I came across a story about a man who married from the same family, where some of its members have a hereditary disease causing difficulty hearing as age progresses. The man one day became suspicious that his wife’s hearing had starting to deteriorate, so he consulted their family doctor.

The doctor told him there is an easy way to make sure about his wife’s hearing. He said speak to her in moderate tone from 50 feet away, and if there is no response, go 10 feet closer and repeat the same talk. Again if there is no response, stand 20 feet away from her and say the same, then from 10 feet, and if she still does not respond, he should go behind her back and speak. He said this is the way to make sure about the strength of his wife’s hearing.

The man went home and found his wife preparing lunch in the kitchen, so he stood 50 feet away from her and asked what she was preparing for lunch. She did not answer, so he stood 40 feet away and asked the same question – again no answer. The he spoke from 20 feet and the result was the same. He finally stood behind her back and said: What are you preparing for lunch my dear? And her answer was: This is the fifth time I’m telling you – the chicken is in the oven!

Do not assume you are always right, because the problem may be on your side. Is it not that we are not aware of our mistakes – we are highly focused on the mistakes of others. We must always start with ourselves make sure that we are on the right track before trying to correct or advise others, because we may be on the wrong track and must mend it.

On another note, I learned all of a sudden that a close friend had died on Thursday night. The hardest part is that I learned it not over the phone or from a visit by someone; rather I saw it in a Facebook post. What timing, and how hard it is because one cannot attend the funeral amid the COVID-19 circumstances, and you cannot visit the family for the same reason. The phone is your only way of communication in order to comfort the family members, or for them to comfort you indeed. It is a two-way road. May Allah bless your soul Adnan.

Final word: “Everyone wants to be the sun to lighten up someone’s life, but why not be the moon, to brighten in the darkest hour?” – Anon