Monday, August 08, 2011

Buy One Get One 'Free'

The term 'buy one get one free' is not alien to any individual. In fact, it is a term which our eyes search for in supermarket shelves, shop windows and within other shopping mediums.

We always make an effort to save a 'penny' or two as they tend to add up. Taking the current economical climate into mind it is not just a habit but now a necessity to ensure any money spent is justified and well spent.

Well, an incident which occurred a couple of days back reminded of this 'buy one get one free' term. My friend was standing, frustrated, in front of a vending machine as his £1 coin was rejected one after another. So I swapped a £1 which I had and, as usual, it 'did the job'... out came the drink...

Hold on... out came TWO drinks.

It's not uncommon for this vending machine to make this sort of an error as highlighted by previous users. Now my friend already had paid for his drink and gave me the other drink which was 'buy one get one free'. What else could he have done with an extra drink.

I took the drink; both of us grinning at the bargain we had got, £0.75 for a drink is a fair price as compared to the extreme price of £1.50. Being happy with the price he paid we both left.

On my way, whilst having this drink I was questioning myself of whether this drink was okay for me to take and this returned my thoughts to three episodes:

1. Once a disciple of Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi رحمه الله came to visit him with his son. He travelled from his home to meet the Shaikh through the means of a train.

Whilst convercing with the Shaikh the disciple stated his 'cleverness' of getting a half price ticket for his son who was of age yet was short enough to look as a minor.

Upon hearing this the Shaikh was furious and informed the disciple of his lack of understanding for even the basics of the religion.

2. An incident which I came accross in a few forums where a Imam was taking a bus from him home into the town centre. The bus driver gave him £0.20 extra to which the Imam was having thoughts of keeping or giving it back. He felt that it was a minor amount but regardless he decided that it should be returned.

The bus driver was aware that the Imam had been given an extra amount but was doing this to test the Imam for the sole reason that the bus driver was thinking of studying Islam.

This made the Imam think and realise that he could have 'sold' Islam for the mere sum of £0.20

3. The final incident is of a person who was once travelling by river and saw an apple floating. He took the apple and ate it only to realise afterwards that he had taken something without prior permission. He went out of his way to search for this person in order to recompense him for the apple he had taken.

Once he found the owner he agreed to marry his 'dumb', 'deaf' and 'blind' daughter as a price for that apple. In reality the daughter was regarded the above for her purity as she would hear, see and speak no evil.

Once the person married the owner's daughter he found that she was neither deaf, dumb or blind. On enquiring about this, he was told that she had never used her ears, tongue or eyes for any unlawful activity.

Having thought of this, I ensured that we contacted the venders and informed them of this, who of course found it a little strange. Nevertheless, it was a common thing with the machines and was accounted for. Therefore, we were told not to worry about it.


A few quick points to not lengthen the long post any further:

1. As we look for 'BOGOF' offers in this world, we should also take full benefits of these offers when Allah سبحانه و تعالى opens His 'shop' of mercy. These are times such as Ramadhan and regularly at Tahajjud time and on Laylat-ul-Bara'ah and Laylat-ul-Qadr.

2. We are quick to read labels of food items to see their contents and check to animal ingredients. However, we should pay more attention to neglected matters such as the manner in which we have acquired this food item. Have we caused someone difficulty to obtain this? Have we earned the money through a Halal medium? Have the shopkeeper charged us less by mistake or given us back more change?

3. We should never underestimate the effect of our actions on others. We can never be sure who is looking and judging us, and more importantly our religion, through our actions. We may not be informed of the consequences of our actions, but we can be rest assured that each of our actions are judged by people and opinions are made in regards to us and our religion. Ultimately, Allah is and will judge us in accordance to our actions and efforts.

May we all be given the strength to keep a constant watch over our actions. Aameen.