God is in the details
The great advantage of living in a multicultural country is that people get to know each other’s religion and culture. It happens that some people even visit you to announce the “Good News” and try to convert you. You do not have to fear if your faith is strong.
I always welcome them, Christians, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Ahmadhys, Rama Krishna people… when they come to my door, firstly, because we must never drive away people who come in peace towards you and secondly, I always want them to tell me what the God in whom they believe has done for them in their own life. So, my question is invariably: “Can you tell me an occasion when you felt that God has intervened in your life?”
Unfortunately, till now I have never heard any convincing answer from anyone. Yet, I would like to narrate a story which somebody told me. I was visiting a small island in the Indian Ocean populated by Christians. Looking for Halal food I came to a tiny restaurant whose owner was Amman. Very soon we became friends and I had all my food at his place.[pullquote_right]“Can you tell me an occasion when you felt that God has intervened in your life?”[/pullquote_right]
He told me that when he was still a young child he used to live in an extended family with numerous cousins and many uncles. One day the eldest uncle called all the children who were on school holidays and promised a reward to each of them if they just cleaned the yard in front of their house. But it was only Amman who took the job seriously. While the other children played all sorts of games the whole day he swept the yard with a coconut broom and collected all the garbage.
On his return in the afternoon and seeing the clean yard, the uncle called the children who ran towards him and received each ten cents, which for the children of that time was quite a sum. He completely forgot Amman who, unlike the other children, had not run and grabbed him.
So Amman sat under a big Litchi tree with a heavy heart. Soon he started feeling tears running down his cheeks. He told me at that tender age he thought of God and the injustice he endured. On looking to the ground, however, he found a new coin of twenty cents staring at him. He was convinced it was a miracle from his God who had pitied him.
On another occasion, a young man was studying abroad for his third and final year for a BA in English. One day during his examinations he went to take a vocabulary paper. He found it very easy and was sure to score very good marks. He had to answer on a two-sheet questionnaire. Unfortunately, on coming back to his room, he discovered that instead of giving back one questionnaire sheet he had brought it along with him. That meant that he would be marked on only fifty per cent. Depressed, he went on his praying mat and performed two rakaats and asked God to help him because he never meant to bring that paper home.
He was tortured interiorly until the results were published. God only knows how in that particular paper, he had scored 70%. Until this day he had never understood what had happened and considers it as a miracle on the part of his God who had heard his prayer. It may be that the teacher had thought he had lost the paper and had compensated the student for it.
I do not know how far the story of Amman is true but I am sure of the veracity of the second one because it happened to me.
Abdool Rahman Dauharry
Abdool Rahman Dauharry is Rector of Victoria College, Mauritius. Formerly, language and literature teacher, he also taught Islamic Studies at secondary level.