Poor, yet the Richest

Its sadly a given fact that the majority of our citizens live, at or below, the poverty line barely able to afford the hundred of luxuries that we all may take for granted, but when it comes to sharing and giving I feel this class of society simply outshines us all in every regard.

I narrate you an incident which occurred to me at Iftar yesterday, being invited to an iftar party, I was a little late starting out and was literally rushing the clock, the empty roads could have assured me of quick drive but I still suspected to be certainly late. During the frantic drive I came across a few mini-road blocks created by young individuals stopping cars to distribute iftar to all commuters on the streets.

Since I was in a rush I managed to squeeze past one road-block but a few minutes later landed on yet another their insistence and the late time I simply gave up to stop the car to await the dying moment before iftar. I was quickly handed a packet full of iftari, this outpouring of love was simply for the sake of Jazah-e-Khair, if this itself was not overpowering enough, I noticed a thela-wala making samosas & pakora, but as soon as Iftar approached he simply stopped selling and opened his shop to all Rozah Dar permitting them to consume his goods. The thela-wala simply refused to accept any cash for the Iftari despite my insistence and refused with a smile and said “Bismillah”

I am not sharing this incident for the fact that there was free food, but I take home an experience which actually touched me to the core. We all generally give our share of charity but when people set an example, like such, it should actually prompt us to give even more. The thela wala would in my best estimate be making 3000 a month and for him to open his shop for everyone must set him back significantly, hence actually impacting his take-home salary in a significant way. We, the affording on the other hand might be handing out a lot in numbers but I can almost say that it barely comes close to even impacting our household income like it must have done to the thela-wala. He has literally gone beyond to an extent where it must hurt.

This act of kindness is a poor mans way of creating his mansion in the after-life, have we all done enough? Take a lesson from the poor, who is truly the richest of us all….

24 Comments so far

  1. mansoor (unregistered) on October 2nd, 2006 @ 3:29 pm

    it is indeed such acts of kindness which make ramzan all the more special in karachi!

    Long Live Karachi! Long Live Karachiites!

  2. Da-Man (unregistered) on October 2nd, 2006 @ 4:34 pm

    Wonderful story. This is the true face of Islam.

  3. icedmocha (unregistered) on October 2nd, 2006 @ 4:40 pm

    i actuali hav tears in my eyes. wow…what a touching story yaar. it realli makes me think.

    @ mansoor- yup!!

  4. icedmocha (unregistered) on October 2nd, 2006 @ 4:43 pm

    what a touching story. thanx so much 4 sharing. i hav tears in my eyes just thinkin abt the kind nd generous thela wala.

  5. Kashif (unregistered) on October 2nd, 2006 @ 6:06 pm

    Glad you noticed. This happens every year and have seen it in most parts of Karachi. People setup iftar tables on road, pass iftar packets, juices and milk to passing cars and buses etc. In fact, I have heard that this year free iftar setups are in such abundance that most of them have plenty of food left after iftar.

  6. Dee (unregistered) on October 2nd, 2006 @ 8:26 pm

    @Teeth….> What a wonderful experience you had and so nice of you to share with all of us.
    i guess its about perception, some think , you give some you loose some.For others you give some and gain alot.

  7. IllusionFS (unregistered) on October 2nd, 2006 @ 9:25 pm

    Absolutely Amazingg.. Dr. Sahab thanks for sharing it with us.

    Long Live Karachi.. Amin.

  8. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on October 2nd, 2006 @ 11:35 pm

    Awab, there are people like that thela wala in Karachi and other part of pakistan who are walis of modern age and God has kept us safe just because of those people and there are many such unsung heros in our society and many of us have actually experienced them in real life.

    A great post Awab. Jazakallah for that. This is probably the best post yet on this website. I hope our friend Cy would have learnt something new about Ramadan in our society.

  9. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on October 2nd, 2006 @ 11:41 pm

    And yes the title of the post is really awesome. I’m really feeling shame after reading this story as I feel myself worthless infront of that thelawala.

  10. shobz (unregistered) on October 3rd, 2006 @ 12:49 am

    that is a touching story. that is the true spirit of Ramadan. it explains a lot about the class system. the richer we are the meaner we get. the ones who dont have much are giving. infact they are rich in their hearts.

  11. Jamash (unregistered) on October 3rd, 2006 @ 12:52 am

    A beautiful post really defines the true love and beauty of our city and highlight and elevates our society’s imposed (so called ) status of these people. A wonderful, wonderful post.

