Beliefnet
Common Word, Common Lord

In the Name of God: The Extremely, Eternally, and Everlastingly Loving and Caring

A woman in Chicago was pulled from her burning car by a Good Samaritan who stopped to help. He saved her life. That Good Samaritan was my very good friend.

Ahmed Elsayed, an engineer from Aurora, was on his way to an appointment with his 9-year-old son when he saw the smoke. He pulled over and ran to her window.

“I was just screaming for her to get out of the car, get out of the car. So when she did, I kind of grabbed her by the arm and pulled her towards my car and we got in and moved further away,” Elsayed said.

The car went up in flames.

Ahmed gave me more detail about the incident:

I originally stopped to simply help her, thinking her car was overheating and then noticed the flames as I was walking towards her.

His walk then turned to a “frantic run to get her out of the car.”

The woman said afterwards: “I feel that I’m alive today because of him. And I owe him a great deal.”

After seeing this story, I wanted to post about how such stories about Muslims do not get enough play. I wanted to post about how, all over the world, Muslims do good like this, and no one hears about it. All anyone ever hears is the barbarity of savages who act in the name of Islam.

When I posed the post idea to Ahmed, he refused. He said:

I’d be happier to leave faith and ethnicity out of this. I’m human, she’s human. I helped when I could.

He continued:

The sooner we can get over the labels and just help each other because it’s the right thing to do, the better this world will be.

Wow. How true.

It would be so nice to live in a world where people don’t see each other through labels; where people don’t see a woman wearing a headscarf and immediately think she can’t speak English or tell her, “Go back to your country!” It would be so nice to live in a world where people don’t judge you based on your name or color of your complexion. It would be so nice to live in a world where people do not kill in the name of religion and houses of worship are never attacked in brazen, vicious manners.

Ahmed’s actions and his subsequent profound words of wisdom should teach us all to “get over the labels and just help each other because it’s the right thing to do.” It’s so easy to retreat to that corner of our minds where we see everyone else through their “labels.” It is much harder to see everyone for who they really are: fellow human beings who have dignity and deserve our respect and good will. I pray that my friend Ahmed Elsayed inspires us to do just that.

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