“No Problem. Consider it done.”
And with these seemingly innocuous words, my misadventure began.
My brother-in-law (BIL) back in the states needed money transferred to a hotel agent in Jeddah for Ramadan reservations he had made. Seeing that I have a local bank account in Saudi, my BIL figured it easier and quicker for me to do it.
I naively assumed the same.
When he asked, I was preparing to leave for Pakistan the following night. No big deal, I thought, I’ll make the transfer from home via my Internet banking account.
And so the problems began:
1. It took me an hour to get online that night. No DSL over here on our compund, I connect using my cell phone network.
2. Once I connected, although I was able to get to my bank’s site, Gmail refused to load. I needed the hotel agent’s bank account info which was in an email sent by BIL.
3. After another 30 minutes of failing to load Gmail, I logged onto Gmail using my cellphone. Oh yeah! Me da man! I pulled down the bank account info and logged back onto my bank’s site using my PC.
4. However, my stupid bank doesn’t allow transfer of funds to new beneficiaries until a 24-hour period has passed. Shoot! Gonna have to finish this up in Pakistan tomorrow. No problemo, they have web access over there.
5. Once I settled down in Pakistan (outside Gujrat, between the city and the villages), I found out my cousin’s laptop wasn’t working. However, they had an older laptop that’s slow as molasses, but good enough to work.
6. First attempt at logging on to Web went smoothly, but I accidentally pulled the power cable and the laptop powered off. When I tried to reconnect to the ISP, the username and password wasn’t authenticating. We called their helpdesk, they said the Gujrat area is going through technical problems. Odd, cause I was just able to connect 5 minutes ago right before I lost power.
7. We went to my father’s clinic right outside the house to try his desktop PC. We logged on fine to the same ISP using different username/password – so much for their technical problems. Now, I had to install some software (MS Java and special bank certificate) to access my account info. Dial-up kept disconnecting, but after an hour or so, PC was setup and connected to my bank.
8. However, now my bank username and password weren’t working. Subhan’Allah. I’m starting to think this simply is not meant to be.
9. I called my bank’s support in Saudi and over a phone connection that dropped two or three times, they suggested some changes. When I settled down in front of the PC, I took a deep breath of frustration, having exhausted over three hours in this effort, and proceeded to make the changes. Bam! Electricity goes out. Loadshedding! #$%^!&*
10. It was 9:30pm, time for Isha so I called it a night. Knowing that he required the funds by today (Wednesday), I made a phone call to the hotel agent and promised him that I WILL make the transfer the following morning, rest assured.
11. Following morning, I got onto PC and noticed some strange behavior (that I had missed the previous night). When I logged on to the internet, lots of data was being uploaded before I even opened my browser. I looked at the processes running in the background and I noticed winlogon.exe using over 400MB of memory. Tell-tale signs of a virus. Just great!
12. Deciding that I’m not getting onto my bank with a virus on the PC, I asked my dad’s assistant to get some anti-virus software. No problem, he says. Will do so in the afternoon, after work.
13. At 3pm, he brought two CD’s with all sorts of utilities, including good ‘ol McAfee. I installed and ran the anti-virus program. It cleaned all sorts of viruses. Cool, I think, let’s get this show on the road. When I tried to connect to the Internet, I got a series of unending Dr. Watson errors. When I tried to open my browser, Windows crashed. I restarted Windows, nothing. The combination of the virus and the AV software screwed up XP.
14. But hey, I still have my cousin’s old laptop. I sent the assistant to get a new ISP card (since the problem with that laptop was wrong username/password) while I ran to get the laptop. When I powered it on, Windows XP was locked out due to expiration of the activation period. Asked my cousin and he says yeah, we just installed this illegal copy of XP last week or so. Gee, thanks.
15. I went back to my dad’s hosed PC and boot up in safe mode to try and fix it. After an hour or so, Mr. Loadshedding makes his visit. Aaaaargh! @#$%^&*!
16. 6pm and time to face the facts. I ain’t transferring the money.
17. I called a friend back in Saudi to help me out. He didn’t have the funds. I called another friend who says no prob. I sent him hotel agent’s account info.
18. However, when he tried to transfer the funds, the bank said the name of the agent isn’t complete. They need a full name.
19. We tried for several hours to get through to agent. Finally, when I got through, he admits to having some phone problems (gee, how convenient for me). I got my friend to contact him to get full information.
20. Phew! Finally, everything’s done.
21. Hour later, I got a text message from friend. Bank rep says bank system is down, will not be able to transfer money until day after tomorrow (Sat. morning). Tomorrow was Friday, closed for Juma’a.
22. Ya Allah!
My father, who had been a sympathetic onlooker throughout this whole fiasco, had overheard my conversation with the agent (#10 above) and noted that not once had I said Insha’Allah. He reminded me that I was adamant in assuring him that I would get the funds to him without once uttering the name of Allah.
And it was then I remembered my quick email reply to my BIL – ‘No problem. Consider it done.’
So petty, yet so devastating.
I countered my father that my belief in Allah was implied in my declarations. Of course I acknowledge that Allah (swt) controls everything and not a single leaf falls without His permission. He is the sole Master and Maintainer of the universe, without doubt. Must I necessarily vocalize it with an ‘Insha’Allah’ appended to every sentence?
In fact, I detest this habit found all throughout the Muslim world, where Insha’Allah is recklessly used in place of ‘I really don’t want to do it, but I’ll say yes and then add Insha’Allah afterwards, thereby releasing me of any accountability.’
However, when I thought back to the instance when the Prophet (saw) was reprimanded by Allah (swt) for not having said Insha’Allah (in sura Kahf), surely our beloved Prophet hadn’t lost sight of Allah’s Omnipotence.
Yet, the lesson was clear. Never forget that everything happens by Allah’s permission.
That spoon of food in your hand will not enter your mouth without His permission.
Your eyelids will not blink shut without His permission. Nor will they blink open without His permission.
Your car will not get you to your desired destination without His permission.
That medicine will not cure your sickness without His permission.
The walls of your home will not remain standing without His permission.
And NEVER, EVER forget that you will NEVER, EVER transfer funds without His permission.
I thank Allah (swt) for having taught me this lesson in a way only He could have. The fact that He (swt) put me through these difficulties as a means of correcting my oversight assures me that He (swt) loves me. Warts and all.
I just wish all my mistakes could be so gently corrected. Sigh.
Monday, August 25, 2008
“No Problem. Consider it done.”
Monday, August 25, 2008
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This entry was posted on Monday, August 25, 2008 and is filed under Divine Rememberance , Islam , Pakistan . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.