One of my friends is a doctor in a hospital in Lahore city. Once I went there to see him during his duty hours, he was going on his daily round of the hospital. So I accompanied him, he visited all his patients and hospital wards.
It was a small hospital. It had three wards. They were male ward, female ward, and children ward. The doctor was a male, so he visited male and children wards.
As we entered the first ward, I saw some thirty beds arranged opposite to each other with a passage between them. Men lying on them wore striped clothes. My friend (doctor) stopped at the first bed. The poor fellow had broken his leg in a motor accident.
The bandaged part of the leg indicated the place of injury. He complained to the doctor of severe pain in the leg. The doctor told the nurse on duty to give him aspirin and moved to the next bed.
This person had serious stomach trouble for which he had to be operated upon. He was, however, recovering fast. The next two patients were asleep, so the doctor inquired from the nurse about their condition.
In about forty-five minutes, the doctor had examined each patient and gave instructions in each case. My friend must have been very humane in treating his patients. I saw that almost all of them welcomed him with a cheerful, and confident smile.
But I knew that behind these smiles was hidden bitter pain heartrending misery. That day I realized how helpless man could be before the disease. There were those who had sore eyes, those who had fractured arms or legs, those who suffered from measles, typhoid, and cancer.
Then we entered the children’s ward. I was grieved to see the little boys and girls suffering from fever, typhoid, and other diseases. The doctor took thirty minutes to complete his round. I kept on looking, in the meantime, at the innocent faces.
Some of the small boys and girls were crying in pain, some were sleeping while others were eating the sweets their parents had brought for them. A few of them were reading storybooks.
After the completion of the visit, I along with the doctor went to his office. He offered me a cup of tea. Then I requested to the doctor let me go home.
I spent about one and half hours in the hospital. But I did not think I had wasted the time. On the contrary, I had, perhaps for the first time, seen a tragic but real aspect of human life. That day, I understand why it is vain to be proud and haughty.
Man is great, no doubt, but he is also helpless. The expressions I observed on the patients’ faces! They remembered Allah in their trouble, repented their sins, and implored the Almighty to have mercy on Them. I felt as if this experience had renewed my faith in Allah.
As I came out of the hospital, I had a feeling that I had been changed from within. I felt sympathy for the suffering men and children and I realized the helplessness of man. The visit to my friend’s hospital taught me the lesson of humility which I could not have learned otherwise.