Volume 8 - Issue 07
JULY 2010
Other Articles

The Story of Jabbar

- A Real Life Account of Unconditional Gratitude and Faith

Faith is to believe what you do not see.
The reward of faith is to see what you believe.

- St. Augustine

Among the sea of human faces at the Nagpur railway premises, you would certainly not have noticed him. He prefers it that way for he has little time to spare for the odd conversation that would take him away from his duties.

In the bustle of the crowds and frenzied activity of the vendors, he darts in and out lending a hand to one and sparing a smile for the other. He is especially gentle with children and makes sure he helps the passengers manage them as much as he does their overweight luggage.

Come rain or sweeping winds, he is there every day with no sign of fatigue or frustration – without letting go the gentle smile on his face.


So who is this man who is so well regarded by fellow workers and superiors? What makes him bring so much commitment to his work that he excels in every task that’s assigned to him?

Meet Jabbar, the ever dependable peon (personal attendant to railway engineers) – an epitome of care and affection; a devout Mohammedan who assiduously practices the Namaaz and reads the Holy Quran daily.

One day, a fellow worker intrigued by Jabbar’s enormous zest and optimism asked him: “Mian, how do you do this day in and day out? You never seem to tire of smiling or feel the need to take a break from work?”

To this, Jabbar just shrugged his shoulders and dismissed the question with his modest signature smile.

Undeterred, his co-worker prodded: “Tell me, how do you manage to endear yourself to everyone? And, more important, how did you inculcate all the good qualities of devotion to duty, regard for fellow human beings, and commitment to religion?”

Noticing the sincerity of the question, Jabbar uncharacteristically took a break from work and sat down next to his friend. He quietly replied, “It all stems from my faith in Allah.”

“I can understand that, but how did you develop such unflinching faith in Allah?”


If you wish to know Jabbar’s answer, then read on. There is a message for each one of us in his story – a message that we need to carry within us just as Jabbar does.

“I have been working as a peon in the Nagpur station for some time now. I was lucky I got a job that I liked. I was also fortunate that I was married to a good woman who loved and respected me very much. We were very happy and peaceful for about four years.”

Jabbar’s voice trailed away as if lost in thought. Eager to know more, his friend prompted him, “Go on…tell me.”

“Well, even after four years had passed, my wife showed no sign of conceiving. Although it did not matter to me as much, she started getting restless. The agony of not having children was slowly becoming evident in her attitude. I would return home from work to see her tear-ridden face.

Even at nights, I would wake up to the sound of her sobs. So, I decided we should see a doctor. We were both examined by a few and told that she would never bear a child as her womb was small in size.”

The friend interrupted, “But you do have children, Jabbar, and lovely ones too!”

Jabbar smiled again and continued, “Don’t be in a hurry, my friend, I will tell you all. Listening to the doctors’ diagnosis, my wife’s hopes were shattered and she continued to weep day and night. I could not bear this sight and would try consoling her, pleading with her to accept what fate had destined for us. I even told her we could adopt a child.”

“God in His all mercifulness gave us children, health and wealth. It is our duty to live every minute in His service spreading His message of love through small acts of kindness and remembering His name. When we do that, we need not pray for His Grace. God himself bestows upon us His Grace and enters our houses just as the sun’s rays rush in through our windows the moment we open them.”

A look of amazement passed on the friend’s face. “Do you mean your children are adopted? I would never have guessed.”


Jabbar let out a loud laugh that was so atypical of his gentle demeanor. This startled his co-worker even more because he had never seen Jabbar laugh so uninhibitedly.

Still chuckling, Jabbar said, “Didn’t I tell you to be patient. Now listen to me without interrupting, will you?”

The friend nodded his head vigorously, afraid that Jabbar would retreat into his silent mode and refuse to tell him more.

Jabbar went on. “When my family knew about my wife’s condition, they goaded me to get married again. I would have none of it. I loved my wife a lot and had no desire to hurt her feelings. I went to my father and asked him for guidance. My father, a spiritually enlightened person, said, ‘Have faith in Allah. Read the Holy Quran. Be regular in your Namaaz and constantly remember the name of Allah. Visit the durgah of Muslim saints, pray at their feet, and leave the rest to Allah.

“Inspired by my father’s advice, my wife and I performed the Namaaz five times a day and read the Holy Quran without fail. We spared no effort to help the poor and the needy and visited the durgah sharif of Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti at Ajmer every year for two years. In the third year, to our amazement, we were blessed with a son.  Our second son came soon after. So, where we thought we couldn’t have even one child, Allah had mercifully put two in our laps!”

The friend couldn’t remain quiet any longer and said in a conspiratorial tone, “So, the doctors were wrong, weren’t they?”

“Of course they were wrong,” Jabbar replied. “We took our two boys to the same doctors and told them their diagnosis had been proved wrong. They were stumped and had no answer to what seemed an obvious miracle!”


Tears rolled down Jabbar’s eyes when he continued to say, “My friend, do you now know why I consider it my duty to lead a spiritually enlightened life, ever-prepared to offer my gratitude at the feet of Allah?”

Jabbar’s emotion was too palpable for the friend to respond. He had finally got his answer yet waited to hear more.

“God in His all mercifulness gave us children, health and wealth. It is our duty to live every minute in His service spreading His message of love through small acts of kindness and remembering His name. When we do that, we need not pray for His Grace. God himself bestows upon us His Grace and enters our houses just as the sun’s rays rush in through our windows the moment we open them.”

From Jabbar’s words, it was evident to his friend that despite being a humble peon, he had attained lofty heights in his faith, love and service of the Almighty.

Jabbar has a lesson for all of us. Gratitude is indeed one of the most powerful positive forces in the real world; it is what makes us aware of His unseen hand around us at all times. Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba says, “Whatever talent a person has should be dedicated to the service of humanity. Therein lies fulfillment. All men are moulded out of the same Divine essence. Service to man will help the Divinity to blossom. It will make your life worthwhile. Service to man is service to God for He is in every man, every living being. Offer your talents at the feet of God; let every act be a flower, free from creeping worms of envy and egoism, and full of fragrance, love and sacrifice.”

With this message, let us carry Jabbar’s example in our hearts and endeavor to emulate his devotion to duty, sincerity of purpose and a boundless love for the Lord.

And, next time you happen to be in the Nagpur railway station, try and look around for Jabbar. Tell him how his story has inspired you to become a better human being, ever joyous in God’s unconditional care.

Illustration: Mrs. Lyn Kriegler-Elliott, New Zealand

Contributed by Mr. M. S. Prakash Rao

Dear Reader, did this article inspire you in any way? Do you have a similar story to share? Please tell us your reflections about this article by writing to h2h@radiosai.org mentioning your name and country. Thank you for your time.

- Heart2Heart Team


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