Today is a beautiful day
“A blind boy sat on the steps of a building with a hat by his feet. He held up a sign which said: “I am blind, please help.” There were only a few coins in the hat.
A man was walking by… He took a few coins from his pocket and dropped them into the hat. He then took the sign, turned it around, and wrote some words. He put the sign back so that everyone who walked by would see the new words.
Soon the hat began to fill up. A lot more people were giving money to the blind boy. That afternoon the man who had changed the sign came to see how things were. The boy recognized his footsteps and asked, “Were you the one who changed my sign this morning? What did you write?”
The man said, “I only wrote the truth. I said what you said but in a different way.” I wrote “Today is a beautiful day but I cannot see it.”
Both signs told people that the boy was blind. But the first sign simply said the boy was blind. The second sign told people that they were so lucky that they were not blind.
Should we be surprised that the second sign was more effective?
Moral of the Story
Fellow Muslims! Fear Allah Whose knowledge and mercy encompass all things. Thank Him for the unseen and evident blessings He bestowed upon you. Remember that He has promised the grateful that He would give him more and promised the ingrate that He would punish him severely.
Allah endows His servants with many blessings as He says,
“And if you count the Blessings of Allah, never will you be able to count them. Verily! Man is indeed an extreme wrong-doer, a disbeliever (an extreme ingrate).” (Surah Ibraaheem 14:34)
In the midst of these abundant blessings are two favour’s in which may people are deluded. The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wassallam) mentioned them when he said, “There are two blessings which many people lose: (They are) Health and free time for doing righteous deeds.” (Sahih Bukhari :: Volume 8 :: Book 76 :: Hadith 421)
Many are those whom Allah blessed with hearing, seeing and power and youthfulness and yet they fail to use these blessings to seek Allah’s pleasure and His abode of Honour, and they fail to use them in what can bring about happiness in this world and the Hereafter. They forgot that the bane of blessing is removal.
There are many healthy people who are later weighed down by diseases that lead them to early old age and prevent them from enjoying what they desire.
There are others who spent their youthful days in forbidden things and desires; they did not seek the pleasure of their Lord or put forth good deeds by which they can attain happiness when they meet Him. Theirs is a loss upon loss and regret upon regret. This is because they wasted the opportunities provided for them.
Brethren in faith! Free time is also a blessing that Allah bestows upon His servants. So if Allah blesses someone with free time and he does not show the gratitude for this blessing through deeds that can elevate him, bring prosperity to his society or strengthen his nation but instead of that, spends it in fun and pastime and sinful words and deeds thereby wasting that precious time, such a person is in a serious and irrevocable loss.
It is in the light of this that the Prophetic admonition came thus, “Seize the opportunity of five things before five things come to you: Your life before your death, your health before your illness, your free time before your time of occupation, your youthfulness before your old age and your wealth before your poverty.” (Reported by al-Haakim; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 1077)
One of the most beautiful and the most successful means of using free time is the habit of some wise people, who, during the end of session holidays, spend their time in things that benefit them physically and intellectually and in righteous deeds and in enjoying pleasant lawful things. They do not spend their holidays in keeping awake during nights engaging in gossips and rumours and spreading lies that lead to evil consequences, roaming about in market places causing disturbance and bothering believing men and women or watching useless and immoral satellite programs that are abhorrent to Allah.
To these righteous people, holidays are not an opportunity to sleep for most hours of the day and as a result stay away from congregational prayers or abandon useful activities or give free reign to indolence. Rather, they regard holidays as reinforcement in competition in righteous deeds and to an opportunity to enjoy pleasant lawful things. This is because they understand the great responsibility of standing before the One Who endowed them with these blessings on the Day of Resurrection. This is a responsibility that the Prophet referred to in his saying, “The feet of man will not slip on the Day of Resurrection until he is asked of five things: of his life as to how he spent it; his youth as to how he used it; his wealth as to where he got it and how he spent it; and of his knowledge as to what he did with it.”
They also realise the greatness of the responsibility that is upon fathers, mothers and teachers as regards managing our youths’ free times, teaching them on how to use their time in the most fruitful way and making them the best youth ever evolved for mankind.
Above all, they certainly realise that the path of gratitude that they take leads to more blessings. For, Allah says,
“And (remember) when your Lord proclaimed: “If you give thanks (by accepting Faith and worshipping none but Allah), I will give you more (of My Blessings); but if you are thankless (i.e. disbelievers), verily My Punishment is indeed severe.” (Surah Ibraaheem 14:7)
The responsibility of parents towards their sons and daughters should not be neglected at any time.
Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar:
Allah’s Apostle (sallallahu ‘alayhi wassallam) said, “Surely! Everyone of you is a guardian and is responsible for his charges: The Imam (ruler) of the people is a guardian and is responsible for his subjects; a man is the guardian of his family (household) and is responsible for his subjects; a woman is the guardian of her husband’s home and of his children and is responsible for them; and the slave of a man is a guardian of his master’s property and is responsible for it. Surely, everyone of you is a guardian and responsible for his charges.“(Sahih Bukhari :: Volume 9 :: Book 89 :: Hadith 252)
It is therefore incumbent upon every Muslim who hears this Prophetic declaration not to shirk his responsibility towards those who are under his guardianship. Holiday is not an occasion for overlooking children’s behaviours under the excuse of allowing them to have fun. Holiday should not be made a pretext to give children free rein to do whatever they like. It should rather be an avenue for giving them greater care.
In fact, during the holiday season the children need more of wise and judicious supervision and continuous follow-up. This is because; there are many dangers that are threatening our youth and they are more exposed to hazards.
Dear brethren! Fear Allah and emulate the successful and righteous servants of Allah Follow their path in giving thanks to Allah for His uncountable blessings on you. Show gratitude to Him in order to avert calamities and as a way of fulfilling your responsibilities to Him, and always remember him.