Tuesday, September 3, 2013

I Was Sad Because I Had No Shoes

Asalamu Alaykom,

Rarely have I watched a 4-minute video and had it stay in my mind as much as this video.  I talked about it to my son when he was whining.  I referenced it again tonight.

My husband's teenage niece was crying because she can't go out at night.  This isn't because her mom is over protective it's because the girl is losing her eyesight to Retinitious Pigmentosa and can't see well enough to navigate safely.  Her older brother has the same problem.  It's been going on for years and it will keep going until they are blind.  Yes, there is a real reason why you should not marry your cousin.

So, I told this girl how everyone has a problem.  She can't leave the house at night because she can't see well.  I can't leave the house at night because I'm not Egyptian.  I told her how there's a beautiful girl at school who seems to have everything yet she has lost her mom.  Don't wish to trade your life with another.

That's what this video is about.  It's short and bittersweet.  I recommend it for kids (and grown-ups) who complain about their life.

The phrase, "I was sad because I had no shoes, until I met a man with no feet," is very old and it has Muslim origins.    WikiAnswers has more information:

This quote is most certainly based on poetry from the Gulistan,  "Rose Garden" of [Persian poet] Sa'di. The book is from 1259 CE, so this will predate any other attribution out there.  

The original source for this saying reads: 

I never lamented about the vicissitudes of time or complained of the turns of fortune except on the occasion when I was barefooted and unable to procure slippers. But when I entered the great mosque of Kufah with a sore heart and beheld a man without feet I offered thanks to the bounty of God, consoled myself for my want of shoes and recited: 'A roast fowl is to the sight of a satiated man Less valuable than a blade of fresh grass on the table And to him who has no means nor power A burnt turnip is a roasted fowl.'

By the way, two million Syrian refugees would probably love to trade places with you and your family right now.  Say, an "alhumdulillah," for whatever you thought you were suffering and a "Ya Rab!" for those who have it worse.


Marie Harmony said...

This is something we should always keep in mind and it's a good reminder for us all Yosra. Thank you.
Every time I set my eyes on the refugees, fleeing their country with nothing, leaving behind their homes and dead people, I look at my life and give thanks to God for what I have.

Till we are not dead, we are alive and it's life we should celebrate every single day.

Hope you and your family are well and safe.
Take care and keep sharing peace and wisdom.

Anonymous said...

Assalamu alaykum, my husband was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa last year and is registered blind at 51. He is Algerian, there is a lot of cousin-marrying within his family, inshallah hybrid vigour from marrying an English woman will have been good for our kids genetics.
Barakallahu fiki for the reminder, truly Allah is al Kareem.
Your sister in islam,

Thankful Slave said...

Showed the vid to the kids, they were focused indeed. Thanks for sharing and for the reminder, and sorry to hear about the niece. It is true that we forget to remain thankful to Allah for the so many blessings He is showering us with.

May Allah Heal all the needy, and Protect all the healthy ones,



Yosra said...

Asalamu Alaykom Marie,

Loved this from you, "Till we are not dead, we are alive and it's life we should celebrate every single day."

We might as well!

Thanks for continuing to be a good, kind soul in an often indifferent world.

Love and Light!

Asalamu Alaykom Sis Iman,

Sorry to hear of your husband losing his sight. Inshahallah, your children will NOT have this debilitating condition.

I have spent time with one of Egypt's leading authorities on blindness. She has told me that vitamin A will not stop the blindness but it will delay it to some degree. The special eyeglasses often recommended to those with Retinitous Pigmentosa are both expensive and annoying. To see life through a little pin hole is disturbing and most would rather see everything blurred than only a small area clearly.

May God make it easier on you and your family.

Love and Light!

Asalamu Alaykom Bro TS,

Nice to hear that you shared the video. I've shown it over here too. There's something so simple about it that everyone can understand---despite age or language.

The really hard part about my niece is that it's not just her---it's her brother too. So, my sister-in-law has TWO teenagers going blind. That is heartbreaking for her. May Allah make it easier on her.

When I first met their mom, I was hearing about how she didn't have enough money to buy those special glasses. IF she had enough money, then her son would be fine. Everything was about glasses.

The good thing is that I have this connection in Egypt from my time teaching the blind girl in kindergarten back in 2009. She let me know that it isn't about glasses. I was able to secure a place for the two in a skills program. They cannot stop the blindness from happening BUT the program can stop the denial.

Both teens have improved. Alhumdulillah. The older brother, who had been sitting and eating, has now dieted himself down to a very fit frame and he goes to the gym. He's become a young man now that he's accepted his fate. His sister isn't quite there yet but her ability to cry with me shows a new side to her. God bless them.

May Allah bless your families too.