Ali and Shuaib were walking to school one morning. They were early, so they didn’t hurry. They walked slowly and talked as they walked. Ali was relating an incident to Shuaib when he suddenly paused. “Wait a moment,” he said, seeing something lying between the grass. He parted the grass and lifted up a small black wallet. “What is it?” asked Shuaib, walking up to him. Ali replied, “It’s a wallet. I wonder who could have dropped it. Shall I open it and check for some identity?”  “Yes,” answered his friend.

Ali carefully opened the wallet and his eyes bulged at the stack of hundred rand notes within. He checked for the owner’s identity, but found nothing. Ali then looked around and seeing no one else in sight besides Shuaib, quietly slipped the wallet into his pocket. Shuaib stared at his friend, not believing his eyes. “What are you going to do?” he asked Ali. “Since we don’t know who it belongs to, I’m going to keep it,” Ali answered.

“You cannot keep it,” said Shuaib. “It does not belong to you! Someone must have accidently dropped it.” “Well,” said Ali, “he should learn to take better care of his things. Haven’t you heard of: ‘Finders Keepers, Losers Weepers’?”

” I don’t believe in that kind of nonsence,” said Shuaib. “That is not what Islam teaches us. As Muslims it is our duty to try and locate the owner of the lost article and return it  back to him. If you keep it you will be a thief. You cannot take what does not belong to you! Fear Allah and do not do something that you will forever regret.”

Ali became flushed with shame. “You are right,” he said to Shuaib. “I will never be able to justify taking this, when it does not belong to me. How am I going to find the owner when there is no identity inside this wallet?” Shuaib answered by saying, “We will take it to our teacher and ask her to help us.”

When they arrived at school, they went straight to their teacher. They handed her the wallet, telling her how they had found it. She praised them for their honesty and shortly thereafter sent them to place a notice, on the school notice board. The notice read that a wallet had been found. The owner could claim it from Room 64,  by correctly describing the wallet and contents. 

Not long thereafter, one of the teachers entered with a red nose and eyes that were puffy from crying. “Is it true that a wallet had been found?” she asked their teacher. “Yes,” replied their teacher. “Did you lose a wallet?”  “Yes,” replied the other teacher. “I dropped and lost my wallet somewhere this morning. I was praying an honest, truthful person would find it and return it. Is it my wallet that you have found?” The teacher asked her to describe the wallet and she did so perfectly. She also told them the exact amount of money that was inside.

The boy’s teacher handed over the wallet to her, telling her how Ali and Shuaib had found it in their way to school. She thanked them profusely telling them she had carried extra money that morning, to buy her ailing mother’s medication. The boys were very pleased to restore the wallet to its owner and were overjoyed when she insisted on handing them each a small reward, as a token of her gratitude.

3 thoughts on “17. FINDERS KEEPERS?

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