THE ART OF MAKING EXCUSES – PART 2
“On your mark, get set….GO!” Yusuf blew hard into his whistle. Its shrilling sound caused Abdullah to jerk up instantly.
Aminah launched into a sprint. She focused hard on the finish line in the distance. A figure zoomed ahead right beside her. It was Abdullah, who was sprinting like a warrior, with a deep look of concentration on his face.
Their cousin, Hamaad, also ran alongside them. He was presently catching up to Abdullah who was but inches awy from the finish line.
Hafsah, Hamaad’s sister, was amongst the audience. She cheered her older brother on as he tried to catch up to Abdullah.
Suddenly, Hafsah’s face turned bright red as she saw Abdullah zoom past Hamaad and draw closer and closer to the finish line.
“STTTOOPPP!” yelled Yusuf unexpectedly.
Aminah stopped instantly. Her forehead was dripping with beads of sweat. She wiped them away whilst trying to catch her breath. Suddenly, she saw Abdullah on the floor. His right arm was flung over his face and his knee was grazed.
“Ouch, ouch.” He groaned in pain.
“Oh my…SubhanAllah! What happened to Abdullah?” she exclaimed, as a look of fear surfaced on her face.
Yusuf bent over, gently moving Abdullah’s arm. Abdullah’s eyes remained tightly closed as he tried his best not to complain.
“They, they…She…” Abdullah tried to squeeze out some words. “It was… ouuucch,” he groaned again, due to the pain in his knee.
Yusuf’s eyebrows gathered together as he looked on in confusion. Hafsah walked over, trying hard not to meet Yusuf’s gaze. She was biting her nails as though she was nervous about something.
Aminah folded her arms. “Lets get you inside and you can explain later.”
“Okay,” Abdullah managed to say with another groan of pain.
Yusuf held out his hand and helped his younger brother up. He then carried him inside, cleaned up his sore wound, and placed a plaster over it to help it heal.
“Next time, you must wear more appropriate clothing when you play outside, Abdullah.” Ummi reprimanded him later in the evening. She shook her head as she tightened the top of the water bottle she had filled especially for Abdullah.
“No more playing in shorts, okay?” Ummi said firmly.
“Yes, Ummi.” Abdullah replied in a calm voice.
Yusuf closed his book.
“I still haven’t had a chance to speak to Abdullah about what happened yet.”
“I thought you tripped and fell, Abdullah?” Ummi turned towards him with a look of concern. He looked tired and his face was pale.
“Uhh, yeah, but, no, I…”
“I think Abdullah is hiding something, Ummi!” she giggled.
“Aminah habibti, please continue to do your homework. I am speaking to Abdullah, and myself and Yusuf will sort this out, alright?”
“Sorry, Ummi.” Aminah replied and hurried back to her school work.
“I didn’t really fall.”
“I knew it!” Yusuf exclaimed.
“Wait!” Abdullah continued. “Can I finish please?”
“Sure, little brother.”
“I made an excuse, Ummi, for Hafsah and Hamaad…”
“What do you mean?” Ummi asked, placing her hand in Abdullah’s hand.
“I overheard Hafsah shouting to Hamaad to push me whilst I was running so I wouldn’t win the race.”
“SubhanAllah!” Ummi exclaimed in amazement.
“But I hope this is not backbiting. And I didn’t want to tell you because I wanted to make excuses for them.” Abdullah’s voice was shaky.
Ummi hugged Abdullah tightly.
“Yusuf, do you want to explain to your brother?”
“Abdullah, look…” Yusuf began. “That is a very fine thing you did there. May Allah bless you for your amazing character and your making of excuses.”
“Ameen.” Abdullah replied with puppy eyes.
“However, if you are sure that this is what happened then there is no harm in telling an elder. That’s the only way we can gently and kindly explain to them to not do it again. There’s a difference between being kind and making excuses, and being strong and standing up for your rights. In a good and kind manner, of course. Do you understand?”
“Yes.” Abdullah said, now smiling slightly.
“Don’t worry, Abdullah. In tomorrow’s family halaqah we will invite your cousins and speak about the seriousness of jealousy and its harms.”
