An incident in a supermarket.
It was a hot day in summer and as a Brit, when we say it’s hot in summer we mean it’s HOT. Our summers are usually rubbish full of rain and cold. It was morning, I was shopping in the supermarket with my daughter who at the time was a lot younger and was sitting in the trolley chair. I was dressed in an abaya (long Islamic dress) and dressed summery ^.^ underneath, I was sweltering.
I was walking around the supermarket, pushing the trolley as I turned the aisle the bottom of my abaya got caught and stuck in the trolley wheel I mean really jammed. the Muslimah (female Muslims) know about the long abayas that sweep and clean the floor and get caught in anything like escalators but we still love them. In my mind I instantly freaked out I thought I wont be able to get it out of the wheel and if I do I’ll rip it leaving myself over exposed.
Almost instantly two elderly white women appeared next to me, “your ‘dress’ is caught, we’ll lift up the trolley and you try to pull it out”. They both lifted up the trolley, I bent down trying to pull my abaya out, at the same time they were entertaining my daughter by baby talking to her. It was really wrapped around the wheel I managed to pull it out and didn’t rip it! I stood up, put my hand on one of the women’s shoulder relief, “oh my God I was gonna have a heart attack”, she laughed, “is your dress ok? have you ripped it?”, I found this incredibly warming not only had they just went out of their way to help me (don’t forget these are elderly women picking up a trolley with my shopping and daughter in, it’s not easy) they were also concerned about my clothing. I also have no idea how they spotted it was caught. I said “don’t worry about it I don’t care”, I was so exasperated I gave them my thanks and gratitude then carried on with my shopping as did they.
I realised I was so freaked out that I didn’t even look at them in their face or their eye and I didn’t even know what they looked like, if I saw them again in the supermarket I wouldn’t even be able discern that they were the two elderly white women that had just helped me.
The moral of this story
The current climate in the UK and the world especially in the West towards Islam and Muslims is a very negative one and women are at the forefront of Islamophobic attacks. Due to all of this hostility I already have my preconceived notions. Even though the women had just helped me i still thought they were going to make a comment ‘why would you wear that thing when something like this can happen’ but they didn’t they were more concerned about my abaya then i was. The negative attacks are in the minority but have been brought to the forefront which cause a lot of fear. There are a lot of kind, caring and helpful people in society that do kind acts for no other reason then that is their nature.
The small act of kindness from these women helped me more than just that mere act, they shattered my preconceived notions about people’s prejudices towards Muslims and mine towards them.
Our religion Islam
Our religion Islam teaches us mercy and kindness to others, if we want the betterment of this society then we have to seek out ways to help or just like these women did, when we come across someone who may not necessarily be in need, help them without even offering.