There was a young man named Ashraf who had decided to sell away his motorbike. Since it was still in excellent working order, he knew that he should be able to sell it at a good price.
Before going to the market, he had to pass by his neighbour’s house. Mr Ali, his neighbour, was an old retiree who liked to sit, at the front of his house, on his favourite chair, watching the world go by.
Mr Ali asked, “Assalaamuálaykum Ashraf, my good young man, my good neighbour. Where are you off to?”
Ashraf responded, “I’m going to sell my bike today at the market, Uncle Ali. There’s a demand for motorbikes like mine these days. I’ll earn plenty of money. And I’m going to use it to open a little business.”
“Son, don’t forget to say, ‘InSha Allah”,” Mr Ali reminded him.
“For what? I’m going now already. Why should I say, InSha Allah? I have my motorbike right here. I am going to a very busy market with many interested buyers and my motorbike is in brilliant shape! My bike type is also very popular. I am sure to sell it today!” Ashraf said.
Mr Ali shook his head in disapproval.
With a smirk on his face, Ashraf went off to the market.
“What a silly man,” Ashraf mocked.
It was afternoon now. Ashraf stood there, at the market, waiting for hours for customers. Nobody seemed interested in his motorbike. Some people just looked at his bike for a few seconds and then walked on. Asraf was getting desperate and disappointed. The day was almost over.
Finally, near the end of the day, a potential customer looked at his motorbike and examined it for more than a couple of minutes.
“How much are you selling this bike for?” he asked.
“This is my chance!” thought Ashraf silently in his heart.
“$2 500!” Ashraf gushed with excitement.
“Let me test it first, then I will decide,” the man said.
“Sure!” Ashraf quickly passed him his helmet and key. “I’m sure you are not going to be disappointed.”
The man got on the motorbike and rode away. Ashraf felt confident that he would not come home empty-handed today.
Half an hour passed. One hour passed. Two hours passed. The customer was nowhere to be seen!
Ashraf waited and waited until the market stalls had all packed up and all the market-goers had gone home. It was starting to get dark but Ashraf decided to wait for a few more hours. He got so tired that he started to sleep on some rocks.
He was awakened by the crowing of roosters that lived on a farm nearby. It was already morning!
Ashraf sat up and looked around. Still no sign of his motorbike.
With tears rolling down his eyes, Ashraf finally realised that he had been cheated.
On his way home, he met the old neighbour who was curious as to what had happened.
“So, Ashraf? How did it go? You’ve got your money?”
With his head down, Ashraf cried as he replied, “InSha Allah, I went to the market. InSha Allah, someone tested my motorcycle. InSha Allah, I waited for a long time. InSha Allah, my bike didn’t return. InSha Allah, I walked back home.”
“Hey, hey, hold on, what’s wrong, my son? What happened?” the old man was truly concerned.
“I regret not saying ‘InSha Allah’. You were right, Uncle.”
“Ashraf, my boy, it’s not the phrase InSha Allah that determines our success. Only Allah can determine if one succeeds or fail. By saying InSha Allah and believing that Allah will decide it for us, we are proving to Allah something. We are proving to Allah that we are not sure if our plan will work or not. And if it does, it’s only because Allah has willed it to happen. When we say InSha Allah, we should, at the same time, also be fully convinced that we cannot make it happen by ourselves. We are leaving it for Allah to decide, we are leaving the result to Allah. We show Allah that we understand that He controls the situation. He can make something happen or not happen. It’s up to Him. Not us.”
The writer is a student at GHHS Khull Noorabad. [email protected]