It was a beautiful day in the busy city of London. The bright sun was shining down upon the calm River Thames. The Sky was a perfect blue and the birds were chirping melodious praises of their Lord.
“Abdullah!” his mother called out from the bottom of the staircase.
“Yes, Ummi?” Abdullah replied obediently.
Abdullah was sitting at his desk in his well-kept bedroom, which he shared with his older brother, Yusuf. He sat in front of his organized desk with piles of books spread out in front of him.
Abdullah loved reading. His favourite books were about the Qur’an and anything about Islam, although, he enjoyed reading general knowledge books too. Presently, he was reading a book on teaching. Abdullah aspired to become a teacher, or an engineer when he grew up.
“Abi wants you to help him fix something! Please come downstairs.” his mother continued.
Abdullah looked down at the page he was reading. He was on one of the most exciting chapters in the book.
Should he continue reading until the end of the chapter or should he listen to his mum?
Shaytaan whispered in Abdullah’s ears…
“It’s ok Abdullah… finish off what you’re doing and then listen to your mum later.”
“No! I must obey my mum.” Abdullah thought out loudly, trying to fight the evil whispers of Shaytaan.
Abdullah had memorised all of the Qur’an at the age of eight. This year, he had turned ten, and was going over all that he had memorised. In the Qur’an, Abdullah read that one should not answer back to their parents. He also learnt that they must obey them at all times, except if they told you to do something which was disobedient to Allah, like Shirk.
He learnt that you were not even allowed to say ‘Uff’ to your parents!
Abdullah smiled to himself. He knew that what his mother told him to do was much more important than what he was doing now. So he decided to listen to her and finish reading the book later.
“Worship none but Allah and be good to your parents.” Abdullah recited the ayah from the Qur’an in a beautiful tone as he made his way down the stairs and into his cozy living room.
A big smile lit on Abi’s face when he saw his son walk over to him.
“My beloved Abdullah, may Allah bless you. Are you going to help me fix this new bookshelf I purchased recently?”
“Sure, Abi, what shall I help you do?” Abdullah rolled up his sleeves, with a determined look on his face.”
“Right…well, you can help me screw the nails in, whilst I work on assembling the pieces together.”
Abdullah nodded his head and got straight to work. He emptied out all the different sized screws on the carpet.
Some were really big, others small, some were fat and others were thin.
“Hmm… which screw do I need to use?” Abdullah wondered. He looked at the bookshelf pieces on the floor and peered closely at the small holes on each corner.
“I will need to use the small screws.” Abdullah decided, collecting all the small ones from the floor and placing the rest beck in his dad’s tool box.
Just then, Aminah walked into the room with a painting in her hand.
“Look! Look, what I’ve made!” Aminah exclaimed. She had a huge smile on her face as she waved the painting in front of her dad and older brother.
“Not now, Aminah!” Abdullah groaned as he was too busy screwing in the nail into the cupboard.
“B-but…” Aminah said in a low tone. Her deep brown eyes looked sorrowful and she held the painting close to her chest.
“I drew this especially for you, Abdullah.” Aminah continued, her voice showed that she was getting upset and angry.
Abdullah was too busy focusing on his work so hadn’t heard what Aminah said, and Abi was too busy concentrating so hadn’t even noticed Aminah walk into the room!
“I hate you sometimes, Abdullah!” Aminah growled. Her cheeks grew red.
Suddenly, a sense of guilt entered her heart.
Aminah walked slowly out of the room; her eyes filling with tears. She made her way up the stairs and into her bedroom.
She had a lovely room. It was painted a baby pink and a soft purple – two of Aminah’s favorite colors. On one wall, there was a massive notice board with all of Aminahs favorite verses from the Qur’an. A pretty frame was hooked up on the opposite wall and on it, was sketched Aminah’s name in Arabic.
Aminah jumped onto her bed, staring down at her painting. She had carefully painted a picture of Masjid Nabwi in Madinah for Abdullah. She knew how much he really wanted to visit Madina, as it was his most beloved place.
Aminah wanted to do something special for her older brother and thought that the painting would make him smile.
The painting was splashed with different colors, mostly cream for the Masjid walls. There were tall palm trees and the sky was crayoned in a summery blue colour. She had never been to Madinah but had heard lots about the city of the Prophet (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam), and her heart ached to go.
Suddenly, the door creaked open.
Aminah quickly lay down on her soft bed and pulled the pink blanket over her.
