Yesterday, I took my girls to shop for fruit and vegetables, and at the end got touched, not by an angel, but by a human. I had paid for all my groceries, and had parked my cart by the bars right outside the market, and as usual asked the girls to stand by the cart while I take the bags to the car in two or three trips, since the bars don’t allow us to take the carts to the car and I can’t carry everything at once and hold the girls’ hands at the same time. After I put the first load into the trunk and came back to the girls standing patiently by the cart, I saw that the cart was empty, and I can almost swear that my mind went completely blank. Zero. Empty. Nothing. Zilch. I couldn’t make heads or tails of what I was seeing.
How could my cart be empty, and the girls are standing right there? Could this be my cart? If not, then where’s my cart? So I ask the girls what happened, and they say that a man came and took the bags. What?!? I look around and wonder who would come and steal my bags, when I’ve paid for everything. And I think of the fish and strawberries I bought for the girls and all the money I spent. I take a step forward, not knowing whether to look outside the store in the parking lot for this man, or inside? I turn my head slightly and notice a woman in a parked car waving to me and pointing. I go over to her and she says that the man went that way. I start towards “that way” and there appears before me a man with a baseball cap, smiling a big smile and pointing to his chest, saying he had taken the bags to my car to help me.
Oh, what a relief came over me, knowing my bags were safe and no one had come and stolen them. I thanked the man and he quickly walked away. Only a few minutes later, as I was sitting in the car waiting for the girls to buckle themselves in, did I realize what that man had done. He had seen a woman with two kids and many bags, didn’t care that she was a Muslim, had seen that she needed help and didn’t hesitate to do what he saw needed doing: carrying her bags for her. He didn’t wait to ask permission; just did it. And didn’t wait around to be paid, or to be thanked profusely. Job done, off he went. My eyes welled up at this unknown man’s mercy to a fellow human being, and I felt at that moment that this was nothing compared to Allah’s mercy, and my heart got all squishy. The parking lot not being the place to burst into tears, I got a hold of myself and drove off, echoing the girls’ dua’ that Allah give this man Jannah.
Asiya lives in Virginia with her husband and twin daughters. She is an active MAS member with an ijaza (certificate) in Qur’anic recitation and tajweed, and enjoys teaching, interpreting and translating.