November 22, 2010

Blessing in disguise

Sometimes things happen in life, and we're so busy complaining about it that we forget to notice all that we were actually saved from.

Like the time a guy drove into my sister and I. We were so busy fuming and complaining about the driving skills of the guy (and yes, it really was his fault) that we failed to sit and ponder over what would have happened to us if his car had been driving just a little faster. In this instance we walked away unhurt and unscathed... wasn't that a blessing?

There are so many instances where seemingly bad things happen, yet when we ponder over its consequences a while later we can see so many blessings that it actually brought about. This tells me that when things happen in my life, I should patiently try to forbear it- since I cannot know what blessings might emerge.

It reminds me of a story I once read. Its pretty long, but well worth the read:

A farmer in Anatolia had a wife and adolescent son. His wife always complained that they were poor, their house needed a new roof, the barn was broken down, and they had no horse to help with the plowing. Early one morning the man and his son looked towards the field and besides a large oak tree stood the most beautiful thing they had ever seen.
It was a large white horse with perfect proportions. They tied and fed the horse. They were happy. His wife came out and said: "Look for markings, it is a rich man's horse." There were no markings.
"We can sell the horse", the wife said, "and with the money we can fix the roof, buy a wagon, rebuild the barn and have something left over for our old age."
"I will not sell the horse," said the man.
"If you don't, I will leave you," said the wife, and went into the house.
Now let me tell you a little about the man. The townspeople and his wife thought he was becoming senile. Whenever something occurred, good or bad, he would say: "Maybe its a blessing, maybe its a curse, only Allah knows." whatever befell him, that's what he would say. That's what he said when the townspeople gathered on his land to see the horse and told him what good fortune he had. And that's what he said to his wife when she told him he should sell or she would leave.

The next morning he began building a corral for the horse. His wife became angry. She went to her sister down the road. The man shrugged his shoulders and said: "Maybe its a blessing, maybe a curse, only Allah knows."
The story of the beautiful horse travelled from village to village, town to town, and finally to the capital city where the Sultan, a lover of horses, heard it. He called his lieutenant and told him to go to the farmer and offer him a bag of gold for the horse.
"What if he won't sell?" asked the lieutenant.
"Of course he will", said the Sultan. "He is poor, this is a fortune."
"But" the lieutenant insisted, "What if he won't sell?"
"Then kill him" said the Sultan, "and bring me the horse."

The Sultan's soldiers arrived at the farmer's house. The horse was as beautiful as they had been told, and the lieutenant offered the farmer the bag of gold for the horse.
"Thank you" said the farmer, "but I don't want to sell."
The lieutenant asked the farmer to walk with him. He liked the old man, who reminded him of his father.
"Please take the money," the lieutenant said
"No" said the farmer.
"My orders are to kill you and take the horse if you refuse to sell it."
"The horse is not for sale"
"Please, this will be your death."
"Maybe it's a blessing, maybe its a curse, only Allah knows."
The lieutenant said he had an errand to run in another village but would return in a few days. He begged the farmer to reconsider.

The townspeople gathered and started to argue with the farmer.
"You will be rich!"
"Maybe its a blessing, maybe a curse, only Allah knows" he replied calmly.
"If you don't sell the horse, the soldiers will kill you and you will lose the horse anyway."
"Maybe its a blessing, maybe its a curse, only Allah knows."

The next day the farmer's son decided to ride the horse. He felt wonderful riding it until the horse stepped into a hole, throwing the boy high into the air. The boy broke both his legs.

"You didn't listen to us" the townspeople said to his father. "If you had sold the horse, then this wouldn't have happened".The farmer replied: "Maybe its a blessing, maybe its a curse, only Allah knows.

The next morning the farmer looked outside and saw nothing, the horse was gone.
The townspeople said: "You could have sold him for money and you didn't. So your son went riding and hurt himself. Now you don't even have the horse."
The farmer said: "Maybe its a blessing, maybe its a curse, only Allah knows."
"The soldiers will return" said the townspeople. "They wont believe you when you say that the horse has gone. They'll torture and kill you."
"Maybe its a blessing, maybe its a curse, only Allah knows." the farmer replied.

The soldiers didn't return. War had broken out. All the young men were called into the army except the farmer's son who was still injured.
"You're lucky" said the townspeople. "We will never see our sons again. You will have someone to care for you in your old age, but we will be alone."
"I've told you before" said the farmer. "Don't you understand? Maybe its a blessing, maybe its a curse, only Allah knows!"

story taken from: When you hear hoofbeats think of a zebra by Shems Friedlander

So here's hoping we can all be wise enough to brave the storms of life, accept adversities with patience, and remain steadfast enough to be able to see the blessings later. Insha Allah Ameen.


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