walked the rest of the short journey to uni. When I was only two minutes away from reaching my destination, I stopped cold in my tracks. I stood there with my eyes fixed on the walls of the uni. I did not want to study at the library anymore, I wish to study back at home.
An inner battle began. Are you being serious right now? You came all the way here for nothing? I’m not having it, you are going to study in that library. I hovered at that spot for literally two minutes; I kept looking at the time on my phone as if it would give me the final say. I proceeded forward to the uni then I became very uncomfortable. I wasn’t staying i decided, if anything I got some fresh air. I did an about turn and headed back to the station. The whole trek back, I kept hissing and laughing bitterly at myself. If it was air I wanted, I could have simply opened the windows, what a wasted journey and fare ride. Can’t believe you are actually going back.
I arrived at Hendon station and just as I got to the underground platform, the arrival of my train back home was announced; perfect timing, I waited not a second. I got into the train with a few and found an empty seat.
My carriage was fairly full. As the doors started to close, I felt the presence of a particular young man towards my left with a bag pack inside the train. There were empty seats but he chose to stand anyways (he was probably getting off the next stop like I am, I told myself). I turned my head towards him and noticed he was looking at me. We locked eyes for some seconds and then he shifted his gaze shyly almost embarrassingly. Afghanistan man? He definitely had Arab blood in him.
Usually I don’t stare but there was something that kept me from looking away, it was his worrisome look. Then I decided to do what I always do; mind my business and not spark my ever burning imagination, so I turned away and brought out my textbook.
From the corner of my left eye I saw him move forward and start to say something to the passengers that was too low to pick up with my ears. He stopped in front of me, a towering figure. I raised my head and got a better view of his face; he could not be older than 25, if I had to guess 23. He bent a little and dropped two things next to my empty seat; a note and travel sized tissue pack. The only thing he said was please and he moved on to meet someone else, I was completely lost.
I eyed the note next to me and started to read its content, soon after I felt my eyes start to tear up. In the note he said I have two younger siblings who are sick, they are all I’ve got. I don’t have enough money to take them to see a doctor, please help me out by buying this tissue, it’s all I can make do with. I will collect whatever amount you give. Thank you.
I raised my head to locate his current spot on the train and saw him place a similar sized note and reach out into his bag pack to bring out more tissue packs and place by the sides of every other passenger. To my horror many did not glance down to look at what was placed before them. The story on the paper many were reading that’s taking place miles away seemed more important than what was happening right before them. Those who took a chance to read it, I did not see them reach for their purse. I felt a pain in my chest, they didn’t care.
He stood at the other end of the carriage and waited a little while. As the next stop was announced he started to move towards the people and pick up the note and tissue. Not one person in the carriage offered to help.
As he was approaching, I realised I’ve never seen someone more dignified in my eyes, I could almost see an imaginary crown on his head. Others probably saw him as a beggar but I didn’t, if he had only left the note then he was probably just like every beggar with a story but he held himself to a higher regard. Tissue may not be something of much value, but he used what he had.
I know what beggars look like from where I am from. I know what beggars look like on the streets of London and from where I was sitting he didn’t look like one. I couldn’t help but feel like it was fate. He was the reason why I left the house that day, we were supposed to cross paths and I was also a witness.
When I stood frozen for two minutes staring at the walls of my uni contemplating whether or not to go, a second more or less before I turned back, I would have missed that particular train and of all the train carriages, he happened to enter the same one I was in. Subhannallah. Allah works in great ways.
In that kind of situation the last thing a person should do is to doubt his story, cause I don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t offer to help him, if anything he was far from being a beggar.
He may not know but he hit a cord in me and I will never forget the circumstances of that day. May Allah be with him and his family including everyone else out there who do everything they can for their loved ones, even if their efforts or means are looked down upon by several others.
Have a great week ^.^