It was almost the time for dhuhr prayers and everyone was getting ready with their wudhu. Today was a busy day at Seyyid’s house and a lot of people had come, most probably because it was a public holiday. Suddenly a loud sound was heard in Seyyid’s yard and everyone looked in that direction to see what had happened. Someone’s backpack had dropped from the top of the big shelves and the student to whom it belonged then rushed to see if everything inside was intact. People were busy in wudhu and setting the carpet for prayers and no one paid any attention. However, the student’s face showed that his laptop was badly damaged.
Soon afterwards, someone started saying adhan and then Seyyid came out of his room and said iqamah and then they had their prayers together. After prayers, Seyyid brought some sweets and then started his lecture on tafakkur, or contemplation. He said that in Islamic traditions, contemplation is regarded as a very valuable worship. It is said that an hour of contemplation is equal to sixty years of worship or even more. Then he explained the reasons for it, saying that contemplation actually changes the intentions behind our deeds. It also stops a person from doing a bad deed and also good deeds which are not done for the sake of God. He emphasized that even in the busy life of a big city, one should have a fixed time every day to do tafakkur for a few minutes.
It is necessary because all of us are exposed to several diverse things, we meet so many people and see so many ugly things that without tafakkur, it is not possible for us to follow straight path and keep our minds clear and focused. Tafakkur serves as a scan disc for ourselves and lets us evaluate each and every of our intention and action and seek forgiveness from God. Tafakkur can also help a student to study harder and better without any distractions because it acts as a filter to clean the mind from distracting ideas and helps the brain function optimally with a noble aim every day. This is necessary for studies. Everyone was listening to his lecture with utmost attention…
After the lecture was over, people started saying goodbye to Seyyid. Seyyid noticed that the student by the name of Abid whose laptop had broken earlier was a bit uncomfortable. He asked Abid the reason. He told Seyyid that his laptop was badly damaged. ‘I will take it to a shop to see if the data is recoverable or not. But the laptop screen is just dark. It doesn’t work,’ Abid said. Seyyid asked Abid to inform him if he needed any help.
Next day, Abid went to the computer shop and urgently wanted the engineer to check if it was reparable, and if not, inquire about the data recovery process. After few minutes, the engineer said: ‘Your laptop is severely damaged and fixing it is impossible. This laptop model is a very old one. Even if I want to fix it, the parts are not available in the market.’ ‘I have exams in four weeks. Can you recover the data as soon as possible?’ The engineer said that the data recovery will take two days. ‘You should pay in advance for the hard drive I will use for data transfer,’ he said. Abid agreed and informed his father about it. He then left for university on his bike. He dropped by Seyyid’s house for maghrib but didn’t stay for his lecture. After prayers, he just said Salams to a few students and friends and then left to go back to a library for studying and then went home late in the night. His mother opened the door for him.
‘There is a box in your room. It came near maghrib,’ said his mother. ‘Okay mother, I will look at it. I am hungry now, have to eat something.’ His mother then went to the kitchen to get some food ready for him. Abid went to his room, changed his clothes and casually looked at the box lying on his study table. It was a shock for him. It was a laptop box. At first, he thought it was his own laptop returned by the computer shop and the engineer probably was not able to recover his data. But this box was new. He quickly opened the box. There was an envelope pasted on the box. He opened the envelope and it had a typewritten message ‘Gift from your friend, Seyyid.’ In a state of surprise, Abid opened the box and found a brand new laptop from one of the best manufacturing companies of the world. The hard drive, RAM and other specifications were all very good; it probably was one of the best models available in the market.
He immediately ran to his mother and informed her. She came to his room and was surprised, as well as happy. ‘Probably someone close to you, who knows that your laptop was damaged yesterday, has sent it,’ she suggested. ‘It is from Seyyid, mother, look at this message inside the envelope,’ he suggested. His mother saw it and said that she was sure that it was not from Seyyid because he would never write his name on it. ‘Okay, now you thank God for it and take your dinner. Leave the rest for tomorrow.’ Abid turned on the laptop and then went to the kitchen for dinner. He then offered two rak’ats of prayers thanking God and also prayed for the person who had sent this gift in a timely manner. He looked at the box to find the shop address and noted it down so that he could find the person who had purchased it.
That night Abid while on his bed for sleep recalled how he met Seyyid for the first time through a friend two year ago. He had a problem in differentiating evolution and creation of God and his fiend took him to Seyyid’s house at dhuhr prayers. After prayers his friend introduced Abid and said that he has a question. Seyyid looked towards Abid with a smile. ‘Respected Seyyid I have a problem in understanding evolution. Did it really happen? If not how can we prove the creation of animals and plants and this whole universe in a scientific way and also answer the questions posed by modern science?, he asked. Seyyid smiled and said: ‘This is not so difficult. If a person gets lost in argumentation and discussions to find a scientific reason for every phenomenon, he will never find a clear and final answer because with progress of technology, a new reason or mechanism will be found for everything we see in this universe.
