Tayyab Journal / ENG

How I Studied People and Life While Driving a Taxi

As a taxi driver, I meet different people of various skin colors and religions. I would like to tell you some interesting stories from my life. I have changed the names, but left the stories as they are.

Are you a Muslim?

I had to pick up two girls from a beauty salon in the ghetto. One was black and the other Latina; her name was Dolores. She had a lot of tattoos on her body and was dressed defiantly in the style of the ghetto.

As soon as we moved, Dolores asked, "Are you a Muslim?" I said, "Yes, how did you know?" She replied that she had understood it from my cap. A few minutes later, she asked an interesting question: "Do you think there are bad Muslims?" There were two options: either she was teasing me, or she was genuinely interested.

I answered her with a hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him): “The Muslim is the one from whose tongue and hand the Muslims are safe …” She continued, “I asked because I recently converted to Islam. I went to the mosque, wore a hijab. But the other sisters criticized me for my tattoos. I thought I was a bad Muslim woman, so I stopped wearing the hijab. Do you think I'm bad?" I replied: “What happened is a common thing. For some reason, if a person is born into a Muslim family, they think they know more. Forget their words, think about your relationship with Allah (pure and exalted is He). If you are better today than yesterday, if you are getting closer to Allah, then you are doing well as a Muslim.”

She started crying and said that my words had cheered her up and she felt that she needed to return to Allah. I explained to her that no matter what situation you find yourself in, no matter what mistake you make, Allah will help if you are sincere, and He, insha'Allah, will help. It was the same in my life. She told me about a friend, Najat, who was kind to her; she taught her. I advised her to stay close with her, and with everyone who was dear to her, and to avoid those "sisters".

I dropped her off and gave her my book, Slice of Life, since the main character was also a convert. We parted ways and said our goodbyes.

I know you

I once had an order at an expensive restaurant. From there, a young guy came out and clarified my name; I confirmed. He said, "I know your name not because of the app; we know each other." I turned around and saw Joey. He thought I didn't recognize him, but I remembered who he was. Joey was a former student of mine; I had trained him when he was 10. He had a friend, Dougie, and in truth, I remembered him more because he was a genius. At the age of 11, he already had a brown belt. At 12, he stopped training, dropped out of school, and ended up in a juvenile colony for selling drugs. On the way, he said that he remembered me every Ramadan. I was the one who had explained it to him. He was surprised at how I trained while fasting. He remembered the story of how one girl indignantly asked, "Sir, can't you do a class without eating food?"

Link to the original: https://muslimmatters.org/2022/08/03/uber-tales-a-drivers-journal/