Monday, July 31, 2017

2 Balls of Wool

A man in a European country was waiting for a bus at a bus stop. Suddenly, 2 balls of wool dropped in his feet; wool which is used to knit sweaters etc. He picked them up and looked up to find an old man and woman with wrinkled faces smiling at him. He took the balls of wool with him, climbed the stairs and knocked on the door. As the door opened, he was surprised to see that a table and chairs were laid in front with tea and biscuits on the table. The elderly couple thanked him and invited him in for a cup of tea. They chatted for a while. After some time, the man leaves the room. On his way out, he finds a man who works there and asks him who these people are. The worker replies, “You are not the first one to be invited in. These old people are husband and wife. They have grown old and their faces have been wrinkled. They stand in their balcony every day and when they find someone standing downstairs, they throw these 2 balls of wool at them so that they pick them up and return them to the couple and in the process, they get to spend some time with them.” I was shocked and wanted to know more about them. I asked, “Don’t they have children?” He said, “They do and the children are well-settled, educated and earn good money but they have left their parents in this old house where their days tend to get long. So, they invite strangers into the house and pass their time. It was your turn today.” I was still in a state of shock. I took their children’s address from him as I wanted to meet them and let them know of their parents’ misery. I kept thinking about the elderly couple while waiting for my bus. I arrived at the address which was supposed to be of their son. It was a magnificent well set-up office. I entered his chamber with his permission and introduced myself to him. He served me a cup of tea and was respectful towards me. We talked for a while and then I related the whole story to him that, “Your parents throw 2 balls of wool every day at strangers to pass their time. You are their son and family. Why have you left them at the old house?” He seemed irritated after listening to this. He sat thinking for a while and then said, “You may leave now if you are done.” I was embarrassed to hear this. I said, “I just wanted to let you know.” He said, “Alright, you have done your part.” After sensing my concern, he said, “Actually, when we were little, we needed our parents the most. Our parents were liberal-minded. They preferred separation, their privacy and their own independent life. They had hired maids for us brothers and sisters. We needed our parents at that time but they would wake up in the morning, hand us some money, say good bye to us and leave us to the maids. We never felt any love or closeness to our parents. That is how we were brought up. We completed our education and started our practical lives. Today, we also love our private and independent life. We did to them what they had done to us. We have rented a room at an old house for our parents. They have servants there. We pay them and they fulfill their needs. We are treating them the way they treated us in our childhood.” He related the whole story in this cold manner. I came out thinking that when the children needed their parents, they didn’t support their children and today when the parents need their children, the children have left them. In their childhood, the parents only spent money on their children and thought that they had fulfilled the rights of their upbringing. Today, the children do the same and think that they have fully served their parents. This event took place in a European culture which cannot be condoned. It must be pondered whether or not we like the same lifestyle. In the beginning, it all looks good and fun but its consequences are quite horrific. Spend some time with your children, give them proper upbringing and treat them fairly and justly. Also keep in mind that if parents don’t treat their children fairly and don’t give them a Shariah-approved upbringing, they have certainly committed a big mistake. However, the children have no right to treat them the same way. Their job is to serve their parents, please them and in doing so, making themselves worthy of paradise. May Almighty Allah enable us to learn a lesson from this story and serve our parents and enable parents to train their children in compliance with Islam and Shariah!