I once heard a prominent motivational speaker said “You have to give in order to receive”.
An interesting concept. I was intrigued. But, he didn’t stop there. He continued by saying that
‘In order to get what you want, you first must give others what they want’.
“This is worth listening to,” I thought to myself
Reflecting on the speaker’s words, I got very amused. Give in order to receive. And not only that, I should also initiate the process by becoming the one who gives first.
Give to Receive
I wonder, what can I give to another being? Love? Friendship? Attention? Kind words? Good actions? Or a simple Salam? The fact of the matter is that, I think, we can give just about anything within our capacity.
The rule is simple. I should take the first step. And I will get back what I have given. I liked that idea! It seems simple and doable! And the best part is that it goes in a continuous cycle. I give, I receive. After I received, then, I should give again. And, I will receive some more. But, on the other hand, if I don’t give, I won’t receive. And will not receive any. Dizzy already?
So, let me get this straight. Let me try to put this idea into perspective. For example, If I want others to love me, I should first give love. If I want knowledge, I should teach or share with my friends the knowledge that I have. If I want people to treat me gently, I must first be gentle to others. A very attractive concept I must say.
But what if I give (or do) evil deeds, then, will I receive evil too?
Allah has given me the answer:
Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity. It will have [the consequence of] what [good] it has gained, and it will bear [the consequence of] what [evil] it has earned. “Our Lord, do not impose blame upon us if we have forgotten or erred. Our Lord, and lay not upon us a burden like that which You laid upon those before us. Our Lord, and burden us not with that which we have no ability to bear. And pardon us; and forgive us; and have mercy upon us. You are our protector, so give us victory over the disbelieving people. (2:286)
So, it works both ways. But, Alhamdulillah, Allah has stated also that I should pray to Him for His Forgiveness and Mercy. That I should beg Allah not to test me with something I cannot bear…
Allah has said that in whatever we do, there is a reaction to it. We shall receive the implications of our actions, both good and bad.
And whatever you spend of good – it will be fully repaid to you, and you will not be wronged. (2:272)
We are also promised that whatever good we do, Allah will multiply it.
Indeed, Allah does not do injustice, [even] as much as an atom’s weight; while if there is a good deed, He multiplies it and gives from Himself a great reward. (4:40)
The Prophet said:
If any one of you improve (follows strictly) his Islamic religion then his good deeds will be rewarded ten times to seven hundred times for each good deed and a bad deed will be recorded as it is. (Al-Bukhari)
I can’t help but to think of how Gracious andMerciful Allah is towards all of us…
A Powerful Story about Bryan Anderson
I want to share with you a powerful story about a man named Bryan Anderson below…
He almost didn’t see the old lady, stranded on the side of the road, but even in the dim light of day, he could see she needed help. So he pulled up in front of her Mercedes and got out. His Pontiac was still sputtering when he approached her.
Even with the smile on his face, she was worried. No one had stopped to help for the last hour or so. Was he going to hurt her? He didn’t look safe; he looked poor and hungry.
He could see that she was frightened, standing out there in the cold. He knew how she felt. It was that chill which only fear can put in you.
“I’m here to help you, ma’am. Why don’t you wait in the car where it’s warm? By the way, my name is Bryan Anderson.”
Well, all she had was a flat tire, but for an old lady, that was bad enough. Bryan crawled under the car looking for a place to put the jack, skinning his knuckles a time or two. Soon he was able to change the tire. But he had to get dirty and his hands hurt.
As he was tightening up the lug nuts, she rolled down the window and began to talk to him. She told him that she was from St. Louis and was only just passing through. She couldn’t thank him enough for coming to her aid.
Bryan just smiled as he closed her trunk. The lady asked how much she owed him. Any amount would have been all right with her. She already imagined all the awful things that could have happened had he not stopped.
Bryan never thought twice about being paid. This was not a job to him. This was helping someone in need, and God knows there were plenty who had given him a hand in the past. He had lived his whole life that way, and it never occurred to him to act any other way.
He told her that if she really wanted to pay him back, the next time she saw someone who needed help, she could give that person the assistance they needed, and Bryan added:
“And think of me.”
He waited until she started her car and drove off. It had been a cold and depressing day, but he felt good as he headed for home, disappearing into the twilight.
What Goes around Comes around
A few miles down the road the lady saw a small cafe. She went in to grab a bite to eat, and take the chill off before she made the last leg of her trip home. It was a dingy looking restaurant. Outside were two old gas pumps. The whole scene was unfamiliar to her.
The waitress came over and brought a clean towel to wipe her wet hair. She had a sweet smile, one that even being on her feet for the whole day couldn’t erase.
The lady noticed the waitress was nearly eight months pregnant, but she never let the strain and aches change her attitude. The old lady wondered how someone who had so little could be so giving to a stranger. Then she remembered Bryan.
After the lady finished her meal, she paid with a hundred dollar bill. The waitress quickly went to get change for her hundred dollar bill, but the old lady had slipped right out the door. She was gone by the time the waitress came back.
The waitress wondered where the lady could be. Then she noticed something written on the napkin. There were tears in her eyes when she read what the lady wrote:
“You don’t owe me anything. I have been there too. Somebody once helped me out, the way I’m helping you. If you really want to pay me back, here is what you – Do not let this chain of love end with you.”
Under the napkin were four more $100 bills.
Well, there were tables to clear, sugar bowls to fill, and people to serve, but the waitress made it through another day.
That night when she got home from work and climbed into bed, she was thinking about the money and what the lady had written.
How could the lady have known how much she and her husband needed it? With the baby due next month, it was going to be hard.
She knew how worried her husband was, and as he lay sleeping next to her, she gave him a soft kiss and whispered soft and low:
“Everything’s gonna be all right. I love you, Bryan Anderson.”
Masha’Allah, what a powerful story indeed. As the old saying goes:
“What goes around comes around”
As I sat there, thinking of the giving and receiving story, I realized that the concept is so easy and simple to follow.
What I have to do is to open my eyes wider and seek for opportunities where I can be of help to someone, anyone today, Insha’Allah. Be it a kind word, or just merely a smile; a pad on the shoulder or just simply a phone call. I want to be Bryan Anderson.