Tuesday, April 24, 2007

you know we can easily become immune to certain things because it's constantly in our face and we no longer question it or even ponder over it, we become so used to it that it no longer affects us the way it may have done in the past, that is until a certain event or certain words trigger the memory of how you used to react and you compare it to how you react now.

confusing, i don't blame you :)

the other day an elderly gentleman came into my work place to order his medication, he was finding extreme difficulty in knowing exactly what he wanted and how many of the tablets he takes on a day to day basis.

he's around 80 or so years of age, and always looks like he could do with a good hearty meal as well as a trim of his beard and stitching of his clothes.

now i see this man regularly and although my heart goes out to him i don't really give him a second thought, i try to do as much as i possibly could for him whilst he is around me other than that i don't ponder over his situation.

when he came in the other day he looked so sad, and there was something about him that wasn't quite right, he came to order his medication which was a usual occurrence but this time he let out one big sigh and said ' you know sawsan (for some reason he calls me sawsan) i have 5 children, and they have all deserted me, not one of them is interested in my affairs, all i have in my life is god and you'

how sad is that? my heart went out to him, and he stirred in me emotions of anger towards his children, now you could argue that maybe he was a terrible father, but regardless he is a parent and he has rights over his children, and to dump him with out a care in the world is really sad.

all his children live in Europe, he is alone here in Britain, he is Arab, can hardly put 2 English words together, and really does not know a single person other than myself, the pharmacist and maybe the grocery shop owner.

he turned around and walked out of the surgery and my eyes wouldn't stop following his every step, i felt helpless like i bore a responsibility towards him, what if i am asked on the day of judgment about my treatment of him, he has been in my thoughts ever since, and because of him i keep looking at any older person and pondering about their situation and if there children have cut contacts off with them.

in a perfect world there would be no elderly folks home, my eyes have opened up once again and i feel more compassion towards the older generation. there was a time when i would get so upset seeing the elderly alone, knowing that they have no one.

you know so many will spend all day at shopping centres because its cheaper for them to sit in the warmth of the shopping centre rather than at home where the heating bills are to much for them.

i think this aya from the quran sums it all: "Your Lord has commanded that you worship none but Him, and be kind to parents. If either or both of them reach old age with you, do not say "fie’ to them or chide them, but speak to them in terms of honour and kindness. Treat them with humility, and say ‘My Lord! Have mercy on them, for they did care for me when I was little’ (17:23-4).

may Allah save us from committing atrocities towards our own parents.


cofman said...

touching article, and his photo says it all
don’t you think it’s a bit odd that he has no one? Not even friends from his community?? Or people he meets in the mosque?

Or could it be that he takes some of the blame? ..
well… in my opinion those of us who live in the west need to adjust, and adjust quick … you just can not live 2 different cultures in one place without homework ….if you try to ‘pretend’ it is easy to do, one may end up losing both ..
any thought?

thanks Wafa, or Sawsan
( suits u lol)

a_akak said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
a_akak said...

Dearest WA,

You have a good heart and i respect that in you, emotions sometimes get mixed in between words and feelings also come through and I feel your emotions are pure and in the right place

But, and although i am sure alot of guys/girls will bite my head of for saying this........ When you plant a seed and you dont water it and look after it it wont give you good crop and our children are these plants, if you dont teach them "right & wrong" and teach them and give them love they will will turn on you and if this is the case i "dont feel sorry for him or anyone else" as our children are the most important investment in life, however, by religion we have to stand by our parents but IF the parents didnt teach their kids religious morals at young age why do they expect anything in return?

"Rabee eafta7 3aleeh insha allah"

Fe Aman Allah

white african said...

cof he only came to the country recently, after the war in iraq, and he came with his wife but she passed away within a year.

i agree about the whole adjusting to surroundings and coming to an understanding between 2 cultures, it is possible, but his age also plays a role, remember hes over 80 so he is set in his ways and probably finds it all frightening and too much for him.

he tends to stick to his flat and not actually leave unless for the bear essentials.

he's actually not the first to call me sawsan lol, i wonder why i'm seen as a sawsan?

akak thanks bro :)

i understand where your coming from although it can be difficult to comprehend, maybe because alhamdullilah i have been lucky with my own parents and how they nourished and brought me up, and your right many have not had the same privillage, but i guess i'm driven by faith and the right that we have as 'kids' as well as the rights that parents have.

it's still so sad to wintness though.

mani said...

it is sad.. so sad..

thanks for a touching article WA

The Godfather said...

AMEEN to your dua.

It cuts you up when you hear about these things.

