Doing Good to Others Regardless of What You Are and Who They Are
I grew up in a ghetto in the Eastern part of Singapore where gangsters, drugs, drunkenness, suicide and all forms of violence Reigned Supreme. As a child looking at what I was told to me to be “bad” things around me, I was always bewildered by how humane the “criminals” and “deviants” were towards the poor and the weak and especially towards animals. Some would prepare food for cats unceasingly every morning and place it under our block of flats to ensure that these animals are well-fed before they went on with their own lives. There were moments when the stench of the carcass of a dead animal would fill the air and some good Samaritans, usually members of a notorious gang, would dig a hole in a nearby grass patch and bury the animal. During weddings and in times of need, these “criminals” and “deviants” were always there first to render help to people whom they deem as deserving of assistance. But they get on with their underground activities soon after…..My Alumni as I told my Children, are mostly in Prison.
I probably know less gangsters now that I used to in my younger days. My “budak blok (kids under the block)” have now moved on to another stage in Life and did away with most, if not, all of the bad habits we all used to share. We sometimes – not all the time I think – regret what we did but there is perhaps one thing we sorely missed: working together to help others. Yes, we were riff-raffs and scums. And yes, we fought when we had to. But we always felt that lending a hand to anyone, regardless of which colour, race or religion he/she may come from was something that made us Special. And we did what we did and felt happy with the little deeds that we hope would be Significant in the Eyes of God amidst the Mountain of Bad Deeds we accumulated through the years. And of course, we missed our prayers, nonetheless!
Times have changed and now we are living in an age where Judges and Magistrates abound. People make judgements of other people too easily because that person knows too little of what I know. He ain’t as pious as me, She belongs to another Ideology different from my own superior way of thinking, that man is a sinner and hell is assured for him. We talk as if we KNOW of our Ends. We preach as if we are ASSURED of God’s Paradise. But the realities of life and of faith are not that plain simple.
The Prophet Muhammad once said, “A prostitute was forgiven by Allah, because, passing by a panting dog near a well and seeing that the dog was about to die of thirst, she took off her shoe, and tying it with her head-cover she drew out some water for it. So, Allah forgave her because of that (narrated in Bukhari).” Allah forgave her for her sins because she did something noble and good to His Creation. She may have done wrong in her life but her deeds was significant to Allah and He salvaged her sins. And yet, we are seldom forgiving of other peoples’ sins. If there is something we should learn from this just as I had learnt from the people around me when I grew up, it is that we should stop Judging and start Doing Good to Others Regardless of What We are and Who They Are. The rest is in God’s Hands. We Ain’t Him