20. “Mummy! You Never Ever Listen!”

Tayibah was annoyed. Her mother was just not co-operating with her. She was being so stubborn. They were out shopping and her mother just refused to buy her the fashionable pair of shoes that she wanted. “Tayibah,” her mother said, “I’m not buying those expensive shoes just because your friends have them. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the shoes you have.”

“But mum! You don’t understand why I need them!” Tayibah cried. “My other shoes are old and are gone out of fashion.” This argument didn’t sway her mother who refused to change her mind. “I’m not buying them for you and that’s final!” she responded sternly. Tayibah, eyes blazing with anger, stamped her foot and announced, “You always do this Mummy! You never ever listen to me. You always do what you want to do, instead of what I want you to do. I’m only asking you to buy one pair of shoes for me and you won’t even do that!”

“Stop making a scene. You know very well your shoe cupboard needs to go on a diet,” her mother admonished, “since it’s stuffed to the brim. You don’t have place for those shoes and you really don’t need them.” Just then she became aware of some people nearby watching them. “Throwing a tantrum will not make me change my mind,” she hissed, glaring at Tayyibah. This enraged Tayibah even more. She responded by saying rudely, “Don’t talk to me. If you can’t listen to me, then I’m not listening to you either.” She moved away from her mother to sulk in a corner.

Two women passing by overheard the entire conversation. They discussed aloud, what they thought of Tayyiba’s behaviour. “Isn’t it sad to see how disrespectful children are these days?” the first women asked. “Instead of obeying and listening to their parents, they expect their parents to respect and obey them.”

“Yes, it’s really sad,” the second woman replied. “Maybe that child doesn’t realize the high status of a mother in Islam. A child’s not supposed to say ‘Aagh ‘or ‘Oof’ to their mother, let alone stamp their feet and backchat. I hope my child never ever behaves so disgracefully,” she added, as they walked away. They hoped Tayibah had heard them and felt ashamed of herself.

Tayibah’s ears turned red with embarrassment, as she had clearly heard the women. They had given her something to think about. She was supposed to be loving and respectful to her parents, at all times, but when she became angry she often forgot. She deeply regretted being disrespectful to her mother. She was well aware of the hadith: ‘Jannah lies at the feet of mothers.’

Tayibah looked around and spotted her mother, at the far end of the aisle. She walked slowly up to her and wrapped her arms around her mother’s waist. “I’m sorry mum for being so rude,” she apologized. Her mother was surprised at her daughter’s words. She wondered what had happened to bring about such a change. Tayyibah looked so full of remorse. She hugged her daughter and instantly forgave her. “Apology accepted,” she said smiling at her daughter. She then teasingly asked, “Does this mean you don’t want those shoes anymore?”


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