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We Have A Door

Contentment is an Infinite Treasure of Happiness

BY HASSEN AHMAD

HERE’S A STORY a friend sent me:

Since the passing of her husband a few years back, Halimah has lived with her son, Mukhtar, in a tiny room on the rooftop of one very old, crowded buildings in the city.

Theirs was a life of humbleness, not having enough of anything. Neither was it easy for them to get by.

But they felt okay.

Winter rain was one thing that worried Halimah a lot. Their room had good walls and a wooden door but no roof, just a few pieces of wood extending between two of the walls to give shade to the corner where she and her son slept.

In the four years since Muktar’s birth during, the city had not had any rain, except for a few sporadic light showers.

But this day many big clouds gathered which made the sky dim and depressing.

Halimah told her son it might rain heavily that night.

Night fell upon their rooftop, and the sky opened up. In a moment, rain was pouring down heavily.

Halimah saw the people below running to their homes for shelter. She and Mukhtar would just have to face their destiny, she thought, and she began to ask Allah for help and protection incessantly. As the downpour continued, a few of the wooden pieces overhear broke. Some fell to the floor. The others were blown away.

Confused and frightened, Mukhtar moved closer to his mom who was trying hard to protect him with her body.

Then suddenly she ran to the door and managed, after some struggle, to wrench it from its frame. She carried it to the corner, leaned it against the wall longwise, and they both hid beneath it, relieved in the scarce shelter it gave them from the drenching showers.

Holding her son close against her, Halimah felt Mukhtar relaxing his grip on her dress and sensed his anxiety dissolving. To her surprise, he turned his face toward hers and gave her a smile. He said, “What do those with no door do when the sky rains, Mama?” The clear sign of contentment that glowed on his face sent a shockwave of amazement through her spine. Warm tears filled her eyes.

All she could think of was how blessed she was to have Mukhtar as a child.

The friend who sent me this story told me he cried when he read, wishing that children appreciated what they have, the life they have been given, in the same way Mukhtar valued what was given him.

I ask Allah that all our children do the same.

Life, as most of us surely know, is never what we want it to be. Yet how many of us believe that making the best of it as it is, is not only the best we can do most of the time but is really the only way of achieving happiness. In fact, as we see in this story, being without some of the things we want is essential to being happy.

Sad as it is, I enjoyed this story, and I found reading it and telling it to be empowering to my eman, and contemplating it a good means of searching my own mind and looking deep into my heart. It recalled to me the many lessons we ought to be reminded of by it. But one lesson I cannot now forgo.

Mukhtar has triggered a new determination in me.

Since meeting him, I constantly think about how content I am and particularly how content I should be-with my wife, my children, my work, and, the countless other blessings in my life.

I tell you sincerely, I feel much better about them all now.

Yet still I await the moment when I shall see how many and much are the blessings Allah have given me in the way they deserve to be seen.

Commenting on the solid gold hadeeth of Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu alayhe was sallam – “Richness is not in material wealth. Richness is in the contentment of the heart” –Imam Ibnul Qayyim, writes: “Contentment is of the greatest doors to Allah, and the resting place of all worshippers, and the Paradise of this world.”

O Allah! Enlighten our hearts with love, and ease for us our burdens of this world by making us content with all you have given us. Ameen.

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