It was a normal week day and her husband was at work. After finishing her duties at home, Salma was busy as usual helping her neighbors, today washing their clothes. Her friends were surprised at her selfless kindness but she always told her friends: “A kindness a day keeps the devil away. I try to do one act of kindness everyday in hopes that it will eradicate a sin I may have unconsciously committed in the Book of Life”.
One Sunday Salma’s husband said, “May I ride with you today when you go to do the grocery shopping?”
Salma was obviously surprised, but she didn’t question his request and said, “Sure why not, then we can spend some time together as you are always busy.”
So Salma and her husband left and spent the whole day together. When they got home and put away the groceries, Salma thanked her husband for being so kind as to come with her.
He answered, “Salma, the real reason that I went with you is because you always tell people to do just one act of kindness, like eating an apple a day, keeps the Devil away, so I asked to ride with you to see just how kindly you act with people every day.”
Salma asked with astonishment: “Why?”. He replied, “Because I wanted to see how do you practice kindness, and I wanted to see if you practiced what you preach. And trust me, I will never doubt anything you say again.”
He continued and said to Salma:
(1) “When we got in the van, you let the car across from us go first while watching that no car was coming from behind and you signaled him to go.
(2) “When we reached the stop, you signaled for people to cross the street saying that this way you protect them at least when you are at the stop sign because most drivers don’t care about people, they just want to be on their way.
(3) “On the freeway you signaled the trailer trucks when you were letting them take the lane and slowed down to give them space to change lanes, saying that they had a delivery to make on time and that you had all the time in the world.
(4) “When we arrived in the store parking lot as you went to take a spot, someone else just swiped in front of you and we had to go all the way to the back. You never got angry. You said, “Well, maybe he has sore legs and needs to be closer,” and you laughed.
(5) “As we arrived at the entrance door, you opened the door and let an elderly couple in saying, “Beauty before age.”
“Well when I counted up 25 acts of kindness I stopped counting because your one act of kindness just rolls into many more. I couldn’t believe it; you are so kind that I am sure that in the Good Book it will outweigh whatever you do wrong. From now on I will also do one act of kindness a day, and I will never doubt anything you say you do ever again”.
Salma laughed and said, “Kindness is like a box of chocolates, when I open the box, I can never eat just one. I finish the box! And this is true, that is why I don’t buy a whole box; it doesn’t last the day. But I am so used to being kind that I don’t even notice I am doing it. It is just lovingmy fellow human beings. It is just following Bibi Fatima (as) who said: “(Help) the neighbor first, before your own self.”
Subhanallah, Salma was indeed a true follower of Bibi Fatima (as) who was so kind that:
(1) Bibi Fatima gave her new marriage dress to a poor person and wore her old dress instead, in the wedding. The next day when the Prophet (saww) asked why she was wearing an old dress, she replied that she gave the new dress to a poor person. Can we get such example of kindness anywhere?
The Prophet (saww) asked: “Why didn’t you give your old dress instead?”.
She replied: Because the Holy Quran says: “You will not achieve piety until you give out what you love the most.” (3:92)
(2) Bibi Fatima and her whole family remained hungry for three days but offered the evening meals after three long days’ fasting to the beggar, the orphan and the prisoner.
Holy Quran, praising this kind act, says: “And they feed, for the love of Allah, the indigent, the orphan, and the captive.” (76:8)
(3) Bibi Fatima was so kind to her servant Fizza, that Fizza worked one day and the other day Fatima (as) would work so that Fizza could rest. Such example of kindness can only be found in the family of the Prophet (saw).
Alas, such a kind and benevolent lady was so much terrorized after the death of her father that she had to say addressing her father, the Holy Prophet, standing before his grave: “Oh! Father dear! After you, fell on me such miseries that had they fallen on bright days, the bright days would have turned into darkest nights.”