Thursday, September 28, 2006

One Iftar in Ramadhan

We were rushed for time. Iftar was just minutes away and we were at the traffic light round the corner. We saw the lady standing on the side with her young child. Two or three years of age perhaps.

"Do you have some small change?" he asked me.

I reached for my bag.

Oh but apparently the lady and her child were not begging as they crossed the road, walking past our car.

The child, a little girl wearing pink, was playful, hung back. The mum pushed her forward.

To our horror the little girl almost fell head first onto the road.

Oh no! I thought! I hope there isn't a car coming their way.

The mum held on to the back of her t shirt and pulled it up. The child was crying.

We saw them walk away.

Somehow the sight of the girl falling down because her mum pushed her forward stayed in my mind. Surely the mum didn't do it on purpose? Surely she loves her little girl? Perhaps she underestimated her own strength?

I hope that girl will always be protected by Allah and may he give her good health and happiness always.


The sight of the mother and child crossing the road was a huge contrast to the people who we had iftar with. Toting their latest Roberto Cavalli handbags and their glittery abayas, the ladies were out to impress their friends.

Just seeing the shoes outside the ladies prayer room was as good as strolling on the ladies' shoe department at Harrods. Pradas and shimmery mules. Just name the designer, the shoe would be there.

I don't have to worry about my shoes being stolen then. An old tired, battered and smelly Scholl, I just put it on the side such that no Jimmy Choos would trip over them.

And outside at the dining hall there was just a huge rush for food! Everyone was just so impatient! But all the money and the riches in the world can buy them manners. Designer accessorized plebians at best. While waiting for my ouzi, I watched in horror as a child used her hands to grab the lamb. The mum was too busy dishing food in her own plate that he hardly heed any attention to the child. The server patiently served them, cutting pieces of meat and putting them on her plate. And she used her hands to put them back on the tray.

Did she wash her hands? I wondered.


Ramadhan teaches us to be closer with those who have starve day after day. With hopes that we would bring ourselves closer to the Almighty. And that we try to live our lives simply.

But somehow my two experiences today has shown me that the great divide between the rich and the poor is often too big.

And my lesson for the day? To remember that there is life beyond Prada shoes, Roberto Cavalli handbags and thousand riyals abayas.


Kak Teh said...

Sunflora, I am sure and I hope the mother didnt do it on purpose.
I am thankful that being here , where I am, the experience teaches us to be moderate. Nothing is over the top. Makan macam biasa saja and raya pun begitu. Selamat berpuasa - you need an extra pair of hands this year, ha?

elisataufik said...

i remember when I told ppl I was coming here, a few of them mentioned that "You will see what true Islam is".
I thought they meant that the arabs are 'true muslims', but they actually meant the opposite.
Sometimes seeing things here really make you re-assess your values and give you a chance to better yourself.
Masya-Allah, who else has this opportunity?

atenah said...

you and yr enlightened stories!! Bless u dear. Am thinking of the question I asked u in the mall, ingat lagi tak? It was "How do you get to be like who you are now?"