16. Caught Red Handed

Huzaifa felt sick with worry, as he hadn’t learnt his surah. He taught of pretending to have a tummy ache to be able to skip madrassa, but knew it wouldn’t work. His parents insisted that he must attend daily. He could only be absent, if something drastic occurred. By attending madrassa, he would acquire Islamic education and moral training, which would enable him to be successful in both this life and the hereafter.

Huzaifa’s head ached as he tried to solve his problem. His muallimah had asked him to learn three lines of his surah as homework, but he had been too lazy to learn it the previous night. Now, there just wasn’t enough time. It would be the second time this week that he had not learnt his work. And, Oh Boy! He was going to be in trouble when she found out! ‘If only I had spent some time learning last night’, he thought to himself. Suddenly, he taught of a plan.

When it was Huzaifa’s turn to be tested, he went to sit across his muallimah at her desk. As he started reading, she was pleasantly surprised, for he seemed to know the surah quite well. She became suspicious however, when she noticed that he kept lowering his gaze towards his lap. ‘What on earth is he looking at?’ she wondered. Suddenly, she realized something underhand was going on.

“Huzaifa,” she ordered. “Let me see your hands!” “But why?” asked Huzaifa nervously. “Just show me your hands,” she said sternly. Huzaifa had no choice but to slowly raise his hands and place them before her. There on the palm of his left hand, was scrawled the transliteration (spelling of the sounds), of the three lines of the surah in red ink. He had literally been caught red handed.

His muallimah was really furious with him. “Is this the way a Muslim behaves?” she asked him. “Even if I didn’t catch you, didn’t you realize that Allah is watching you? Haven’t we learnt the hadith: Save yourself from Khiyanah (cheating).” There was a sudden hush in the class as all the children realized what was unfolding in the front. This only made the situation worse for Huzaifa, as all his classmates were now witnesses to his shame.

He wished he had never ever thought of such an awful plan. Instead of gaining Allah’s pleasure by learning the words of the Qur’aan, he had resorted to cheating and deceiving. These sinful actions must have made shaitaan, his enemy, so proud of him. He felt filled with shame and humiliation. His muallimah did not scold him any further as she realized that he was already humiliated enough. He was sent back to his place after he promised to learn his surah, for the following day.

That night he learnt his surah and he even learnt a few extra lines, to make up for his misdemeanor. He had learnt a valuable lesson from this incident. It doesn’t pay to cheat and deceive. One must get caught sooner (in this world) or later (in the court of Allah).

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