21. Chicken Soup

Hanifa entered the kitchen and sniffed at the wonderful aroma of chicken soup. She saw the huge pot of soup simmering on the stove and wondered whether they were expecting guests. “Are we expecting visitors today?” she asked her mother. Her mother smiled and replied that they were not. She was however making extra soup because she wanted to send some to the neighbours. Hanifa’s mother always stressed that neighbours were important and that a good Muslim should always be kind and considerate to one’s neighbours.

Soon the soup was ready. Hanifa’s mother dished out a bowl of soup for Hanifa and also filled up two pots with chicken soup. She then asked her daughter to take it to the neighbour’s homes, after she ate her soup. Hanifa sat down to eat the delicious soup but found it very hot. She was tempted to blow on the soup to cool it down faster but refrained from doing so as Nabi (s.a.w) has prohibited us from blowing on food. She decided instead to half cover the bowl of soup with a saucer and leave it to cool down. She would go deliver the pots of soup first. Her neighbours were so pleased to see her. They were fond of her as she was very polite and sweet. They were delighted to receive the soup and asked her to thank her mother on their behalf.

When Hanifa returned home, she washed her hands and went to eat her soup. She removed the saucer over her bowl and was dismayed to find a fly in her soup. She had not covered her soup properly and a fly had fallen in. She showed it to her mother and asked her what she should do. She then learnt an amazing thing. Her mother told her that our Nabi (s.a.w) had taught us that when a fly falls into our food, we should dip the fly in completely and then remove it and cast it away. “Why should we do that?” asked Hanifa.

Her mother then explained that our Nabi (s.a.w) had informed us that flies carry disease in one wing and the cure in the other wing. By dipping the fly in completely, the disease is cured. Hanifa was astonished to learn all of this. She dipped the fly in completely, scooped it out and threw it away, thinking what a wonderful lesson she had learnt. Her mother then told her that the soup was now cured. If she did not want to eat it, she was not to waste it. She could leave it outside for the stray cats instead.


Ridwaan was busy with a project for school. He asked his older sister Raeesa if he could borrow her encyclopaedia. She was on her way out with their father but she told him where he could find it. “It’s in the drawer next to my bed,” she said.

Ridwaan went into her room and looked in her drawer. He found the encyclopaedia immediately but as he slid it out, he noticed something else in the corner of the drawer. It was a large box of his favourite chocolates. Ridwaan’s mouth began to water. He reached out to grab a chocolate but then pulled his hand back. Raeesa would be very angry with him if he took one without permission. 

Ridwaan went back to working on his project but found that he couldn’t concentrate. All he could think of was the chocolates. He could just imagine how creamy and rich they would taste. He imagined putting one of those chocolates in his mouth and how delicious it would taste on his tongue.

Ridwaan found himself going back towards his sister’s room. When he was halfway there, he suddenly stopped. “No!” he said to himself. “I will not take a chocolate without her permission.” Next he thought to himself: If I take one chocolate, Raeesa will never know. She has so many chocolates, she wouldn’t even miss it. So he continued walking towards his sister’s room, ensuring that his mother was nowhere in sight.

He slipped into the room, opened the drawer and pulled out a chocolate from the box. He was about to unwrap it when he realized something very important. ‘Even though my mother and sister can’t see me,’ he thought to himself, ‘Allah can can see me. In the sight of Allah, I will be a thief, if I eat the chocolate.’ 

He could just imagine being called a thief, in front of everyone on the day of Qiyamah. Ridwaan was suddenly filled with shame. He recited Ta’awuz (Aa’oozu billahi minash shaitaanir rajeem- I seek protection in Allah from Shaitaan the accursed.) He then dropped the chocolate back into the box and ran out of the room.

He was sitting sadly in a corner when Raeesa returned home. “What’s wrong?” she asked. “I almost became a thief today,” Ridwaan confessed. He then told her what had happened. Raeesa told him that she was glad that he had not stolen a chocolate. “I wouldn’t like my brother to be a thief,” she said. “As a reward for being so honest, you have my permission to have as many chocolates from the box as you like.” Ridwaan was ecstatic. He and Raeesa then went off to enjoy the chocolate feast.