“My sweet Aminah…” came a familiar voice from behind Aminah.
Her mother sat down besides her, stroking her hair.
“Don’t be upset. Abdullah was busy and didn’t mean to upset you.”
“But Ummi, I made it especially for him and he didn’t even want to look at it?” she cried; now staring back at her mum staring into her golden eyes.
“No, sweetie. He was just so engrossed in helping Abi, he didn’t realize what you had made for him.”
Aminah sat up and gave her mum a hug, squeezing her tightly.
“Shall I tell you a story?”
“Yes, please Ummi!” Aminah wiped away her tears.
Aminah loved story writing and storytelling.
“Ok, here sit in my lap and I will tell you.”
Aminah rushed to cuddle up in her mother’s arm.
“So, one day whilst the Prophet Muhammad (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam)…”
Aminah sat up.
“And then…” she said wide-eyed.
“I’m waiting for you to say Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam!” Ummi laughed.
“Remember whenever we hear it, we must repeat it. It means, “May Allah’s peace be upon him.” Ummi grinned.
“Oh yes, silly me.” Aminah shook her head in disappoint.
“Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam!” she chirped.
Ummi kissed her daughters forehead.
“So, where was I. Oh yes, so he was sitting with some very well-known leaders of Quraysh and was calling them to accept Islam..”
“Ummi, were these leaders really popular?”
“Yes, and they were staunch enemies of Islam too.”
“SubhanAllah!” Aminah raised an eyebrow.
“And then, suddenly a blind man approached the Prophet, Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam…”
“_Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam” Aminah said proudly. She was happy that she had remembered to say it this time.
“The blind man wanted to ask the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wasallam) an important question. However, he kept interrupting, and so the messenger of Allah turned away from him slightly, so he could continue talking to the leaders.”
“But remember, he didn’t do this to the blind man on purpose, but unintentionally…” Ummi added.
“Yes, because the Prophet, Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam, was a very kind man and didn’t hurt anyone’s feelings.”
“That’s right, Aminah. It was only a minor error the messenger of Allah, may peace be upon him, did by turning away from the man. But, Allah sent down ayaat to correct his Prophet, out of great love for him.” Aminah gathered her eyebrows thoughtfully.
“The verses are in Surah Abasa, Surah 80, in the Quran.” said Ummi.
“Wow! Ummi! I’m on that Surah now! I’m learning it off by heart!” Aminah said, excitedly flapping her hands.
“MashaAllah, that’s amazing!” Ummi cuddled Aminah.
“Now, tell me Aminah, what do you learn from this story?”
“I learnt that, when people upset you, make excuses for them because they may have hurt your feelings accidently.”
“MashaAllah, that is absolutely correct, Aminah. Sometimes people will do things and without realizing, they may hurt your feelings but sometimes you just have to make excuses for them.”
“Yeah…So, does that mean that I have to make excuses for Abdullah too?”
“I feel bad for Abdullah now.” Aminah sighed.
“You can still apologise. There is an old quote that goes like this…” Ummi closed her eyes trying hard to remember it.
“Ok, I got it! “If a friend makes a mistake, make seventy excuses for him. If your hearts can’t do this, then that is a weakness in your own selves.”
“Wow, so true.” Aminah was amazed at how making excuses for someone was so important and how it was part of good character.
“You feel better now?” Ummi gazed into Aminah’s chestnut eyes.
“Loads better.” Aminah smiled and gave her mum a kiss on the cheek.
~ Lessons from the story ~
There are two main lessons we can learn from this story:
- The first lesson is, that Islam teaches us to always obey and be kind to our parents. We must respect and listen to them in all circumstances, except if they call to something which is disobedient to Allah. Even then, we must speak to them in a gentle and loving manner. When you listen to your parent’s commands and help them, you are doing a great and noble deed that will earn the love and pleasure of Allah. We must never answer back or shout at our parents because this is a massive sin. Even saying “Uff” to your parents – which is an expression of frustration and annoyance is not allowed in Islam.
- We also learn that every one makes mistakes. Abdullah made a mistake by ignoring his sister unintentionally, but he admitted his mistake and said sorry. Similarly, Aminah forgave him because she knew that Allah will have mercy on those who show mercy to others. She wanted Allah’s mercy, and she wanted his forgiveness too, so she let go of the grudge and forgave Abdullah.
Written by Madiyah Rana under the guidance of Sh Sajid Umar.
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