The Islamic Post Blog

Generosity Pays, Sometimes Through A Disaster Like Hurricane Ike by Khalida
September 27, 2008, 4:48 am
Filed under: National, Sept/Oct Volume - 2008 | Tags:

“Generosity Pays” –A famous saying of the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad, peace be upon him. Salvation through generosity reaches Muslims and non-Muslims alike. *

By Asma Bibi A. Haqq, Islamic Post Staff Writer

On Friday, September 12, 2008, I woke up with mixed emotions: happy because it was my birthday; but also melancholy. Today we would be expecting a vicious storm. Once I got myself together and began to give my family morning greetings, I was informed of an emergency conference call for the community by my mother. We prepared ourselves for the best, and the worst, because this hadn’t been the first emergency call for a disaster situation. The message was that the people of Mahmoudburg, TX, should immediately pack our things and head to Islamville, Tennessee. This was nothing new to us, as we had done this 3 years before in 2005. Yet and still, many of us were yet again caught off guard.
There was a consensus that once the meeting was adjourned we would all pack and leave promptly. So we did, family by family. Keeping in touch with one another, the majority of the community got on the road. It was a long tiring road trip, and most vehicles had only one driver, which rendered the trip more stressful. Time was not on our side, but after all, with darood on the tip of our tongues, we all made it for, according to the Holy Traditions, when a person sends peace and blessings upon the Holy Last Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him), the one sending the salutation receives the greeting in return, and peace and blessings tenfold. This practice served to brighten our trip.
I remember arriving that Saturday afternoon as if it were happening right now in front of me. Everyone was trying not to complain, and also asking Allah for His aid and Mercy to get us through whatever was to confront us. A few hours after everyone settled down, the residents of Islamville began to come in, one after the other, some in groups, all with warm welcomes. Things were already set up, and it was apparent that they had been preparing for our arrival. Each detail had been given attention, from where each family would stay, to how each and everyone one of us would eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It was amazing.
Who would think that an entire community could come miles and miles away to be greeted in such a way that distress would be lifted from us instantly. A few families stayed in houses without the owners being present. They entrusted their homes and belongings to us without thinking twice about it. This is truly the spirit of Islam.
At one point we were asked by one of the ladies, “What do you want, not what do you need, but what do you want.” There were pots of food made, bags of groceries delivered and an abundance of love extended to all evacuees, men, ladies and children. It was agreed that we had forgotten our situation, and felt as if we were home. A few ladies who had traveled offered to help lift the workload from the townspeople by cooking, cleaning, and helping to serve.  But there was nothing we could do that would compare to the generosity and love that was shown.
I can honestly say that I have witnessed the love and actions of those who do things for Allah’s sake. These are the followers of the Messenger of Allah, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. No words can thank this community enough, and it is hoped that all make dua for Allah to reward the villagers of Islamville, Tennessee.
I know what is meant when it’s said that “After the struggle Allah brings ease.” Life has not yet gone back to normal for those of us affected by the hurricane, but this experience has done nothing but given us a reason to always be grateful. This situation has been a hardship, but also a testament that Allah is always with you. Things can always be worse. Thank you Allah for keeping Your hand over us through this plight, and reward those inhabitants of Islamville, Tennessee for exemplifying what it is to be a Muslim.
The Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “If anyone gives in charity something equal to a date from his honestly earned money for nothing ascends to God except good –then God will take it in His Right (Hand) and bring it up for its owner as anyone of you brings up a baby horse, until it becomes like a mountain…Nothing ascends to God except good.” -Sahih Al-Bukhari

* The commentary on the hadith “Generosity pays,” has been given by El Sheikh Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani as follows:

“There are very few deeds which bear fruit in this world, because this world is like the place where you do the farming, and the harvesting is done in the Hereafter.

“Generosity is the opposite of worldly love, hubb-id-dunya, which has been called the source of all sins and mischiefs. As such, a person in pursuit of love of the world is always debased in this world, and suffers every type of humiliation and setbacks.

“Generosity, on the other hand, is the root of all virtue and goodness. A generous person is always merciful, because without having mercy in one’s heart, one cannot be generous. Such a person is also truthful and full of patience. Therefore, even a kafir, a non-Muslim person, who shows generosity, eventually finds salvation, because the Almighty Creator loves those people who love His creation.

“Thus, generosity is an act which yields its fruit in this world by winning the hearts of the people and gaining their respect, and Allah also makes things easy of the generous person, multiplying his wealth hundredfold. Therefore, brother or sister, be generous, because it pays in this world and in the Hereafter.”

An Open Letter to Islamville, Tennessee Residents, from Baji Atiya and the Muslims of the Americas community living in Texas.

“No soul knoweth what is kept hid for them of joy, as a reward for what they used to do.”  Holy Qur’an 32:17
Dearest Residents,
I send this letter to you on behalf of myself, my family, and those of Mahmoudburg who are of like mind.  It comes to you from hearts overflowing with immense gratitude. The Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad, peace be upon him has said, “Whosoever does not show thanks to mankind, does not show thanks to Allah.”
At a time when calamity and adversity had befallen us, fleeing from what we were told was the impending wrath of Almighty Allah Subhana Wa Ta’Ala, you have strengthened if not restored our faith in the unselfish goodness of mankind.  I say this with great reservation because as Muslims, Mumin, and maybe a sparse few of those who would be Muhsin, this should be an unknown and extinct condition.
You, our extended family, are clearly of those people, who have benefitted greatly from the guidance and teachings of our Beloved Holy Last Messenger, SallAllahu Alaihi wa Sallam, and our Beloved Murshid Kamil; and Allah is the Supreme Knower.  You opened your homes, your hearts, and your hands.
While there, you treated us with dignity, you honored our presence, and you showered us with needs, desires, and gifts.  You were caused to see to our comforts in a manner unparalleled by anything that we may have experience in recent history.  All of this was accomplished with not one hint of a sense of inconvenience or fatigue.
In closing, we ask that Allah bless and reward you all overwhelmingly for your patience
and generosity.  We also pray that if ever we are called upon in the same regard, we are able to respond in kind and rise to the exceptional standard which you have set.
Baji Atiya,
My family, and the Community of Mahmoudburg.


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