16.

The First Day

It was Zakariya’s first day at madrassah. He was very nervous as he didn’t know what to expect. His mother held his hand as she led him to his classroom. There were many other children sitting there with a muallimah (teacher).

Zakariya held on tightly to his mothers hand. “I don’t want to go to madrassah. Please let me come home with you!” he cried.

“Don’t be foolish,” his mother replied. “Of course you have to go madrassah. There is so much that you you need to learn. You want to be a good Muslim, don’t you?”

“Yes” replied Zakariya, “But I’m so scared. I don’t know anyone here. Can’t we go home just for today and come back tomorrow?”

“No,” his mother said firmly. “Waiting will not make it easier. You need to be brave and face the things that frighten you. Don’t worry, you will soon come to love Madrassah and you will learn so much.” His mother hugged him and promised to reward him for being brave by making his favourite dish for supper. She introduced him to his muallimah and thereafter she left for home. His Muallimah greeted him and showed him where to sit. Zakariya did his best to be brave and tried not to cry.

Another boy Bilaal, had also come in with his mother. Bilaal cried and refuse to let go of his mothers hand. He insisted on going home. His mother and the muallimah tried to talk him into staying at madrassah but Bilaal wouldn’t listen to anything they said. Eventually his mother told the muallimah that she would bring him back another day and she took him home. Zakariya watched Bilaal going home. He thought to himself, ‘Bilaal is so lucky. He gets to go home while I have to say here.’

The muallimah soon began to read them a lovely story. Then she taught them the Kalima Tayyibah (the first Kalimah). All the children had to read it aloud, after the muallimah. The time then seemed to pass very quickly. Soon, it was time for his mother to pick him up. He had so much to tell her about his first day and all the things he had learnt.

Over the next few days, Zakariyyah made many friends and grew quite fond of his muallimah. He really enjoyed madrassah and he learnt so much too. The following week Billal came back to madrassah and guess what? He was still holding his mothers hand and crying.

Zakariyyah smiled to himself and realised that on the first day, he had been the lucky one because he had stayed and faced his fears. Now he knew there was nothing frightening about madrassah. Hopefully, Bilaal would soon realise that too.

REMEMBER, WHEN THERE IS SOMETHING THAT YOU NEED TO DO THAT SCARES YOU, IT IS ALWAYS BEST TO FACE IT IMMEDIATELY INSTEAD OF WAITING. BY WAITING, YOU REMAIN FRIGHTENED FOR LONGER.

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1.

The Bismillah Reminder

Humaira was halfway through her meal when her mother asked her, “Did you recite the dua before eating?” (Bismillahi wa ala barkatillah-In the name of Allah and upon the blessings of Allah) “You do know that shaitaan eats from the food over which ‘Bismillah’ is not recited.”

Humaira frowned and said,” Oh no, Mummy! I forgot to recite ‘Bismillah’. Must I now recite ‘Bismillahi awwalahu wa aakhirahu’?” ( In the name of Allah, before and after.)

“Yes sweetheart! By doing so, shaitaan will vomit out the food he ate with you,” replied her mother.

Humaira immediately recited this dua because she really did not like shaitaan and she didn’t want him sharing her food. She then complained to her mother that she was always forgetting to say ‘Bismillah’. She asked her mother if there was something that could remind her to say ‘Bismillah’ always before she started doing anything. Her mother thought for a while and then said, “I have the perfect solution!”

“What is it?” asked Humaira, unable to contain her curiosity.

“Wait and see,” replied her mother.

A few minutes later Humaira’s mummy returned with a thin elastic band that was threaded with some colourful beads. She measured it around Humaira’s right wrist, cut it to fit and knotted it into a circle. She then slipped it onto Humaira’s right hand. Humaira was thrilled to have this lovely, colourful bracelet from her mother. “Jazakallahu Khairah (May Allah grant you a good return),” she thanked her mother.

Her mother smiled and said, “Let us call it your ‘Bismillah Reminder’. I am hoping it will remind you to recite ‘Bismillah’ before tasks like eating, drinking, reading, writing or entering the home. I also hope it will teach you which is your right hand.”

“Insha’Allah I shall always remember from now on,”  said Humaira, happily rushing off to show her five year old brother Khalid.

A few minutes later Khalid appeared quite sad and also complaining that he forgets to say ‘Bismillah’ often. He also wished to have something as a reminder. However, he did not want a bracelet, as bracelets were for girls. Once again his mother paused to think. Then she smiled and walked towards her cupboard. Opening it, she searched and came back with a small black watch. She gave it to Khalid saying, “Here, take this! I bought it for you as a gift, as you’ve been so kind and well behaved lately. We can see you are really trying to be a good Muslim.” She strapped the watch onto Khalid’s right wrist and said, “Let this be your ‘Bismillah Reminder’. Now, you also have something to remind you to say ‘Bismillah’ before you begin any task.”

