The Hunchback and the Chappatis
Islamic Articles – Islamic Stories
Tuesday, 15 March 2011 17:25
A woman baked Chappatis for members of her family and an extra one for a hungry passerby. She kept the extra chappati on the window sill, for whosoever would take it away. Everyday, a hunchback came and took away the chappati. Instead of expressing gratitude, he muttered the following words as he went his way:
“The evil you do, remains with you: The good you do, comes back to you!” This went on, day after day.
Everyday, the hunchback came, picked up the chappati and uttered the words:
“The evil you do, remains with you: The good you do, comes back to you!” The woman felt irritated. “Not a word of gratitude,” she said to herself.
“Everyday this hunchback utters this jingle! What does he mean?”
One day, exasperated, she decided to do away with him. “I shall get rid of this hunchback, “she said. And what did she do? She added poison to the chappati she prepared for him! As she was about to keep it on the window sill, her hands trembled.
“What is this I am doing?” she said. Immediately, she threw the chappati into the fire, prepared another one and kept it on the window- sill. As usual, the hunchback came, picked up the chappati and muttered the words:
“The evil you do, remains with you: The good you do, comes back to you!” The hunchback proceeded on his way, blissfully unaware of the war raging in the mind of the woman.
Everyday, as the woman placed the chappati on the window-sill, she offered a prayer for her son who had gone to a distant place to seek his fortune. For many months, she had no news of him. She prayed for his safe return.
That evening, there was a knock on the door. As she opened it, she was surprised to find her son standing in the doorway. He had grown thin and lean. His garments were tattered and torn. He was hungry, starved and weak. As he saw his mother, he said, “Mom, it’s a miracle I’m here. While I was but a mile away, I was so famished that I collapsed. I would have died, but just then an old hunchback passed by. I begged of him for a morsel of food, and he was kind enough to give me a whole chappati. As he gave it to me, he said, “This is what I eat everyday: today, I shall give it to you, for your need is greater than mine!”
As the mother heard those words, her face turned pale. She leaned against the door for support. She remembered the poisoned chappati that she had made that morning. Had she not burnt it in the fire, it would have been eaten by her own son, and he would have lost his life! It was then that she realized the significance of the words:
“The evil you do, remains with you: The good you do, comes back to you!”
Nabi Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam has said:
“Keep Allah in mind wherever you are; follow a wrong with a right that offsets it; and treat people courteously”
Hadith narrated by At-Tirmidhi
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