A short while ago, I ‘uber pooled’ a taxi with a stranger. I have done this a few times when I couldn’t justify getting a taxi home, beyond feeling just a bit lazy. This time a lady jumped in to the back with me and promptly greeted me with the muslim salutation ‘peace be upon you’.
Strangely, despite being a very private person, there are times when I am happy to share elements of my life freely with others. On the most part however, I keep my deepest hopes and dreams to myself. This lady, upon us setting off in the car to our respective destinations, began to tell me about her life. How she was mixed race, how she only discovered faith in her later years, how she is trying to maintain a good relationship with her Trump loving mother, how she was married multiple times and finally how she is currently in court, fighting for the right of her son to attend a faith school, despite her ex-husband’s objections. She turned to me and told me her son’s name and asked me to pray and make dua that the court case goes well. I promised her I would.
I don’t know how the court case went and I probably wouldn’t recognise the woman if I was to pass her by in the street again. But this lady’s attitude taught me something: humility.
Some people may think that this lady telling her life story might be lonely or too talkative or to relate to the social media craze we live in now was ”oversharing’. I saw something else. I saw someone who was humble enough to confide to an absolute stranger her biggest concerns in life at the time and ask for help in the form of a prayer, and at the same time strong in her self to know that her sharing didn’t make her weaker in the eyes of the other person. There is a prophetic saying (hadith) that ‘the dua of a muslim for his brother in his absence is responded to’.
This struck a cord with me, particularly because I wondered how often I ask loved ones to pray for me or to help me. I wondered if this was because I felt I never needed to do so because in the Islamic tradition, there is no need for an intermediary to communicate your feelings and prayers to God. I realised, that perhaps a part of it too was because I don’t like to admit when I am in need. To open myself in this way would feel too overwhelming and would indicate that I am not as self-sufficient (bar God) as I aspire to be.
It is one thing to only rely on God and to call on only Him for relief, and quite another to not seek dua or help from others due to a lack of humility.
And so, any prayer and good vibes you can send my way would be humbly and graciously received <3.
I ask for God’s abundant mercy and blessings to be showered in your life and that you may see both joys and hardships as only beautiful things.