Allah mentions in the Qur’aan
و تلك الايام نداولها بين الناس
“And these days we rotate among mankind (conditions of prosperity and adversity)” (Al Qur’aan)
There was once an extremely wealthy man who seated himself at the supper table about to partake of the sumptuous meal that lay before him by his wife. As he was just about to begin eating a knock was heard on the door. The wife rose from her table and went to the door to see who was knocking. As she opened the door she found standing before her a beggar asking for food. When the husband saw who it was that interrupted his meal time, in a fit of rage, he rose, screamed at the poor beggar and slammed the door on his face. The beggar was devastated and dejected. He left with a heavy heart whilst the wealthy man returned to the table and enjoyed his meal.
Not very long thereafter calamity struck the wealthy man and in a short period of time he had lost all that he possessed. Overnight he was reduced to a pauper. His wife on the other hand, on account of him not being able to maintain her left the marital home.
Some years later the woman married another very wealthy man with whom she lived happily. One day as she lay the table at supper time for her husband, there was a knock on the door. She went to the door and once again found that it was a beggar asking for food. When she took a second look at the beggar, to her shock she discovered that this beggar was her ex-husband. Immediately tears welled up in her eyes and she began to cry. She quickly wiped away the tears, closed the door and returned to the table. Her husband, seeing her moistened eyes, sensed that there was something that had distressed her. He asked her as to what was it that made her cry and saddened her so much. Did he the one at the door tell her something? At first she kept silent reluctant to let her husband in as to what she had just seen. The husband however insisted that he be told the cause of her distress. She then told him that the beggar at the door was once her husband who had been very wealthy. Seeing him in this condition brought tears to her eyes.
The husband being a kind and compassionate man asked her to give away to the beggar all that which was prepared for their meal of which he had not even partaken even a morsel. The wife quickly packed away all the food and gave it to her ex-husband. After the beggar had left the husband turned to her and said, “Do you know who the beggar was that your ex-husband had screamed at and drove away from his door?” She replied, “No”. He replied, “I was the beggar that time.”
What we have today here is no guarantee that it will be with us tomorrow. Countless of incidents tell of people that become wealthy overnight and countless of incidents tell of those who become paupers overnight. From rags to riches and from riches to rags can happen to anyone. This is the system of Allah Ta’ala. When ingratitude is shown for His bounties, then these are snatched away and when patience is exercised over difficulties then tables are sure to turn.
If the above story seems far -fetched then the annals of South African history tell of a man who languished in a prison cell for 27 long years only thereafter to occupy the highest seat of power in the country. If this is not the system of Allah Ta’ala that brings the lowest of the low to the highest of the high then what else can it be?
One day you are the landlord/boss/millionaire and the next day you are the tenant/worker/pauper.
May Allah Ta’ala protect us from pride, haughtiness and arrogance that stem from that which we possess, lest tomorrow we too suffer a fate similar to the man in the above story.