A story is told, a very old Sufi story, of a man who went about his life doing good for others. God noticed the man’s good works, and spoke to him, offering to grant the man one wish as a reward for all the good the man had done for those around him. The man thought about God’s offer for a moment, then decided his wish would be that he continue, throughout his life, to do good for others– but he didn’t want to know when or how and especially not who he helped.
God granted the man’s wish and, thinking it a good idea, He granted the same wish for everyone. From that day forward, all people would unknowingly help those around them, but never know who they’d helped.
And so it has been, and is, to this day.