Anglo-Libyan said...

very sad indeed.
even if he was not a good father to his children, they are still responsible for him no matter what, I am very angry with his children, they should be reminded that what goes round comes round.
as Ahmed said we are obliged to look after our parents even if they are bad.
thank you for this and it goes to show that it is not just a European problem, we have (Arabs/middle easterns) problems too, just like everyone else.

white african said...

mani your welcome bro :)

yep godfather, it's hard to understand.

anglo you hit thenail on the heard 'what goes around comes around' so true, do they really expect there kids to take them as examples later on?

and your absouloutly right its a problem in the arab world as well as the west, although we try to hide this fact

Brave Heart said...

WHAT CAN I SAID, I THINK NOTHING, may Alah help help him to face this diffcult life.
WA u mange to make us laugh, cry, being happy , being sad, u can be good writer

lostkitty said...

You know I feel the same way!!! This story brought tears to my eyes and anger in my heart towards his children. how can they do this to their own father? Such cruely, such callousness?!

I see this all the time and wallahi I hate it. When I think of my own father, and the love and respect I feel for him... I just cannot understand how others can treat their parents so badly. how can they live with themselves?!

As far as I am concerned such callousness towards your parents is one of the worst sins. It doesnt matter what your parent has done to u... at the end of the day you have a duty toward them, just as they did to u. Even if u hate the very sight of them, that duty still exists because its a duty ordained by Allah - and only one of His laws can break it.

You know me, whenever I got out, I hate seeing old people alone and struggling. One day, that could be us, God Forbid.

If we cannot fulfill our duty towards our parents and honour and respect them - then as a society, we are doomed. And we deserve to be.

lostkitty said...

(well thats turned out to be a quite a dire comment didn't it?!) lol


Ameen to the dua....

Its things like these that break my heart....I truly feel for that man....his children have denied him his rights as a father. Now he has to live in a foreign country and culture alone...may Allah make it easy for him, ameen

Ever The Idealist said...

I see this day in and day out at work. It's not normaly Muslims you find that have been abandoned. Its saddening but it should make us realise what we have with our own parents, aunts and uncles and granparents. It should make us reflect and hopefully get active.

Ameen to the dua

eternal peace said...

salaams sis,i dont see how people can be mean to the elderly, for some reason even if really eveil people once they're old i feel sympathy, becauase they seem so vulnerable anyways Allah knows Best

you were saying you might go bangldesh this summer, thats cool! where you planning to visit? and if u do go i hope u take alot of pics for us to see!1 i haven;t been in 7 years!

take care wasalam
p.s i've noticed my blog linked to urs aww jazakAlah khayr sis,i'll put few links inshaAllah once i know how!!

white african said...

brave ameen to your dua. and your right it really does make a person speechless.

kitty as usual i agree with you girl its really difficult to understand and no matter how hard you try to comprehend the other side you cant.

native ameen sis, it was great seeing you yesterday, i feel like it was time since i last saw you, we shouldnt hibernate from each other sis.

ever as usual sis you come out with wise words, thanks :)

eternal it's a pleasure putting you on the link sis :)

it is difficult to be treat a person in a horrible way when there already in a vunrable state.

i will most def take pictures inshallah, and try to blog from their.

NM said...

Subhanallah! Is that his picture whitey? my goodness reading this blog i was torn between feeling so sorry for him and wanting to trottle his so-called children.

Do they not realise the opportunity they are missing out on. The rewards that they would recieve by lowering the wings of humility to their elderly father.

What is WRONG with them! Walahi they should be ashamed. May allah provide him with companionship and surround him with loving people even if they are not his children.

Can you find out where he lives whitey then you guys can visit and help him with things. I want in when i return inshallah

ibeebarbie said...

Salam White African aka Sawsan,
Thank you for sharing this story, alhamdullilah. What a great reminder for all to remember to be compassionate, kind, and patient with others, inshallah.

Truly we are not the ones to sit in the seat of judgment, for that is Allah's job. However, we can certainly learn from this example to remind ourselves to make better decisions when dealing with others.

Whatever this man's story, only Allah knows, but for some reason White African you've been placed in his life, mashallah. I've noticed countless times when Allah teaches a lesson, He often teaches a multitude of people for their own specific growth. Who knows what the lesson is for you and this man in this whole situation, but regardless the glory belongs to Allah.

white african said...

nm ameen to your dua sis, its really frustrating and one feels so helpless.

your idea is a good one, its something to look into definatly :)

ibee welcome :)

thank you for your lovley comment, you right subhnallah allah teaches us lessons through out our lives, it;s most definatly a reminder to oursleves and how we treat others.

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