When gauge goes red

By Abdellatif Sharaa

We always spoke about being optimistic in the most difficult times regardless of what they might be. The latest was the appearance of the coronavirus, and all people are worried and afraid, and they are right to be so. Then we started to speak about what can be done, and how can we learn lessons from the entire situation, and see if we can actually find benefits in what happened.

I liked a story by Dr Ibrahim Elfiky, who died in Feb 2012. He was a well-known authority in field of human development. He said he was traveling towards the town of Ain Sokhna with his family, and it was after two in the morning. Just before moving he kept in mind to focus on the fuel gauge, because it was about to run out! He said that after buying a few things, he somehow forgot to refuel, and soon enough the fuel gauge light came on, which meant the fuel would run out soon.

He said I did not get worried to start with, because there are many gas stations ahead, or so I thought, but slowly as it got darker, I started to get worried, and I called a friend to ask him about the nearest fuel station, and he told me that it was very far away! Here the worrying turned to fear, and all what was on my mind took a back seat, and hopes were all about finding a fuel station. Then a light appeared in the distance, so hope started to return, only to discover it was not a fuel station, but a rest area – what frustration!

I asked the man about the nearest fuel station – he said it was 3 kilometers away. I resumed driving, and finally I saw the fuel station, yet when I arrived I did not find anyone, so I searched all over the place until finally a man appeared, and I asked him immediately ‘do you have gasoline?’ He said ‘yes’, the most beautiful word I heard in my life.

I thanked Allah, then resumed my trip with the feeling that a new life was given to me! At this point I remembered something that comes to me every Ramadan, because Ramadan is a “fuel station” from which we get our supply for the rest of year. How do we waste it? How do you risk dying of thirst? How do we pass by the only gas station and not fill up? And this Ramadan can be the last in the life of one of us – the last fuel station before leaving this world. The last station to repent, be in contact with family members, and return to the Holy Quran.

Almighty Allah says in surah Al-Dhariyat: “So flee to Allah. Indeed, I am to you from Him a clear warner.” (51:50). Yes, already one-third of the holy month of Ramadan has gone, and we still have two-thirds left, so use take the opportunity that may not come back! God bless you my friends.

A final word: Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: Every action a son of Adam does shall be multiplied – a good action by 10 times its value, up to 700 times. Allah says: With the exception of fasting, which belongs to Me, and I reward it accordingly. For one who abandons his desire and for my sake. There are two occasions of joy for a fasting person: One when he breaks his fast, and the other when he meets his Lord, and the (bad) breath (of a fasting person) is better in the sight of Allah than the fragrance of musk. (Narrated by Al-Bukhari)

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