By Mumtaz Saley-Moosa
My legs hurt as I walked home after praying Dhuhr salah at the masjid. I reminded myself that the walk was beneficial for my arthritic joints, and I wasn’t being a burden on anyone.
Entering the house, I heard laughter coming from within. I was curious to see who was visiting.
My spirits lifted when I saw that my brother was the owner of the deep and infectious laugh. “Surprised to see me, Bhai? The old geyser who hardly leaves his house anymore?” he asked, smiling broadly at me.
Ayesha explained that she had invited her uncle and aunt to join us for iftaar. Hawa, my sister-in-law, appeared and laughed when she saw the surprised look on my face.
“Hawa bhen, is this old-timer treating you well?” I asked. It was a family practice that my mother started. She believed that we should ask this question if a person was going through bad times. It would allow them to speak out.
“Solly, my grumpy bro, sit down; I want to ask you something”, Baboo said. I felt a little scared and nervous, but curiosity got the better of me, and I grabbed a chair opposite him.
With a huge grin on his face, he asked, “So, I hear you’re in the market for a partner? Just tell me who it is you have your eye on, and I’ll go talk to her family and ask for her hand on your behalf.”
“You’re picking up stompies, my bro. Do you think at my age I would think of marriage when I can barely get out of bed without the aches and pains, and which aunty would want a grumpy old man like me?” I asked him.
“Well, your granddaughter says you spend odd hours of the day chatting on the phone with a goofy smile on your face. So, who is this Aunty?” he asked, smiling mischievously.
I laughed, and I explained that I was chatting to Muhammed and Baboo, surprised at first, smiled at me and said he was pleased to hear that.
We retired to the living room, and I gently nudged him, enquiring about his coming out of his cave to visit. He responded that he could not refuse his nieces’ invitation. “Well, I am glad she did and that you accepted. It is good to spend some time with you.”
We spent the afternoon walking down memory lane. As we sat talking, Luqmaan ran in and gave his granduncle salaam and a big hug. “Big Nana, do you have any sweets in your pocket?” he asked, salivating.
Luqmaan was thrilled when Baboo told him that Hawa had packed sweets for him and bound off toward the kitchen to claim his bounty.
We walked to the masjid together for Asr salah, and I introduced him to the musalees at the masjid. Of course, the men began comparing their health stories and family issues, and it was pretty funny when Imam called Baboo and me to sit in the front row as his khutbah was complaining about health.
The Prophet (ﷺ) states in a Hadith: “There are two blessings in which most people are in great loss: 1) Good health and 2) Free time.” (Bukhari)
How true the Prophet (ﷺ) is! Many of us have had or have good health and free-time. However, how many of us can answer with a true heart that we used these two blessings the way that they are meant to be used or have shown appreciation towards the Almighty the way we should have?
The Almighty has not given us this good health to waste; He has given health and time to us for a purpose; that we worship Him the way He is meant to be worshipped, to spread His religion and to call people towards Islam; and to help Humanity who are in dire need of help.
Then again, how many of us have put this good health to use?