This is a true story about a man named Rashed. He tells his story as follows…
I was not more than thirty years old when my wife gave birth to my first child. I still remember that night.
I had stayed out all night long with my friends, as was my habit. It was a night filled with useless talk, and worse, with backbiting, gossiping, and making fun of people. I was mostly the one who made people laugh; I would mock others and my friends would laugh and laugh. I remember on that night that I’d made them laugh a lot. I had an amazing ability to imitate others – I could change the sound of my voice until I sounded exactly like the person I was mocking. No one was safe from my biting mockery, even my friends; some people started avoiding me just to be safe from my tongue. I remember on that night, I had made fun of a blind man who I’d seen begging in the market. What was worse, I had put my foot out in front him – he tripped and fell, and started turning his head around, not knowing what to say.
I went back to my house, late as usual, and I found my wife waiting for me. She was in a terrible state, and said in a quivering voice, “Rashed… where were you?”
“Where would I be, on Mars?” I said sarcastically, “With my friends of course.”
She was visibly exhausted, and holding back tears, she said, “Rashed, I’m so tired. It seems the baby is going to come soon.” A silent tear fell on her cheek.
I felt that I had neglected my wife. I should have taken care of her and not stayed out so much all those nights… especially since she was in her ninth month. I quickly took her to the hospital; she went into the delivery room, and suffered through long hours of pain.
I waited patiently for her to give birth… but her delivery was difficult, and I waited a long time until I got tired. So I went home and left my phone number with the hospital so they could call with the good news. An hour later, they called me to congratulate me on the birth of Salem. I went to the hospital immediately. As soon as they saw me, they asked me to go see the doctor who had overlooked my wife’s delivery.
“What doctor?” I cried out, “I just want to see my son Salem!”
“First go see the doctor,” they said.
I went to the doctor, and she started talking to me about trials, and about being satisfied with Allah’s decree. Then she said, “Your son has a serious deformity in his eyes, and it seems that he has no vision.” I lowered my head while I fought back tears… I remembered that blind man begging in the market who I’d tripped and made others laugh at.
Subhan Allah, you get what you give!