The Bismillah Reminder
Humaira was halfway through her meal when her mother asked her, “Did you recite the dua before eating?” (Bismillahi wa ala barkatillah-In the name of Allah and upon the blessings of Allah) “You do know that shaitaan eats from the food over which ‘Bismillah’ is not recited.”
Humaira frowned and said,” Oh no, Mummy! I forgot to recite ‘Bismillah’. Must I now recite ‘Bismillahi awwalahu wa aakhirahu’?” ( In the name of Allah, before and after.)
“Yes sweetheart! By doing so, shaitaan will vomit out the food he ate with you,” replied her mother.
Humaira immediately recited this dua because she really did not like shaitaan and she didn’t want him sharing her food. She then complained to her mother that she was always forgetting to say ‘Bismillah’. She asked her mother if there was something that could remind her to say ‘Bismillah’ always before she started doing anything. Her mother thought for a while and then said, “I have the perfect solution!”
“What is it?” asked Humaira, unable to contain her curiosity.
“Wait and see,” replied her mother.
A few minutes later Humaira’s mummy returned with a thin elastic band that was threaded with some colourful beads. She measured it around Humaira’s right wrist, cut it to fit and knotted it into a circle. She then slipped it onto Humaira’s right hand. Humaira was thrilled to have this lovely, colourful bracelet from her mother. “Jazakallahu Khairah (May Allah grant you a good return),” she thanked her mother.
Her mother smiled and said, “Let us call it your ‘Bismillah Reminder’. I am hoping it will remind you to recite ‘Bismillah’ before tasks like eating, drinking, reading, writing or entering the home. I also hope it will teach you which is your right hand.”
“Insha’Allah I shall always remember from now on,” said Humaira, happily rushing off to show her five year old brother Khalid.
A few minutes later Khalid appeared quite sad and also complaining that he forgets to say ‘Bismillah’ often. He also wished to have something as a reminder. However, he did not want a bracelet, as bracelets were for girls. Once again his mother paused to think. Then she smiled and walked towards her cupboard. Opening it, she searched and came back with a small black watch. She gave it to Khalid saying, “Here, take this! I bought it for you as a gift, as you’ve been so kind and well behaved lately. We can see you are really trying to be a good Muslim.” She strapped the watch onto Khalid’s right wrist and said, “Let this be your ‘Bismillah Reminder’. Now, you also have something to remind you to say ‘Bismillah’ before you begin any task.”
The two children were so pleased with their gifts. They just couldn’t wait to show their friends at madrassah their ‘Bismillah Reminders’ and to tell them what purpose they served. Their friends were really impressed and very eager to get ‘Bismillah Reminders’ for themselves. Wouldn’t you like a ‘Bismillah Reminder’ too?