In our lives we have two choices. We can touch and add value to our lives and the lives of others or mar and decrease the value of our lives and the lives of others. The choice we make would ultimately determine our standing in the sight of Allah Ta’ala which eventually would mean success or failure in the eternal and everlasting life of the hereafter.

Once a young man who was a student in one of the universities, found himself walking besides Professor as they headed home after the days lectures. And because this particular professor was largely loved by all who knew him because of his caring and understanding ways the young man easily got into a conversation with him.  

As they went along chatting, they saw lying in the path a pair of old shoes, which they supposed to belong to a poor man who was employed in a field close by, and who had nearly finished his day's work. 

The student turned to the professor, saying: "Let us play a trick on this man: we will hide his shoes, and conceal ourselves behind those bushes, and wait to see his perplexity when he cannot find them." 

"My young friend," answered the professor, "we should never amuse ourselves at the expense of the poor. But you are rich, and may give yourself a much greater pleasure by means of this poor man. Put a coin in each shoe, and then we will hide ourselves and watch how this affects him." 

The student did so and they both placed themselves behind the bushes close by. The poor man soon finished his work, and came across the field to the path where he had left his coat and shoes.

While putting on his coat he slipped his foot into one of his shoes, but feeling something hard, he stooped down to feel what it was, and found the coin. Astonishment and wonder were seen spreading over his face. He gazed upon the coin, turned it around, and looked at it again and again all the time beaming. 

He then looked around him on all sides, but no person was to be seen. He now put the money into his pocket, and proceeded to put on the other shoe; but his surprise was doubled on finding the other coin. 

His feelings overcame him; he fell upon his knees, looked up to the heavens and uttered aloud a fervent thanksgiving in which he spoke of his wife who was sick and helpless, and his children without bread, whom this timely bounty, from some unknown hand, would save from perishing. 

The student stood there deeply affected, and his eyes filled with tears. "Now," said the professor, are you not much better pleased than if you had played your intended trick?" 

The youth replied, "You have taught me a lesson which I will never forget. I feel now the truth of these words, which I never understood before: "It's more blessed to give than to receive."

Hadrat Abdullah bin Abbas Radiyallaahu Anhu reported that the Prophet Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa sallam said that encouraging good, prohibiting evil, lifting the burden of the weak person and removing an offensive thing from a path are all acceptable prayers to Allah. [ibn Majah] 

Many other hadeeth speak and encourage doing good for the benefit of others. In the times we live in where almost everyone is in need of that helping hand, that kind deed or even as little as that encouraging smile these teachings practically applied are crucially important if we want to better the value of our lives in the sight of Allah Ta’ala.

At the end of our lives our value would be measured with what we did for others more than what we did for ourselves. The choice is therefore ours!

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