“That’s a wonderful idea!” Aminah chirped.
“Aminah?” Ummi and Yusuf both said together.
They all burst out laughing.
“But Ummi, I was scared to tell you in case the situation became bigger.”
“No worries, my dear Abdullah. I understand you. It is important that when someone is hurting you or bullying you, that you tell someone you can trust. Someone who will deal with it in the right way. I intend to do that inshaAllah.”
“I know you will, Ummi.” Abdullah squeezed his mum tighter.
“Allah will reward you for your beautiful patience and your forgiving heart.”
“I hope so.” Abdullah smiled widely.
Suddenly they heard an abrupt knock on the door. “Shall I get the door, Ummi?” Yusuf asked his mother.
Abdullah rested his head on the pillow. He began to think about the race and he wondered about the rewards Allah would give him for being patient.
Suddenly, Abdullah heard Hamaad’s voice coming from the living room corridor. He jolted up.
“Walaykum Asalaam, Nusaybah.” Ummi replied as she welcomed her sister into her home.
“Come, come. Please sit.”
“Auntie!” Hamaad embraced Ummi.
“How are you doing, Hamaad?”
“And you, Hafsah?”
Suddenly they heard an abrupt knock on the door.
“I wonder who that is! Abi is not coming till after 4pm.” explained Ummi.
“I am good too.” She said slowly and rather nervously.
Auntie Nusaybah sat down on the couch and cleared her throat.
“So, we came over for a quick visit because my two little munchkins here would like to apologise for what happened earlier on at the race.”
Abdullah’s eyes widened.
“Isn’t that right, kids?” Auntie Nusaybah said sternly, as she turned to Hafsah and Hamaad.
“That’s right.” They both said.
“I am very sorry, Abdullah.” Hafsah said politely whilst trying not to meet anybody’s gaze.
“Yeah, me too. For pushing you.” Hamaad added on with a regretful look on his face.
“It’s… it’s fine, I forgive you.”
Yusuf and Ummi smiled.
“I apologise on behalf of my children, too.” Auntie Nusaybah said to Ummi.
“Its okay. We all make mistakes, but it’s important that we learn from them.”
“Very true!” Yusuf said, nodding in agreement.
“We bought you a little gift.” Hafsah said quickly, as she pulled out the gift from her bag.
Hamaad handed it to Abdullah with a smile. It was wrapped in beautiful, shiny, red wrapping paper and was tied with ribbon.
“Open it.” Auntie Nusaybah gestured.
Abdullah tore away at the paper whilst Aminah sat scrunching the pieces up to throw in the recycling bin later.
“Wow, it’s a toy car! I… I love it! JazaakAllahu Khair!”
“Wa iyyak.” Hamaad replied.
“Alhamdulilah!” Ummi chirped.
“By the way, my dear girls and boys, we will be holding a short halaqah tomorrow at our house. The topic is on jealousy and envy. Hands up if you want to attend?”
Hafsah, Hamaad, Aminah and Abdullah all quickly raised their hands in excitement.
“Me, me!” Aminah cheered.
Ummi and Nusaybah grinned and let out a chuckle.
“Kids.” They both sighed, shaking their heads.
• Remember dear children; no form of bullying or teasing is acceptable. Sometimes it’s amazing to make excuses for each other, but if someone is hurting your feelings, instead of keeping it to yourself, inform an adult or let someone you trust deal with it in a gentle and responsible way.
• Abdullah could have easily held a grudge against his cousins, Hafsah and Hamaad, yet he chose to forgive. Forgiving someone and letting go is good for your heart, mind and soul and is key to spreading peace and love. Allah Almighty also has an open ticket to earn Jannah for the one who forgives those who harm them.
• If you have hurt someone, intentionally or unintentionally, always apologise and accept your mistake. Say sorry, it is not a sign of weakness to do so, but rather a sign of strength. Allah Almighty will also shower His divine mercy upon you. It is even better for you to buy them a gift like Hafsah and Hamaad did for Abdullah! The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: “Give gifts to each other and you will love each other.”