There was once a man who was going to travel to a dangerous land. He goes to the house of a man, well known for his honesty. He knocks the door and tells him: "I'm giving you $1440 to keep with you as I am travelling to a dangerous place. When I get back, I only want $17 back." The honest man stood there perplexed but agreed.
The next day, the traveller returned to the honest man's house and asked him for $17. The honest man told him that he forgot and that he had spent it all. The traveller forgave him since he knew that this man was honest enough to give it back later.
The next day, the same man travelled to the same dangerous place and gave the same honest man $1440 to keep and at the end of the day, he was to take $17 back. The traveller returned from his travels and asks the honest man for his $17. The honest man replied that he was so engrossed in having a good time with his friends, that he spent all the money again.
Once again, the traveller forgave him, knowing he didn't do it on purpose. This same incident starts to happen every day, whereby the honest man is given $1440 and is expected to return only $17 but fails to do so.
Later, his child became sick and the doctor who was going to give the treatment told the honest man that if he wished for his child to be looked after, the fee was $1440. The honest man started to panic realising he could not afford $1440. It then struck him that the traveller used to give him that same amount.
He ran to the traveller's house and asked him in a panic for $1440. The traveller told him that due to his feeble excuses, he stopped going to his house as he lost faith in his honesty.
The Irony is that this story is directly relevant to every single one of us. It is quite remarkable that Allah (swt) gives us 1440 minutes each day and only specifies 17 minutes of that back in prayer. But due to the ignorance of people and the whisperings of Shaytaan, we are blinded towards the minute scale of what we are giving back.
This story points out three things:
- The importance of Salaah and how little we must give back.
- The mercy of Allah that He forgives us even after such blunders.
- The fact that we only realise how important something is (in this case gift of wealth) until it is gone.