Every human life is precious and worthy, and the loss of a single human life is a tragedy and great loss, whoever the person is. The recent drowning of dozens of immigrants while trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea towards Europe was one of the biggest tragedies. There is a crucial need to find solutions to avoid the loss of innocent human lives, to examine the situation in their countries and to solve the problems which become the reason for them to put their lives at great risk.

The subject I am going to write about today is related to this issue, but it is dedicated to showing admiration and great appreciation to the wonderful and admirable rescue operations by the Armed Forces of Malta and Malta at large. And while I was writing this article I remembered a story, which I’ll be sharing to shed more light on my subject.

Once upon a time a son and his father were discussing their friends. The son said his friend was very honest and loyal to him. His father wanted to teach him what real friendship was. So, at night the father said to his son that he wanted to accompany him to see his son’s friend. The son agreed and very happily and proudly he took his father to see his friend and knocked on his door. The friend came out and asked what the matter was. When they said they were in need and asked for help, he replied that at this time of night he couldn’t help them, because it was too late.

The father then told his son that he wanted to show him his own friend and they started walking. Finally, after walking for an hour they reached a hut in the forest. The father knocked; his friend came out immediately and met them passionately, then asked if they could give him a few moments. He went back to his home and when some time passed and he didn’t return, the son spoke to his father: “We are standing outside in this dark night and he went back to his home without asking us why we are here.” His father replied, “Wait and see, wait for a few moments”.

After a few minutes the friend emerged from his home, carrying a sack full of food items, clothes, blankets and holding some medicines and money in his hand. First he apologised for the delay, and explained the reason for being late.

His lamp was not working well because there was not enough oil in it, taking him long to find the things. Then he said: “I thought that if you came at this time of night, you must be in need, so I have brought all the necessary things I had at home – food, medicine, clothing, money etc. I am also ready to go with you, because I did not know what you were in need of. I brought everything and also made myself ready to go with you. Now tell me what you need, everything is here for you.”

At that moment, the father looked at his son. This is real friendship, he told him: “A friend in need is a friend indeed!” This story has a great message, that real friendship is not one that is limited to the happy and comfortable moments, but that true friendship is indeed a friendship in a time of need and difficulty. The main purpose of writing this story is to pay great tribute to the wonderful work Malta has done for the evacuation and salvation of human beings in this difficult time of crises in African countries.

Malta really deserves great appreciation and help in this hard time. The island has done a lot for the sake of humanity, and helped vulnerable and destitute people in the sea and saved their lives. And at a time when there was little hope for them, Malta became a hope of light for those people.

Malta has once again proved that yes “a friend in need is a friend indeed”; yes we love humanity, yes we have sincere feelings for mankind, yes we feel the pain of the destitute and vulnerable humans and yes we are there to show our friendship and solidarity. May God reward this beautiful island with His everlasting favours, bounties and blessings.

Well done Malta. Long live Malta.


The author is president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat Malta.

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