Here is an interesting story I came across in an Islamic magazine. It was in Sinhala language and I’ve translated it as best as I can. Enjoy!
“Tak, tak, tak”
The British officer in colonial Indian who was drinking tea asked loudly, “Who is that?”
“Its me sir, your cloth-washer, I came to take the cloths to wash!”
“Ah… good, how are you?”
“I am fine sir, a thousand thanks to Allah!”
“How are your children? How is the sick child now?”
“Their fine sir, alhamdulillah. One has got malaria and has a fever. But he’ll get well, inshaallah! The other child is fine. All praise to Allah, He is looking after us!”
“Hmm… how is your husband? Until now I couldn’t ask about him.”
“Oh…he died sir, it’s been six years since Allah took him back. Allah does everything according to a plan sir.”
That British official said later this conversion was the reason he embraced Islam. A Muslim reader wouldn’t see anything new here. Like many this sensitive British official was trying to understand the purpose of life, thinking of the best way to succeed in life, still not satisfied from it, a little defeated and unhappy, unable to comprehend the reasons for it, was engaged in a struggle. The contentment and thankfulness radiating from that woman’s face was unusual as well as captivating, he had later said.
Her old cloths and smudged face, her sick child and dead husband, her small income and unsure-ness of the future, yet, with all these things she lived a content life. She couldn’t finish a sentence without thanking almighty Allah. She had many things the noble, wealthy, powerful official didn’t have. He found it difficult to even comprehend this.
We all wish for happiness. But that is a rare thing. Failing to attain it man resorts to crimes, suicide and violence. Craving happiness he strives to live in upper classes of the society, ruthlessly pursuing more power, cruelly taking away others rights. Striving with great difficulty for happiness man sometimes forgets what he was searching and gets mesmerized with lust and luxury. He tries to get happiness in mistaken ways with things like money, respect, power, entertainment, beauty etc.
Someone asked a great Abbasid Caliph “who is the happy man?”. Letting out a long breath he said “A happy man…? I don’t know him. He doesn’t know me either.”
What is the secret of happiness? What is it; many in the world cannot understand, did that unnamed woman know? Feeling secure without any insurance, or feeling safe without any danger signs or locks, in short without any of these she lived happily. But she didn’t keep any secrets. It was revealed from every word she expressed. Understanding the worthlessness of creations she turned towards The Creator with the aspiration of becoming a mu’min (i.e. firm believer). Almighty Allah says
“Those who believe, and whose hearts
find satisfaction in the remembrance of Allah:
for without doubt in the remembrance
off Allah do hearts find satisfaction.”
[The Quran 13:28]