“Ammi please I don’t want to
have stale food today”, cried Ali, “I have been eating stale food for three
days”. Ali belonged to a very poor family. His father was a laborer and his
mother used to work as a maid in the house of a businessman. He was the youngest
and the only brother of five sisters. He was good at studies but his father
could not afford his monthly fees so he had to drop out of school. Ali’s sister
was getting married in a month and their parents were saving every penny in
order to buy a thing or two for the poor girl’s dowry. The girl’s to-be mother
in law had implicitly shown a desire for a refrigerator, a television set and a
washing machine. Both the parents were working day and night to save enough
money to at least buy their daughter a second-hand television set and a
refrigerator because their eldest daughter was still facing the taunts of her
in-laws because she didn’t bring any dowry with her.
On the other hand, Hamid, the only son of a business man was a very stubborn,
ill-mannered and spoilt child. Hamid; “MOM!! I WILL NOT HAVE THESE STUPID FISH
FILLETS AND LASAGNA!! I wanna go to Mc Donald’s and have a Big Mac RIGHT NOW!!”
Mom; “Hamid dear you can have a little of this and we can go to Mc Donald’s at
Hamid; “No! At night, I am going out with my friends to Pappasallis and then
we’re gonna go to Jade café for dessert”.
Mom; “hahaha how adorable, you love your friends so much. Okay I’ll have the
driver bring a Big Mac for you”.
Zulekha, Ali’s mother who worked in their home, was standing outside the door
and heard all this. She became hopeful that perhaps her employers will help her
monetarily during her daughter’s marriage. She talked to Hamid’s mother about
her daughter’s wedding. Hamid’s mother scolded her in a very humiliating manner
in front of the other servants of the house and told her not to disturb her with
her dumb problems when she’s dealing with important matters. Zulaikha felt
extremely embarrassed. Unfortunately, she had no other choice but to continue
the usual chores.
On her way back, she remembered that Ali was crying the other day about stale
food. So, she went to a vegetable shop to buy half Kg of Turnip. The shop keeper
packed the vegetables in a plastic bag and asked for Rs.280. Zulekha was
shocked, she felt suffocated, helpless and hopeless. She looked at the Rs.80
note that she was carrying in her hands.
Zulekha could not suppress her over whelming emotions and tears burst out of her
eyes. In her mind, she was thinking all the time of the conversation between
Hamid and her mother; and was comparing it to her own situation. When she
reached home, Ali was standing in the door way and looking eagerly at her hands
to see if his mother had brought something fresh to eat. All the excitement was
lost from his face he saw that his mother’s hands were, as usual empty.
We should not be heartless and insensitive. We Muslims have unfortunately
forgotten the true essence of Islam which tells us to take care of the poor
members of our society. It teaches us to be good to our servants and treat them
in a humane manner. The reason behind our downfall as a nation is our distance
with our religion as well as our insensitivity.