  12. Occasional reader (unregistered) on October 3rd, 2006 @ 1:57 am

    A true face of humanity. Now wouldn’t it be wonderful if only this charitable attitude could extend beyond 30 days.

  13. MystaKool (unregistered) on October 3rd, 2006 @ 9:40 am

    yes, this happens Masha Allah every year, and we see hundreds of people making sure that commuters are not left to have iftaari delayed. it is indeed better to have the iftar anywhere possible, and not delay it enough to have it makrooh…

    these are the true people, who create a better life for the them in the hereafter, and may Allah bless them always, for their generosity, faith, and the willingness to help others without even thinking twice…

    may this feeling and emotion be among us all, that of sharing and doing good to each other, so that the divide is no more … and those that play on this divide have no reason to play anymore…

  14. Da-Man (unregistered) on October 3rd, 2006 @ 7:10 pm

    Teeth Maestro, how about reciprocating.

    If you take a photograph of him and his stall and tell us his location, those who are in Karachi could stop by and give him some business.

  15. Adnan (unregistered) on October 3rd, 2006 @ 7:21 pm

    da-man Jazakallah very nice idea

  16. Jamal Shamsi (unregistered) on October 4th, 2006 @ 1:41 pm

    This is something Karachities witnessing since it started to transform from a Metro to Mega city.

    Just because of increasing traffic mess, chaos every year, many people are changing working hours in Ramzan. to be home by 4.00 max.,

    Teeth ! – Consider the idea of DMAN, we can all be part of the Naykee to elevate that Thelay wala to a proper shopkeepr., and more.

  17. parvez ahmed (unregistered) on October 4th, 2006 @ 8:17 pm

    I was touched by action of pakorawala I am from karachi but live in chicago I wish i could give him some business you guys brought tears in my eyes

  18. parvez ahmed (unregistered) on October 4th, 2006 @ 8:17 pm

    I was touched by action of pakorawala I am from karachi but live in chicago I wish i could give him some business you guys brought tears in my eyes

  19. parvez ahmed (unregistered) on October 4th, 2006 @ 8:18 pm

    I was touched by action of pakorawala I am from karachi but live in chicago I wish i could give him some business you guys brought tears in my eyes

  20. Ramla A. (unregistered) on October 4th, 2006 @ 10:35 pm

    Yeah I once had to reach an iftaar from office, and my brother was picking me up. Somehow everything went wrong, our car broke down before my brother could reach me, I ran out to get a taxi, losing my wallet somehow in the process.

    Just when I caught a cab, I realized my purse was missing the wallet – and I barely had twenty bucks in the change pocket. I let the cab go, and stood bewildered. A rickshaw wallah helped. He offered to take me over a distance of what would surely cost a lot more just for that money, and meanwhile grabbed a free iftart packet from me from one of these stalls as the fast-breaking time was appraoching.

    I was impressed by the trust he put in me, and that he helped me out in a situation where most people would just dump you on the name of reaching to Iftaar – reaching to food while leaving the spirit of fasting behind.

  21. turab (unregistered) on October 5th, 2006 @ 1:16 am

    I have heard from a very reliable source that the karachieettes are the most philatrophist citzens of pakistan, running missions and projects deep inside punjab….

  22. Aasim Khan (unregistered) on October 5th, 2006 @ 7:01 am

    A truly amazing story, probably the best I’ve read on this website. I live in US and am visiting karachi this ramadan after 10 years.

    Long Live Karachi
    Long Live Pakistan

  23. IHATEBURGERBACCHAY (unregistered) on October 7th, 2006 @ 9:38 am

    I’m waiting for Cy to come in here and talk about how this violates his notion of seperation of church and state, and why he believes that this charity effectively hurts the Christian minority, and how every time we consume this food we are destroying “secular progress” for Pakistan.

  24. Mensur (unregistered) on October 12th, 2006 @ 9:11 pm

    Such a great gesture from someone whose life on earth may be a hard one, but who certainly is making a big palace in the life after.

    But shame to those who can still afford to contribute to the poor in the society but simply dont do so.

    We are today producing beggers in our country, children are deprived of education, and people have no access to basic health facilities. A society where people die of consuming tap water.

    I wonder how many poor people can have their teeths checked at the maestros clinic free of charge as a charity. Its easy say than done .

    Instead of telling stories about others we should set examples for ourselves, and make a positive change.

    Shame to us all for such dumb audiences.

    Love & Peace

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