18. THE NEW BICYCLE

Mateena and Sumayya lived next door to each other. They were of the same age and they spent a lot of time together. They generally played with a ball or played games like ‘hide and seek’. Sometimes, they drew and coloured together.

One day, Mateena’s father brought home a great surprise for her. It was a shiny new bicycle. Mateena was thrilled. She immediately called Sumayya to show it to her. Sumayya was happy for her friend but she was also a little envious. She wanted a bicycle too. She decided to ask her parents if they could buy her one. She rushed home and found her parents in the kitchen.

“Mateena’s father bought her a bicycle,” she said. “Can I have a bicycle too? Will you buy one for me?” “I’m sorry, my dear,” her father said, “but it’s not possible right now. We don’t have the extra money for a bicycle.” Sumayya was upset. “That’s not fair,” she cried. “I want a bicycle too.”

Her mother tried to comfort her. I know you’re unhappy Sumayya,” she said, “but we can’t always have everything what we want. Sometimes we just have to have sabr.” “What’s sabr?” asked Sumayya.

“It means having patience and not fussing and complaining,” her mother explained. “Whenever you can’t have what you want or when something bad happens, you should have sabr and make dua to Allah. If you have sabr, Insha Allah, one day you will either get what you want or Allah will grant you something better in Jannah.” Sumayya bravely wiped the tears off her face. “I’m going to have sabr,” she said. “I’m not going to fuss and complain.”

It was not easy for Sumayya to have sabr. She felt sad whenever she watched Mateena playing with her bicycle. Sometimes Mateena would allow her to ride the bicycle and though she would enjoy it, it wasn’t the same as having her own. She remembered what her mother had told her and she didn’t fuss or complain. 

Months went by and one day, Sumayya’s grandparents came to visit. They didn’t visit very often, as they lived far away. As soon as she saw the car turning into the driveway, Sumayya ran to greet them. She made salaam to her grandparents and hugged them. Her grandfather, with a very big smile said, “We’ve brought you a present. It’s in the trunk of the car.”

Sumayya ran excitedly to see what it was. She couldn’t believe her eyes. In the trunk was a beautiful, blue bicycle. “Is it really for me?” she asked joyfully. “Yes, it really is,” everyone told her. Sumayya had made sabr for all those months and now she finally had what she wanted. She ran excitedly next door to tell Mateena about her bicycle. Mateena was very happy for her. Now Sumayya and Mateena ride their bicycles everyday. They have lots of fun riding together.

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