An old man, probably some ninety plus years, sat feebly on the park bench. He didn’t move, just sat with his head down staring at his hands. When I sat down beside him he didn’t acknowledge my presence and the longer I sat I wondered if he was ok.
Finally, not really wanting to disturb him but wanting to check on him at the same time, I asked him if he was ok. He raised his head and looked at me and smiled. Yes, I’m fine, thank you for asking, he said in a clear strong voice. I didn’t mean to disturb you….but you were just sitting here staring at your hands and I wanted to make sure you were ok I explained to him. Have you ever looked at your hands he asked. I mean really looked at your hands? I slowly opened my hands and stared down at them. I turned them over, palms up and then palms down. No, I guess I had never really looked at my hands as I tried to figure out the point he was making.
Then he smiled and related this story:
Stop and think for a moment about the hands you have, how they have served you well throughout your years.
These hands, though wrinkled, shriveled and weak have been the tools I have used all my life to reach out and grab and embrace life.
They braced and caught my fall when as a toddler I crashed upon the floor.
They put food in my mouth and clothes on my back.
As a child my mother taught me to hold them in prayer. They tied my shoes and pulled on my boots.
They dried the tears of my children and caressed the love of my life.
They have been dirty, scraped and raw, swollen and bent.
They were uneasy and clumsy when I tried to hold my newborn son.
They wrote the letters home and trembled and shook when I buried my parents and spouse. Yet, they were strong and sure when I dug my friend out of a foxhole and lifted a plow off of my best friends foot.
They have held children, consoled neighbors, and shook in fists of anger when I didn’t understand.
They have covered my face, combed my hair, and washed and cleansed the rest of my body.
They have been sticky and wet, bent and broken, dried and raw. And to this day when not much of anything else of me works real well these hands hold me up, lay me down, and again continue to open in prayer.
These hands are the mark of where I’ve been and the ruggedness of my life.
But more importantly it will be these hands that will receive, The Book of deeds. I look, ponder and pray that MY RIGHT HAND is blessed the fortune of receiving the trials of this life ie. MY BOOK OF DEEDS with this RIGHT HAND (Which will be given to everyone on the Day of Judgment for all his deeds done in this World as a record of all his actions. As for those who will be given the book of deeds in their right hand, they would read it expecting to receive God’s Mercy and such would not be wronged or dealt a whit unjustly and they will be given their reward in full (as promised by Allah). Please refer to the below verse.
No doubt I will never look at my hands the same again. I never saw the old man again after I left the park that day but I will never forget him and the words he spoke. When my hands are hurt or sore or when I stroke the face of my children and wife I think of the man in the park.
I, too, want to RECEIVE MY BOOK OF DEEDS WITH MY RIGHT HAND—-
I am trying to be worthy of it by preparing for it now…….. O MY PERFECT AND GENEROUS GOD ! I make shukr (Thanks) for these hands.
“(And remember) the Day when We shall call together all human beings with their (respective) Imam (their Prophets, or their records of good and bad deeds, or their Books like the Quran, the Taurat (Torah), the Injeel (Gospel), etc.). So whosoever is given his record in his right hand, such will read their records, and they will not be dealt with unjustly in the least.” (Qur’an 17:71 )