We are all seekers of something one way or the other. We beg, we steal, we grab, or we do it tactfully, we always want something from others. We look upon each other for all kinds of help. Not necessarily in financial terms, but more essentially in the cultural, social, and spiritual realms. We build societies and try to remain prominent within the pressure circles of these societies. Our standards and levels of seeking may differ. We may have different approaches to seeking, depending upon our learning and caliber.
We keep dear everything we collect or accumulate. This is that very dear thing that we are tested against. Giving away such things is called sacrifice.
Sacrifice is not without a reason. Sometimes, we feel that we are blessed in abundance with something, and others must enjoy that equally. So a process of outsourcing takes place. However, this is not a full sacrifice, outflows are in fact overflows. You still keep a lot for yourself despite your giving. An ultimate sacrifice is where nothing is kept. You give away all, and this ‘give away’ brings exceptional sufferings for you. There is always this other person before you. This is the very lesson of Ahlul Bayt (a), the holy household of Prophet of Islam.
In this very holy land of ultimate sacrifice, we see this blind woman, who sits in the middle of street and asks for help from millions of people going for a short pilgrimage in Karbala. She can’t see anyone. She seeks, but does not know who her giver is. Her hands are extended towards us. But all we see are her empty hands. She is too old to hide her face, but the woman next to her feels otherwise. Perhaps she is embarrassed in showing her face.
How many of us can sit in the middle of the road and extend empty hands like that? How much courage does it require for us to do so? I nearly passed by her, but at a second thought, took a moment to take this picture. I was afraid that I would be left behind and lost in this huge tsunami of people. We had come to a land where Hussain son of Ali ibn Abi Talib (a) had sacrificed everything to save the world. Just for us. And here we were, just running to touch his shrine, ignoring this blind woman.
But there was a little satisfaction. We had collected thousands of British Pounds to help these very people. However, those donations will be going through a proper channel so that a systematic support system can be established. Nonetheless, I should have exchanged my money to Dinars to give her something despite all these facts. But it is never too late. This hand is still extended. Give as much as you can to help the needy in Karbala, the land of sacrifice.
Millions people pass by her. Just think, a single Dinar from each individual could make her a millionaire. But is she a millionaire? Of course not.
Those people, who have been denied basic human rights for decades, can’t pull out of such a miserable and undesirable life. Iraq despite being the third largest oil producer still can’t recover from war damages. Millions of people still remain far below the poverty line. So much has been destroyed that it will take time to rebuild. Most of the oil revenues have been and are going into payments of war bills and it will continue for ages.
So, as we travel through the land of sacrifice, in order to take away something for ourselves, we ought to remember those who we can help, even with something as small as a single dinar.
By Syed Nadeem Bokhari