The farewell to a housemaid


Al-Watan newspaper

IT was a very moving scene when all members of a Saudi family gathered at the airport to bid farewell to a domestic worker.

The Indonesian housemaid who served the family for more than 33 years looked frail and was sitting in a wheelchair. But she could not hide her tears of parting in the final moments with her Saudi family.

The woman served the mother of the family with loyalty and dedication till her death and looked after the children as they grew up to become adults. During the years she herself had aged and become incapacitated.

She now needs to be served instead of serving others. She might have spent more than half her life in the Kingdom.

The scene, which I watched on social media, was a moving one. The language of words had stopped and was replaced by hot tears.

Sincere human sentiments were displayed in the tight hugs at the airport.

Human life is like a railway station. There are those who embark the trains and those who disembark at the end of a journey.

Life is a mixture of happiness and sorrow. One day we happily meet other people and on another we grieve on their departure. These tears of separation were profusely shed at the airport when members of the Saudi family bid farewell to their housemaid.

However, the sorrow of the housemaid would have soon turned into happiness when she was reunited with her family back home. Her tears of sorrow must have become tears of joy.

Since this life is a blend of joy and sorrow, why should we worry? Why all this violence shocks us as we go to sleep at night or wake up in the morning? Why the scene of the farewell welled they eyes of all those who watched the video clip? Why all the members of the family came to the airport to see their housemaid off? Why everyone was weeping?

I think the answer to all these questions lies in a single phrase, which is fair treatment and good manners. If this housemaid was not good enough she would not have spent all these long years with the family and if the family members were not good enough they would not have come to the airport in this large number.

The housemaid bid farewell to the family members from her wheelchair. She hugged them one after the other. She cried passionately because she would be leaving these good people who treated her like a human being.

I am not shy to say that the scene on the video clip had made me cry and I have no doubt many like me had shed tears.

There are many lessons to be learned from the scene. The first is that the fair treatment and good manners will bear fruit at the end of the day. The second is the loyal service has a valuable price.

If this woman did not serve the family with dedication and loyalty she would not have spent all these long years with them and they would not have cried when seeing her off.

The noble and sincere sentiments are all lessons that we should memorize for the Day of Judgment when we will stand before God to rule on our acts and behavior in this worldly life.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) taught us first of these lessons when he said you would not be able to buy a man with your wealth but with your noble manners and good behavior.

I was very hesitant to use the word "housemaid" in this article but went for it at the end because there was nothing shameful about it. The housemaid is doing a good job and so she should not feel anything wrong when we call her by this title.

My message to all my readers is: Be good to others and treat them as you want them to treat you.

We should remember that these housemaids came all the way from their countries to earn a living. They were not looking for entertainment or fun. Otherwise they would have stayed back home. They came to make an honorable living and we should help them do this.