However, you can very easily find clear answers of all your questions and defend yourself in discussions if you read Hadithe Halila or the Tradition of Myrobalan Fruit of Imam Sadiq (as) for understanding the creation and proof of God and Hadithe Mufaddal of Imam Sadiq (as) for understating the divine wisdom of the creation of human beings, animals, plants and also natural events.’ Abid thanked Seyyid and noted the names of these books. He purchased them and also found them online. Once he read these two books, he found all the answers. He then came to Seyyid, thanked him and gradually started attending his lectures.
Next day, Abid, with the laptop inside the box, went to the shop from where it was purchased. It was a big shop with lots of laptops on display and there were many customers. Abid went to the cashier and asked him about this laptop. The cashier checked in his computer and said that it had been purchased the day before, in the afternoon. ‘Can I know the name of the person who paid for it, or his contact number?’ ‘Yes, why not.’ Then the cashier gave Abid the name and contact number that was in his system. ‘Do you remember his face?’ Abid asked curiously. ‘Excuse me sir, this is a busy shop and we have over 200 customers every day. I don’t remember the face. By the way, that customer paid in cash, otherwise I could have given you his bank account number,’ he said. Abid thanked him and left the shop and called the mobile number. It was out of service. He had reached a dead end….
He then went to Seyyid’s house. It was before dhuhr prayers. Seyyid welcomed him. When he saw Abid with the laptop box, he smiled. Abid told Seyyid what had happened the night before and in the morning. Seyyid listened patiently and then said that someone close to him who knew that his laptop was damaged has done it. Abid asked: ‘Seyyid, I am sorry to ask, but the message I showed you has your name.’ Seyyid smiled and looked at him and said: ‘Abid, masha’Allah you are intelligent. How can I give a gift to you like that and then write my name on it?’ Abid was ashamed. ‘I am sorry Seyyid.’
Then Seyyid thoughtfully said: ‘Someone who is very smart and was watching you very closely has done this nice good deed to please God and keep it a secret. Yesterday, many students and other people were here and they probably saw that your laptop was broken. Someone who also knew that your exams are near and that you need laptop urgently has done this.’ Abid said that almost all the students here knew that I have my exams in a month. Seyyid then told him to pray for that person and also said that he should forget it. That person will never be known. ‘Go home and seriously prepare for your exams and also pray to God to bless you with knowledge whenever you open your book to study.’ Abid thanked Seyyid and left.
On Saturday, after maghrib prayers, Seyyid gave a lecture on hasad, or jealousy and how it destroys one’s faith and good deeds. He explained that a jealous person is psychologically sick because instead of being happy and appreciative of others’ talents and abilities, he feels stressed and threatened and tries to harm that person. He also mentioned in great detail signs and symptoms of jealousy – both in jealous person’s intentions and thoughts as well as his behavior. He also described in detail how jealousy leads to other moral problems and ugly sins such as hypocrisy, backbiting, insulting behavior, usurping their rights, physically harming the person towards whom one is jealous and even murdering him, etc. He then talked about methods to diagnose jealousy by a simple checklist. He said that a jealous person is psychologically sick person suffering from chronic stress and even intellectually abnormal because he makes incorrect judgements about those towards him he feels jealous.
He then mentioned the treatment of jealousy and that was to praise the person towards whom one feels jealous. ‘Speak good about him behind his back, praise his good qualities that you don’t have, give him a gift, and try to internally convince your heart that all the talents a person has are because God has blessed him. The abilities that you don’t have but another person has are because God has favored him. He doesn’t have anything from himself. You should then pray God to bless you with those qualities and talent. If God wishes, He will bless you, otherwise He is All Wise and All Knowing to make the best judgement for you’, he explained. Everybody was quietly listening to Seyyid’s captivating words of practical wisdom. Some of them were concerned about themselves and doubtful if God forbid they had jealousy and looked towards each other in surprise.
After his lecture, Seyyid told everyone about Abid’s new laptop and said that someone has put his name to cover up his good deed. ‘Though this deed is praiseworthy, but the person who has done it should not have put my name on it.’ He said. Someone from the audience said to Seyyid that today’s young people are so smart, especially when he has trained them so well. They want to do good deeds for the sake of God only and so the person perhaps wanted to make sure that Abid will not give the gift back to the shopkeeper and that’s why he put Seyyid’s name for easy acceptance by Abid and make him happy at that time of stress that he was going through. Seyyid smiled and said: ‘Yes, the young generation is really very smart, much smarter than us, the older generation.’ Everybody laughed at Seyyid’s expression. Seyyid then prayed for that person and asked everyone to recite a salawat for him.
When everybody left, Seyyid told Abid that he should offer two rak’at prayers for the person who has given this precious gift to him in a timely manner, give sadaqa for his safety and good health and always try to remember him in his prayers.