The Hat or The Head?


As Salaamu 'alaykum and peace to all,

The Hat or The Head?

I was watching an international news channel that day and was amazed when I saw how a group of people highlighting and reminding the many good things they did for others.

They made me think.

I know that we need to admit that we should always be thankful to the ones who had helped us, right? Remembering the good things others did for us would keep us humble and would remind us to extend our help to others too.

In fact, a Chinese proverb once said,

When eating bamboo sprouts, remember the man who planted them

And I totally agree with it.

It is quite clear that this proverb was very much talking about the recipient of the good deeds, you agree? The recipient should always remember the person who had done the good things for them. This is called gratitude.

Just like how we should be thankful to our parents who had raised us up, teachers who taught us A-B and C to the ones who taught us wisdoms in life and friends who woke up middle of the night to listen to our songs of joys and sorrows relentlessly.

Of course we should always thank them for what they had done for us. In fact, Prophet Muhammad (may Allaah’s peace and blessings be upon him) had asked us all to thank the favour done by others for us.

He (may Allaah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said,

Whoever does you a favour, then reciprocate, and if you cannot find anything with which to reciprocate, then pray for him until you think that you have reciprocated him.( Narrated by Abu Dawood :1672)

So, yes, we should reciprocate equally. If we could not find a way to return the favour equally, then Prophet (pbuh) said that we should thank him by praying for goodness for this person, inshaAllaah.

But this is not the point in this story.

The point here is this- What if the ones who did the good deeds are the ones who reminded us of their own good deeds? What if they are the ones who constantly and repeatedly demanded that we should remember their deeds? What about the people who are given the responsibilities to perform those so-called-deeds and then, demanded that others thank them for doing their job and responsibilities?

It made me question their sincerity and honesty in performing those deeds.

I could not help but wondered if they knew the consequences of reminding others of their good deeds.

A hadeeth from our beloved Prophet Muhammad (may Allaah's peace and blessings be upon him) crossed my mind,

Muslim recorded that Abu Tharr, may Allaah be pleased with him, said that Allaah's Messenger (sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam) said:

There are three people that Allaah will not speak to on the Day of Judgement, will not look at them, will not purify them; and for them is a painful punishment: one who lets his Izar hang below his ankles, the Mannan with what he gives, and the Munffiq who does his business with false oaths. (Muslim no. 106)

(A mannan is one who always remind others of the favours and good that he has done for them)

Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (may Allaah’s peace and blessings be upon him) has said that Allaah would not speak to 3 types of people on the Day of Judgment.

He, the Al Mighty will not speak, will not look, will not purify and will punish these 3 types of people on the Day of Judgement.

And one of these 3 is the people who always reminded others of the favors and good they had done for them…

Astaghfirullaah, this very statement made my tummy squirmed.

Just look at what Allaah has said.

Isn’t it scary when the only One that could help us on that Day refused to not only speak; but He would not even to look at us?

Imagine Allaah turning away His face from us. Na’uzubillaah….

It felt bad enough if our parents, friends or even stranger turned their faces away when they saw us, right? What more if it was Allaah, our Creator, who turned His face?

Ya Allaah, I beg and seek protection from such behaviour.

I felt sad thinking of the deed-reminders. Do they know and are aware of the severity of their acts?

Don’t they remember that they are able to do all the good deeds just because of Allaah’s blessings on them? Don’t they feel that instead of asking human to thank them, they are the ones who should be thanking Allaah instead? Don’t they feel that instead of reminding their good deeds to others, they should remind themselves of the goodness in life and favours that Allaah has given them? Do they actually think that they could perform all their so-called good deeds without Allaah’s Permission? Don’t they, instead of being proud and announcing to the world their good deeds, be humble and make sincere prayers that Allaah accepts their good deeds as a preparation for their hereafter?

I wondered what are they actually looking for when doing good to others? Perhaps name and fame? Maybe honor and respect? What about recognition, credit or admiration? Could it be for appreciation and acknowledgement? Or possibly be for influence, control and power?

Astaghfirullaah, astaghfirullaah, astaghfirullaah…

Let me share with you this one powerful quote by Shaykh Muzaffer Ozak for us all to think, reflect and ponder upon….

If someone gave you a beautiful, expensive new hat, wouldn’t you be grateful for the generous gift? But shouldn’t you be even more grateful for the One Who gave you the head to put that hat on.

Shouldn’t we, my brothers and sisters?

More importantly, shouldn’t they too?

Think about it…

Copyright © Sis Zabrina 2008

Sis Zabrina
Life Storyteller
Author of Life is an Open Secret
-18 Inspirational Stories from Ordinary life experiences-

Now blogging at

~ Life Storyteller Blog: Your Source for Islamic Motivational and Inspirational Stories~

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Sis Zabrina, is a Life Storyteller, motivational and inspirational writer and speaker; and author of Islamic motivational book Life is an Open Secret She maintains an active blog at


Anonymous said…
Salaam Sis,

Something to ponder upon indeed.In my opinion, this behaviour of 'tooting their own horn' especially among political leaders stemmed from lack of spiritual awareness. When everything was done just because for physical and immediate gratification, all sorts of chaos will happen.

No doubt that we live in a western dominated world where their values and culture dictates most ouf our everybody life's action.

Perhaps it's time people step out and question the value that they were raised in, or the value that was preached onto them.
Unknown said…
Assalammualaikum Sis Zab..

I thank Allah, for shielding me from being Mannan... Because thru my life experiance, its hard to find the " un-mannan " homosapiens..That is why in Islam, we are encourage to pay a visit to sick people.. Because by remembering death.. All mannan in is fill fly away.. Just like after we spray insect repellent, all the mosquitos will fly away... but it will come back (dont forget)...hehe.. Think about it...

p/s: I had make ur book " Life is a open secret" as a present to everybody. Because I think, every people should have the book. Such a great book to have in my big hand bag...

Love, Peace and Harmony

Nik Siti Maryam
Sis Zabrina said…

As Salaamu 'alaykum and peace to all,

Absoutely Sis Naziehah!

The sad truth is this:

We voted for them thus giving them the opportunities to enjoy the rights, power AND responsibilities they have now. And instead having the understanding of this very basic and straightforward fact of how they got the power to begin with, they demanded that we should be thankful to them for doing what they are assigned to do when we elected them in the first place.

What an irony, huh?

Love and salaam
Sis Zabrina
Sis Zabrina said…

As Salaamu 'alaykum Sis Nik,

Love your analogy of the fly. Come to think of it, they do 'bug' me every single time i see those posters, tv adverts and newspaper adverts!

Wonder what kind of spray would be able to repel them?

JazakAllaah khayran for giving away Life is an Open Secret as present to everybody sis. I am humbled by it. I do truly appreciate the support of readers like you.

May Allaah reward us all in our efforts to make ourselves His beloved servants, ameen,

Love and salaam
Sis Zabrina