I was waiting at the bus-stop today to take the U-11 home. The bus, it seemed, wouldn’t come for a long time so I decided to take a Rickshaw. I realized, though, that I had a five-hundred rupee currency note and since the rickshaw would charge only Rs 50/- I needed to get change, otherwise risk being told by the rickshaw-driver that he didn’t have any change to give to me!
I looked around and spotted a hawker selling small packets of sugar-coated jellies, sugar-drops, dry fruit and dates. I love those little sugar-caoted jellies so I headed up to him and asked if he had change for a five-hundred.
‘Yes but the note is real, isn’t it?’
He was the simple Pathan type, smiling, with a prayer cap on his head.
‘Yes, of course. I need change for a rickshaw. How much for these?’ I asked, gesturing towards the sugar-coated jellies.
‘Five rupees a packet.’
I asked for a couple of packets of different kinds of sweets and handed him the note. He held it up to check for the seals and marks proving it was authentic. Then he fished out the change from his pockets.
‘Actually, I was once handed a fake thousand-rupee note! I could have passed it on to someone else but then I tore it up. Allah is watching all the time!’
I smiled. What an amazing strength of faith this poor man had! He must have been given a thousand-rupee note by a thief buying hardly twenty or thirty rupees worth of sweets. Yet, this man feared Allah, put his trust in Him and refused to cycle the note on further. MashAllah! If only our politicians and corrupt officials would think like that before taking bribes!
‘InshAllah, Allah will reward you from elsewhere!’ I said and left, feeling much, much happier.