An elderly man who was in one of the many prisons I’ve resided in the past decade, opened his heart to me, telling me how prominent he was in his community and throughout the states. He sat in agony because the hundreds or rather thousands that he extended his arms to, had all turned away from him in his time of need.
He was alone and hurt and overwhelmed with worries. His family was unable to maintain their house due to tremendous financial hardships. With a feeling of helplessness, he turned to his old, lifelong friends–the ones he had no doubt would always be there to help him. The ones he loved dearly. He loved his brothers and students as much as, if not more than, his own family.
This brother devoted his time and effort to them. He ran to them to help ease any of their hardships he was made aware of. They were the ones whom he thought to be his soul or even closer. But as the days went on, they turned away from him. As the entire world turned their backs on him, so too did the brothers and students he thought so highly of.
He pleaded that they listen and asked his family to contact them—to no avail. The brothers had no mercy on the tears dripping uncontrollably down the cheeks, nor the weeping heart aching with pain. They turned their back on him. They lied and procrastinated to the family and made the family feel like a burden. And in the end, they disappeared like a mirage, leaving the family with no help or hope in obtaining help from any of Allah’s creations.
The darkness in this elderly man’s dark cell became even darker. He felt betrayed and abandoned and thought back to how he would have treated those very same brothers if the tables were turned. Never in his wildest dreams would he have abandoned any of his brothers or students. The more he thought about what he would have done, the more he was convinced that his brothers and students were treacherous and deceitful.
This elderly brother found his days with no daylight. He was the imam of a big center. He performed their marriage ceremonies, he buried their dead. He was there for them in their hardships and helped them resolve family problems. By Allah’s Mercy, his counseling kept families intact, and he helped bring people closer together. And now, they all turned their backs on him, with no exceptions.
I said to him, “Enough ya Sheikh! Enough grief and enough crying. Enough feeling used when WE USED THEM!”
He said, “How?”