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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Humility thy name: Mrs. Rafiqa Hussain and Dr. Muhammad Hussain

September 20, 2013. Louisville, Kentucky – The legends of Louisville; Mrs. Rafiqa Hussain and Dr. Muhammad Hussain were honored in a gathering at Islamic Society of Louisville.

I did not know them personally, but have met Dr. Hussain a few times. However, I have heard a lot of great things about them from my wife Yasmeen. This past week, we have had a luncheon with them and I was glad, I got to know them; humble beings who have served their community well.

Last night, I learned a whole lot more about them at the Louisville Islamic Center – there were two things in particular, that stood out and compelled me to share; a rare quality in individuals.

Do you remember Bill Gates? He is one of the first rich men of our times, who paved the way for Philanthropy while he is alive - His message is, don’t die with all your wealth for someone else to do something with it. Your kids don’t need it, so do something while you are alive and receive the pleasure of seeing the goodness work its way.

Dr. Hussain and Rafiqa are those two individuals. The President of the Center who knew Dr. Hussain spoke for nearly 35 minutes, and each item he mentioned was worthy of mention. I was absorbed listening to it. Indeed, it felt good to hear about good people. There was immense joy to see people like them.

I know many in Dallas, who are wealth accumulating machines and kept “receiving” it, but never got around to “giving”. Life’s emotional and spiritual balance comes from maintaining a balance between receiving and giving.  Some of them missed it, and their kids did not need their wealth either. They sorely missed out the pleasure of seeing their money do the work, and do some good.

Dr. Hussain and Rafiqa are blessed to have given and seen the results of that giving. While they gave, they were humble.  There is a real story from the times of Akbar, the Mogul King that reflects characteristic of this couple.

There was a man named Rahim, who was well known for his philanthropy, no one left his door without any help, he was a great “daani” giver.  The people noticed that he lowered his eyes and head while he was giving, they did not understand why he was not proud of giving, so they to go Tulsidas, the man who wrote Ramacharitmanas (Ramayana- 2nd composition) and wanted to know about this man Rahim. 

Tulsidas was curios so he writes this Doha (couplet) and sends to Rahim.

Aisi deni den ju, kit seekhay ho sain?
Jyoon jyoon kar oonchay , kyoon kyoon niche nain?

Where did your learn this form of giving o brother?
As you rise your hands to give, why do you lower your eyes?

Rahim was a great admirer of Tulsidas, and knew he was a religious man so he composed his doha in return.

Dain har koi aur hai, bhejat jo din rain
Log bharam hum per karien, taso neechay nain.

Giver (wealth) is someone else, who sends it day and night, 
people give credit to me in vain, and that’s why I lower my eyes

From the innumerable stories I heard in the 35 minutes, that is who Sain Hussain is.
The second aspect of this couple that deserves applause and emulation is their humility in giving.

They have funded many institutions around, but apparently have never made an attempt to “tell” the people how or what to do, even though they were a major donor at places. This is a rare quality that I have come to admire.    

Prophet Muhammad had said something profound – don’t let the right hand know the charity given by the left hand (or vice versa). If you boast of your giving, it humiliates the receiver and puts him/her in a difficult inferior position. Islam is about treating everyone on equal footing. No one should be deprived of his or her dignity from receiving.

Dr. Hussain is one of the senior most Cardiologists in Louisville who has served the community for over four decades. Mrs. Rafiqa Hussain is a CPA. They have decided to move to Washington DC to be around with their Grand Kids. There was an outpouring of love and admiration for this couple. 

If you know someone like that, please let others know.  In the words of Dr. Ali Faraz if one can express gratitude to the individuals, he or she will also express gratitude to the creator, and that is the hallmark of a civil society.   

It is our duty to honor and cherish individuals who have dedicated their lives to building bridges among Americans.

Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, peace, Islam,IsraelIndiainterfaith, and cohesion at work place. He is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day atwww.TheGhousediary.com. He believes in Standing up for others and has done that throughout his life as an activist. Mike has a presence on national and local TV, Radio and Print Media. He is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to the Texas Faith Column at Dallas Morning News; fortnightly at Huffington post; and several other periodicals across the world. His personal site www.MikeGhouse.net indexes his work through many links. 

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