The Sob Stories! Reply

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For Wednesday September 11th 2013

Between Us Only!

The ‘Sob Stories’!

A growing trend that too needs to be nipped in the bud!

  • Whoever abstains from asking others for some financial help, Allah will give him and save him from asking others, Allah will make him self-sufficient – Al Bukhari
  • Abu Huraira related that the Prophet had said: He who makes a habit of asking from others reaches out for a brand of Fire, so let him refrain or continue, as he desires – Muslim.
  • Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day – Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a life time – Chinese Saying.

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Images Sob – For Demonstration Purposes Only!

In one of my earlier articles a few years ago – I wrote about this incident that had happened to us in the family after returning to the place we had left – and after the Zanzibar Revolution. Our uncle had been hosting us in his house to stay – which originally was our own house before – arriving there broke and penniless! Food was an issue due to depleted funds – and in one of the meals I had casually remarked – being a novice young boy without thinking properly – that I had enjoyed the food as being half hungry!

My late father was visibly upset in ‘forgetting myself and in embarrassing the family per se’! He sadly lamented to me – we come from a proud stock  and branch – and we do not stoop low or degrade ourselves in front of others – even if excusably that we are hungry and in need! Keep your head high – and these are tests from God – and we will overcome – and win!

Remember this always – my son! And that was my late father’s outlook and philosophy – though he rode the same donkey in Oman to school with others that later came to be very high VIPs! He had never in his life approached them for anything – and even if they had asked him if we needed anything – he would reply strongly steadfastly that ‘we were okay – thank you for asking!’

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Images Sob – For Demonstration Purposes Only!

One time at a shopping complex, I saw this old banger type of car – which speaks volumes of the expatriate driver of the car – he half clutched and abruptly started off the car – when he saw me approaching him! I followed him to the flat he was staying – and asked him why did you do that? His response was – I thought you were coming to beg some money from me ‘with a sob’ story – like many I have met at this place! So I told him off – all I wanted to tell you was you had your full lights beam on – being day time anyway! As he was apologising profusely – I decided to leave him – before I gave him ‘a real piece of my mind’! That is how low we the locals have stooped on – to vet such treatment – even from peoples that ‘have millions of beggars’ back at home!

During the month of Ramadhan we had women with children tailing behind them with all kinds of sob stories. The new trend is from Syria – but what boggles the mind is how they have entered the country – if they were real and genuine cases! It reminds me of the Arabic comedy scene of (Professor) Ghawar – asking the border police in the scene – why he was ‘not asking the goats’ crossing the border ‘for their passports’?

A friend of mine was telling me of one particular lady who had a difficult misbehaving son – who was causing her tremendous woe and troubles by his behaviours – even to his wife and children. The boy was terminated jobless with the same crude behaviour and attitudes at work! His wife had left him – taking the children with her. The poor mother was suffering terribly and a lot – mothers being mothers! Even if she knew deep down about her son! The poor lady was going from house to house to collect money to pay for the escapades of his son – perhaps even drugs related too!

Believe me, I am a softie for such sob stories – and I am caught many times that too late I have been scammed and duped – and have been fooled again! I asked a Religious Person once – he said to me – if you have the money and you want to help – just do it. You are not responsible for ‘the sins that the person is getting for hoodwinking others’ – that is not your responsibilities – but his alone! Some of them have even x-rays of why ‘they are disabled, invalid and incapacitated! Unless you are in the Medical profession – you just have to believe what you see!

When we came back to Oman in the early 1970s – this trend was not there – and even in isolated cases if there were – it was very tiny and minute – not like now ‘where is the fashion and trend – of getting fast and easy money from gullible and unsuspecting lots. And even if they were a bit suspicious – they still give for peace and conveniences – and seeing the ‘poor children’s eyes of desperation and need’!

What makes me worry a lot and be concerned – is perhaps we are ‘turning away real and genuine’ cases of need and want – by being overzealous sceptical and suspicious! I recall personally an incident of a taxi driver whose car had run out of petrol on the road. I was the only one who had stopped. And the few Rials I gave him – I gave more as ‘sadaka’ – alms – but the shock was on me and my sneering sarcastic staff the next day – when he brought a big plate of halwa and his farm produce – ‘because you were the only person who had stopped, trusted and helped me!

My books and my columns have many such kind of stories! Take Care!

By: Majid Al-Suleimany

 Date – September 8th 2013