I've seen a lot of things over the years at various hospitals. I've dealt with the patients who were terminally ill, mentally unsound, drug addicts, gang members, murderers etc so there are few things which would catch me off-guard, right? Wrong. I was loading groceries in my car last Friday afternoon when a woman approached me in the parking lot asking for money. She could not have been older then 40. Like many, I've been in this sort of situation before but this time it was different. She needed money to feed her children with whom she was living in a cheap motel. She had lost her job and was rendered homeless by the financial meltdown. Quite a sob story huh? I have a fairly good idea when someone is lying(the egos rampant in the medical field is no joke) but this woman was telling me the honest truth. Its hard to convey in words the sadness I saw in her eyes, her hesitancy and embarrassment in asking for help was evident yet the hunger of her children compelled her.
I gave her some money, and in retrospect wish I had given more. She apologized and thanked me, I smiled and told her it was alright and to take care. She then went off and approached an elderly couple. Now three days later I'm still in a bit of shock. Its one thing to read about the recession in the papers or watch it on TV but it was nothing short of devastating to see its effects in the eyes of this mother. And there are millions more like her. It is a shocking testament to the growth of poverty in the United States. The entire financial system is a fraud, and the criminals who run it have the nerve say its the best system the world has ever known. This is "best system"? One which traps millions in permanent poverty while the blood sucking predatory elite stays permanently rich? This is dhulm(oppression) and it has placed the majority of us in slavery. Bad enough that people are hungry but to watch their own children starve, that's nothing less then torture.
It also dawned on me that we Muslims despite all the work we've done, need to do more. Especially those of us who are fairly well off, living comfortably, not worried where our next meal is coming from. Prophet Muhammed(Sallah allihi Wa salam) said “Feed the hungry and visit a sick person, and free the captive, if he be unjustly confined. Assist any person oppressed, whether Muslim or non-Muslim.” Wherever she is now, I hope the mother I met last week is doing better and her children fed inshallah.