I’ve been out of the house so much lately that I barely have any time to watch T.V. and if I do..it’s usually news, but since it’s usually depressing, I opt out of watching that too. So yesterday, I came home and watched the tribute on CNN Heroes and SubhanAllah, it was incredible! In between crying and making du’a for all the Heroes to become Muslim, I thought to myself, “there has to be a Muslim Hero here somewhere”. I watched for two whole hours hoping that a Muslim would be on the hero list but to my dismay, there were none.
From the man who built an orphanage for 172 kids in the Philippines, to the teen who created a foundation for children in need of prosthetic legs, to the Kenyan woman who was raped 18 times and decided to help women in need, I was absolutely taken away by their love for mankind and sincerity towards those in need. SubhanAllah, these people experienced something in their lives that made them empathetic towards the struggles of others. But will it take an accident in everyone’s life for us to make a difference–to leave a mark? I hope not.
Where are the Muslims? No, seriously where are we? Either we’re being portrayed as *t words* and fanatics by Islamaphobes and fear mongering Fox correspondents or we’re simply ignored. The one quality that is mentioned over and over again in the Qur’an as being one of the main reasons for people entering hell fire is that they didn’t care for the poor and needy in dunya. Allah commands the believers to feed the poor and care for the needy over 75 times in Qur’an. In Surah Fajr, Allah says: “As for man, when his Lord tries him by giving him honour and gifts, then he says (puffed up): “My Lord has honoured me.” The Ikram and Ni’aam of Allah are actually a very difficult test for the believers. When Allah showers a person with luxuries and comfort, and raises their status and prestige in dunya, it is a critical time for the believer to bow down in humility and give back. Why does Allah call this (luxury) a difficult task? What makes it difficult is the fact that you forget that it’s a test from Allah.
Never should we think that Allah has honored or humiliated us, because everything we face, be it prosperity or adversity, is ultimately a test. Those who truly have tawakkal Allah give more, spend more, and sacrifice more when they themselves are in times of need. And SubhanAllah, that is no easy task.
But as I watching CNN heroes, I realized that this is exactly what these people did. When Jordan Thomas lost his legs, he created a foundation for kids who couldn’t afford prosthetic legs while he was still in the hospital. When Betty Makoni was raped, she founded the Girl Child Network to help young victims of sexual abuse, knowing that she was once in their position. When Efren Penflorida began going to differing cities with his learning cart to teach orphans and impoverished children, he made it a goal of his to see these kids prosper because he saw himself in their eyes. Will it really take a fatal accident for people to wake up and change something? I seriously hope not.
May Allah azzawajal guide all these heroes and many others to His divine light. May He make us among those who walk with humility with our chins on our chests. May Allah bless us all with wealth so we can spend it in His cause and invest in Akhirah. Ya Allah, make us of those who befriend and care for the poor and needy with the pure intention of seeking your pleasure. Ameen.