The two children were so pleased with their gifts. They just couldn’t wait to show their friends at madrassah their ‘Bismillah Reminders’ and to tell them what purpose they served. Their friends were really impressed and very eager to get ‘Bismillah Reminders’ for themselves. Wouldn’t you like a ‘Bismillah Reminder’ too?

 

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23.

Dust Your Shoes Before Wearing!

One cold morning, Anisa awoke and jumped out of bed. She needed to go to the toilet, so she put on her scarf and searched for shoes to wear. She knew that it is sunnah to wear shoes and cover the head when going to the toilet.

In the corner of her room, she spied her fluffy bedroom slippers. Hurriedly, she went to slip them on, wearing first her right slipper, as it’s sunnah to wear the right shoe first, then the left. She jerked when her toes felt something cold, soft and slimy in it. What could it be? A lump of wet tissue? Who could have been so unkind to stuff dirt into her slipper? she wondered. She quickly pulled out her foot, feeling cross and disgusted.

It serves me right,  she thought to herself. It is also sunnah to dust ones shoes before wearing them and I have not done so. She then began to dust out her shoes. She screamed and jumped, when she saw what fell out, as it was simply not wet tissue!!!

It was a baby frog, which is known as a froglet. The little frog was just as alarmed as she was, when it found itself dusted out of its cozy bed. It quickly hopped away in fright and hid behind some furniture.

As for Anisa, she felt so creepy that she didn’t even go search for the froglet. She has never forgotten that incident. Remember, it is always wise to follow the sunnah.

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16.

Zaahid Loses His Shoes

One afternoon, Zaahid went to Madrassah. There he took off his shoes and placed them on the shoe rack, next to the other children’s shoes. He then entered his classroom, made salaam to his Muallimah and friends and sat down at his place to learn.

Zaahid enjoyed learning his lessons and during the break, had fun  playing with his friends. Time passed swiftly and soon the lessons were over and it was time to go home. He once again made salaam to everyone and left the classroom.

Zaahid became worried when he searched for his shoes and didn’t find them there. He waited till all the children collected their shoes, then checked the rack once more . They were nowhere to be found. Zaahid now knew for sure that they were missing.

He burst into tears, wondering how he was going to go home barefoot. He went back into the classroom, to inform his Muallimah that his shoes were missing. His Muallimah reminded him to recite: “Inna lilaahi wa inna ilaihi rawjioon”. This dua is read when a loss occurs. It means: ‘To Allah we belong and to Him is our return.’

His Muallimah then told him she would lend him a pair of spare shoes, that she kept for emergencies. She went to her cupboard and took out the pair, which she lent to him. He was so relieved to have shoes to walk home in. He returned the shoes to his Muallimah the next day.

A day or two later, his parents bought him another pair of shoes. Zaahid was so pleased to get them. He realised that he had been patient upon his loss and had recited his dua too . Allah Ta’ala had now granted him a new pair of shoes, that were much better than the ones he had lost.

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6.

The Pecan Nuts

Nabeela and Haseena were going outside to play. The previous day had been very windy and they had been cooped indoors. They opened the door of their house and stopped short. The yard was full of scattered leaves. It was such a mess.
“Mummy!” cried the children, “Do you want us to sweep the yard?”

“Yes please,” replied their mummy, “it would be such a great help.” She was very busy baking, cleaning and cooking. She promised them a little party when they finished, to repay their kindness. “You will find the brooms and the bin in the garage,” she said.

Nabeela and Haseena took the brooms and began to sweep. They swept all the leaves together into heaps, which they threw into the bin.They were almost finished, when Nabeela saw some pecan nuts by mummy’s vegetable patch.

“Look Haseena,” she said, “these pecan nuts must have fallen with the strong winds.” They gathered the pecan nuts and put them in a small box. They were sorely tempted to eat them but knew that the nuts had fallen from the neighbour’s tree.

They asked their mother if they were allowed to eat the nuts. She replied that they were not. They had to return the pecan nuts to their neighbour as it belonged to her. The girls took the box and set off to the neighbour’s house.

They rang the bell and waited. When the neighbour opened the door, she was surprised to see them. They gave her the box telling her that they had found the nuts in their garden. She was so touched by their honesty and asked them to wait.

Moments later, she returned with a bigger box filled with pecan nuts which she gave to them. She said she was glad to have such honest neighbours and that in future, they could eat any of her fruit or nuts that fell into their garden.

They returned home very happy. They asked their mother to lend them her nut-cracker and they enjoyed shelling  all the nuts. They kept a handful for their party and gave the rest to their mummy. What a fine party they had thereafter with juice, cake, sweets and nuts.

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