By: Syeda Hafsah Bokhari Class X
Faiz was gazing around and taking in the best piece of architecture he had ever seen in his poor and simple life … Terminal II of the humongous Dubai Airport.
He belonged to a middle class family. After completing his studies, his parents had decided to send him to Dubai to try his luck there for a job (just like a few of their relatives had already done and were now living happily ever after), spending the money they had been saving for the past few years for this very purpose.
Faiz was still standing in the same position with his jaw hanging open in awe. Well, you can't blame him. He had never imagined going outside Karachi and now he was in Dubai. WOW!
He soon shrugged himself out of his daze, a bit reluctantly though, and walked to a taxi stand. His father had given him the address of one of his friends who lived here, where he could go and spend the night. From the next day onwards he was supposed to give all he had in looking for a suitable job and try to settle as soon as he could in the new city. Until then, he would be living in the said friend's house.
Before talking to one of the taxi drivers, he reached for his wallet in his pocket. It wasn't there. He checked his hand bag but it wasn't there either. He started to panic. He picked up his suitcase and placed it on a bench. He opened and checked all the zips but in vain. His wallet was nowhere to be found. Now what do I do? He thought. He rubbed the back of his hand, covered halfway by the sleeve of his shirt, on his forehead and wiped the dripping sweat. The address of the friend's house was written on a piece of paper which he had kept in his wallet. So now neither did he have a place to go nor any money. He couldn't even call his father as he hadn't yet activated his SIM for Dubai, of course he had just arrived. Moreover his mobile phone was dead. It wasn't charged. The consequences were all against him. Luck wasn't helping him either. ‘Ya Allah help me! I'm all alone in this unfamiliar, new city between all these strangers. There is no one except you who could help me. Allah, please! You're Rehman and Raheem. Allah!’ Faiz prayed fervently, slumping beside his suitcase.
'Do not be afraid, I am with you, all hearing, all seeing.'
A few minutes passed. It was getting dark. He sat upright and gazed around. An aged man, probably in his late fifties, in a suit, was sitting beside him. He couldn't see his face as it was hidden behind the newspaper he was reading. Who is he? Can I ask for his phone? Faiz thought. At that instant, the man folded the newspaper and placed it on his lap.
“Gosh! Isn't the bus a little too late today?” he said, looking at Faiz. Faiz didn't know what to say so he just shrugged, smiling tiredly.
The man hummed, looking at Faizs' suitcase. “Foreign?”
“Yes, Pakistani.” Faiz nodded.
“Oh, me too!” the man said, grinning. Faiz smiled. “Well, I'm settled here now. I go back home on special occasions, only. Any ways, you're here for . . . ?”
“To find a job, Sir. Pakistan is getting hopeless in these matters day by day.”
“No child, there are a lot of job opportunities in Pakistan. The problem is that most of them are not based on merit, they are bought.”
“Yes, that's exactly what I was saying. In sha Allah, Allah will bestow his mercy on us.”
“In sha Allah,” the man said nodding. “I'm Shafiq Abbasi, by the way. And you are?” he said, offering his hand for a shake. Faiz took it, smiling back and said, “Faiz Ahmed, sir.”
A few seconds passed in silence. Then Faiz cleared his throat. “Sir, can I have your phone? I want to call my father.”
“Oh, sure. Why not?” the man said, handing him his phone. Faiz took it and dialed his father's number. “Assalamu Alaikum, Abbu. I have lost the paper with the address of your friend. Can you tell me the number? What? Now what do I do? No! Okay, I'll - I'll do something. Yeah, okay. Allah Hafiz.” He hung up and gave the phone back to Shafiq Abbasi.
“Problem?” he asked, seeing Faizs' worried expression.
“Come on. Maybe I can be of some help,” he offered.
“I was supposed to spend the first few days at the house of my father’s friend. My father had asked him his address on his phone a day before my arrival here. He had written it on a piece of paper and given it to me and I had kept it in my wallet. Now either I have lost my wallet or it has been stolen. I can't find it. I've searched everywhere. I have no money, plus nowhere to go.”
“Don't worry, boy. Have you committed to anyone, already? For the job?”
“I'll see to it then, don't worry. In sha Allah I'll give you a job and will also take you to father's friend.” He thumped his back, smiling. “For tonight, come with me to my house, okay? Tell your father that everything's fine and managed now and not to worry about anything. Here,” Shafiq Ahmed handed him his phone.
“Thank you,” amazed and grateful, Faiz managed to smile before taking the phone. He called his father and assured him.
“Oh, don't be so surprised. We both are Muslims and come from the same country. It was my duty to help you,” laughed the old man at Faiz's expression.
“An-Nu’man ibn Basheer reported: The Messenger of Allah صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم said, “The parable of the believers in their affection, mercy, and compassion for each other is that of a body. When any limb aches, the whole body reacts with sleeplessness and fever.”
Source: Sahih al-Bukhari 5665, Sahih Muslim 2586