Sameera came home from madrassah one day looking very worried. She made salaam to her mother as she entered. Her mother replied and upon noticing her daughter’s anxiety asked her, “What’s wrong?”
“We learnt a hadith at madrassah today that is worrying me,” answered Sameera.”
“What hadith did you learn?” asked her mother.
“We learnt the hadith: THE ANGELS (OF MERCY) DO NOT ENTER A HOUSE WHICH CONTAINS A DOG OR PICTURES. (OF LIVING BEINGS) Her mother smiled and said,
“Since we don’t have a dog, it must be the pictures that are troubling you.”
“Yes, Mummy! As a rule, I know that you do not buy us clothes with animate pictures on them but somehow our house still has these pictures everywhere,” said Sameera. Her mother smiled sadly and said, “I noticed that too but in today’s times, it seems like such a losing battle to avoid animate pictures flooding into our home.”
Sameera then said, “My muallimah says that if we can’t keep our houses free of these pictures then we should at least keep them concealed.”
“She is right,” agreed her mother. “We must devise some plan to keep these unwanted pictures concealed. How are we ever going to do that?”
Sameera’s mother thought for a while and her eyes lit up as a brilliant idea crossed her mind. She called her daughter and told her to help her play a game. “What game do you wish to play?” asked Sameera. “A game called ‘Hide and Seek’,” replied her mother.
She then explained that they would seek all the unwanted pictures and then ensure that they were hidden. Sameera was happy to play ‘Hide and Seek’ with her mother and soon they had accomplished what they set out to do.
All money and coins scattered around the house were collected and put into purses, wallets or a closed container. Newspapers and advertising brochures were placed in a box with a lid.
Little pictures on calenders were covered with tiny stickers. Groceries and toiletries were all concealed inside some cupboards. Items that were often used were left out on shelves, but the animate pictures on them covered with stickers. Finally the house was free of unwanted pictures.
“Good riddance!” said Sameera. “Now the Angels of Mercy will be able to enter and protect us.” “Yes, sweetheart!” answered her mother. “Furthermore they will also drive out the shayateen (devils) that enter when they are not present. Our household should be more peaceful now that we are rid of all these pictures that were lying around.”
Sameera felt her anxiety lifting. Her mother then reminded her that they would have to constantly play ‘Hide and Seek’ to ensure that no more animate pictures were left lying around. Sameera agreed and said it would really be worth all the effort to have the Angels of Mercy enter and have the shayateen (devils) driven out.