I can say, from personal experience, that rug burn doesn’t hurt that much. Sure, it stings as it happens and during the brief time afterwards. Yes, it shaves off a thin layer of your skin, leaving the area red and sensitive. But that’s really it. The sting fades within minutes, the redness within hours, and the skin is rejuvenated within days. The entirety of rug burn is gone within days. Rug burn doesn’t hurt that much.
But have I really felt rug burn?
Because I can’t say, from personal experience, that I’ve felt what it’s like to have the rug pulled from underneath my feet. I can’t say that I’ve felt the sting it leaves on my heart and mind. I can’t say that I’ve felt it shave away at my hope, faith, confidence, pride. I can’t say that everything fades within minutes, hours, days. The entirety of real rug burn is not gone within days. Real rug burn hurts a lot.
And I know this because I once spoke to someone who has felt real rug burn one too many times.
He is a husband to one, a father to three, and an immigrant to Canada. He came to Canada with enough money to pay for a couple of months of rent for a modest apartment in Toronto. He knew he didn’t have enough to sustain his family so he set out to find a job. With a Masters of English under his belt, the best he could find was a butchering job at a local meat shop. The job was far from enough to support a family of five, but he was just glad that he would be bringing in some money. He accepted the job, settling into the idea of being a butcher and preparing to work the hardest he possibly could. He settled into the norm, the rug if you may, the job introduced into his life. Unfortunately, however, the meat shop wasn’t receiving much business. He lost the job almost as soon as he got it. The owner told him that they didn’t need him anymore, snatching the job, the rug, right from underneath his feet. He was left with the ache of the rug burn; a sting to his mind and a shave at his pride. Real rug burn hurts a lot.
He began to look for alternate ways to receive money. He soon discovered that all three of his children are eligible for Canada Child Benefits (CCB), which is $500 per child per month. He asked someone to fill out the paperwork because he was so worried that he would fill something out incorrectly and jeopardize the chance of receiving the benefits. The paperwork was sent off and he relaxed a little, settling into the rug of the idea of receiving $1500 per month. Soon after, he received a letter in the mail.
Denied. The request for CCB was denied.
The person who he had asked to help him with the paperwork filled something out incorrectly. The rug was grabbed from underneath him once again, the rug burn stinging his heart and shaving at his hope and confidence. Real rug burn hurts a lot.
But he couldn’t give up.
With the rug burn constantly stinging his mind and heart, he continued to look for a means of receiving money. By this time, he was almost broke and so he discovered that he was eligible for welfare. He had such a minimal amount of money left that he felt confident that he would have no issues receiving welfare, and so he relaxed himself into the rug of the idea. He and his wife met with a caseworker to discuss their financial situation and prove that they are eligible. Under all the pressure of the situation, his wife accidentally answered a question dishonestly. Immediately, the caseworker assumed that they had money and were trying to take advantage of the system.
Denied. They were instantly denied. Another rug pulled from him, another sting to his mind, another shave at his hope. Real rug burn hurts a lot.
He didn’t have enough money to pay for the next month’s rent. His landlord said they would be evicted at the end of the month. Him and his family were going to be homeless.
Three children. Homeless.
Frantic, he looked everywhere for another place to live. He went to every building on Dundas Street, “East and West”, he told me. He even began to look for basement apartments.
A basement apartment for a family of five. Let that sink in.
He started asking around, talking to practically everyone in his wake. Eventually, someone heard about his story and offered their condo for two months for free while they were away. He dived head first into this rug, relaxing himself into this possibility and immediately accepting the offer. Unfortunately, however, the rug burn soon followed. When the person who had offered their condo discovered that he had a family of five, they instantly retracted the offer, snatching the rug with them. More stinging, more shaving, less confidence, less hope.
Real rug burn hurts a lot. Settling into a rug and having it grabbed from underneath you with no warning is painful. Having that happen multiple times with no time to heal, no time to let the stinging fade or the hope rejuvenate, is almost unbearable.
Through all the worry and the sting and the hurt and the emptiness, he turned to the one rug he knew would never give him rug burn: a prayer rug. He turned to his Lord and prayed for his family’s safety and security and for a solution that wouldn’t be snatched from him.
He heard about National Zakat Foundation and instantly gave us a call. Thanks to our donors and the One who inspired them, we were able to be the rug that didn’t give him rug burn. We helped pay for his rent and his monthly expenses. We made sure him and his family didn’t become homeless. We gave him time to heal.
I can say, from personal experience, that only Allah (SWT) can alleviate real rug burn. Only He can diminish the sting it brings. Only He can rejuvenate the lost hope, faith, confidence, pride. Only He can inspire us to help the rug burn fade as soon as possible. Let this inspire you to help alleviate real rug burn as soon as possible. Real rug burn hurts a lot, but with His help, we can help real rug burn heal.