The man looked like the last time we met at his son’s wedding, just a couple of years ago.
With my naked eyes, he looked fit to me. He looked good. He looked perfectly fine.
Until he started to walk & until he started to talk. In a heartbeat, my heart sank.
He has had a casualty. A big one too, if I may say. It is apparent that he is now weak on one side. But he still wears a genuine smile, as though nothing had happened.
This got me thinking really hard.
I have seen too many friends, colleagues and great people fall victim to stroke. And then, their speech gets slurred, often interjected with many pauses and repetitions.
It becomes evident that he is struggling to finish sentences. Everyone waits patiently.
His right hand hangs when he walks, while the left helps adjust it from time to time. There is almost no zest in the right side.
As he walks, he drags his right leg to be in rhythm with the other. The left is much stronger than the right.
It is obvious that he is making a great effort to get both in sync. Everyone watches with a heavy heart. Everyone is thinking along the same line. But no one says anything.
I have seen this before, in fact, I have seen this too many times.
I look down to reflect and ponder about my own problems, which have been too significant, from my own perspective. But now, they seem to have reduced in size.
My problems, ahh, they seem a lot more smaller now.
Human beings, tend to take a lot of things for granted. We tend to think our problems are so great. Until we witness other people’s sufferings. Until we realize that we still have a lot of thanksgiving to offer.
We also tend to ignore reminders, no matter how many is sent across our way everyday.
So Allah gives us examples like this, for us to reflect that even great men are not sparred from sicknesses. He reminds us, through examples like this, that when He decides to take back, he will take back. Be ready for it.
Hence, take benefit of the five before five. Give a lot of thanks if you still have all five.
Because the clock is ticking. And your time will be up. Sooner rather than later.
The Prophet (pbuh) said:
“Take benefit of five before five:
your youth before your old age,
your health before your sickness,
your wealth before your poverty,
your free-time before your preoccupation,
and your life before your death.”