I am a student from the UK who has been living and studying in the blessed city of the beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) for around five years. One of the biggest highlights in my life as a student here are my experiences with the taxi drivers! Nearly every time I stop a taxi, there is always a strange story to share! This one is my latest one.
Unlike other places, in Madinah you can simply stop a taxi by waiting on the road until a normal car stops for you. There isn’t an actual taxi signed car, anyone could stop for you and drop you to where you want even if it is not his profession.
I stopped a taxi today and was picked up by a religious looking driver from Madinah who was driving a nice GMC car. I was confused in the beginning as usually only old cars would stop for you, as they would be more in need of the money than people with nice cars. I agreed with him to drop me home for five riyals and he told me to jump in without any haggling needed. Whilst we were driving, I was busy replying to my messages on my phone but I could see he was trying to have a conversation with me, so I left my phone and started speaking with him. As soon as he found out that I was a student, he made du’a for me and gave me four great books in the Hanbali Madhab as a gift.
Every time we spoke, he would look at me from the mirrors and smile. When I reached my destination I gave him the five riyals as agreed but he took it and presented it back to me and said these five riyals are a gift and the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) didn’t reject gifts (it seemed like he planned to drop me off for the sake of Allah from the beginning but didn’t want to mention it).
I was so delighted from his kindness and to know that good people still exist, I felt like this was a gift from Allah. I told him I just spoke to my mother before meeting you and she made du’a for me that Allah always sends in my life good people and perhaps you are one of them! He then gave me an amazing reminder about piety to your mother and how this is the main reason for success, he quoted examples of the salaf and scholars of the past about how they treated their mothers.
He advised me, “if you are able to make your mother smile and laugh daily then do so!”. He also spoke to me about the virtues of performing secret acts of worship and being connected to Allah, sharing with me interesting stories of real life examples of people he knew. He turned out to be the son of one of the famous Muathin of the Haram over 50 years ago – a man who knew 15 languages and taught some of the current Muathins of today.
May Allah reward him for his kindness and increase more good people in our lives.