“Uncle, you are the best!” Hafsah exclaimed as Aminah gave Abi a huge bear hug. Then she carefully put the money away in her purse.
“Now go! You don’t want to miss anything.”
The children happily dashed into the masjid grounds. There were a lot of people at the function today. The masjid committee had set up a bouncing castle, a bumping car ride and a huge slide which was enough to fit five people. There were many stalls selling delicious food from cotton candy to Arabic dumplings.
“What’s that?” Hamaad asked pointing to a place where many people were gathered.
“That’s soapy water football.” Yusuf replied. “They play football in water.”
“Really?” Abdullah said, “I want to try that.”
“First,” Hafsah said, “Let’s go register our names.”
Since they were children and all under the age of fifteen, the masjid volunteers had asked all the children whether they were with their parents or not to register their names and their parents mobile numbersin case of an emergency.
The children went to the registration stand and waited for their turn.
“Assalamu alaykum.” A volunteer said. “Eid Mubarak kids!”
“Waalykum assalam, Eid Mubarak to you too.” Yusuf replied. “We are here to register.”
“Of course.” The volunteer pulled up a sheet, “Write down your full name and your parents’ mobile number.”
Yusuf wrote down all their full names and their parents’ mobile number. Hamaad was given a badge to wear with his name and parents number, as he was really young.
“Enjoy your day! Eid Mubarak!”
“Eid Mubarak!” the children replied back as they rushed towards their favorite attractions.
Hafsah and Aminah went to see the stalls where they were selling some clothes and handbags. The two were so excited with their money and couldn’t wait to spend it.
“Aminah! Assalmualykum.” Khadijah said. “You came!”
Khadijah’s sister and her friends had a stall of their own and were selling homemade Turkish delights. The stall was crowded since everyone wanted to buy some.
“Wa alaykum assalam. Yes.” Aminah pointed at Hafsah. “This is my cousin.”
“Assalamu alaykum.” Hafsa stretched out her hand. “It’s really nice to meet you.”
“Wa alaykum assalam. You too.” Khadijah said as she shook her hand.
“Come and join us. We are just looking around.” Hafsah said.
“Sure. I’ll just tell my sister.”
Soon enough Aminah had her arms linked with her best friend and favorite cousin. They tried out delicious food, played a few games and bought the same bags to match each other. They had so much fun that they nearly forgot the time.
The boys on the other hand spent their time only at the attractions and hadn’t spared a glance at the stalls area where the girls were at. They kept playing and playing and met many new friends who in turn kept playing and playing with them.
“Allahu Akbar , Allahu Akbar” The Mu’adhin called.
“Ya rabb!” Abdullah exclaimed, “It’s already Maghrib time!”
“Who doesn’t have Wudu’?” Yusuf asked the group of friends. All of them raised their hands.
“Last one to reach the Wudu’ area buys ice cream.” Abdullah exclaimed and they all dashed towards the Wuduu area at lightning speed.
Just as Abi instructed, the children had gathered near the gate after Maghrib. The girls had bags of stuff that they bought, while the boys were sweating and their faces were shining a bright red colour. Abi pulled the car up to the gate and the children climbed in.
“Assalamu alaykum Abi.”
“Assalamu alaykum Uncle!”
“Wa alaykum assalam kids. Had fun?” Abi turned to smile at them as they got on.
“Yes,” Abdullah replied. “I am so tired.”
“Me too.” Aminah said.
“Yeah me too.” Yusuf agreed.
“Me as well.” Hafsah chimed in.
Abi laughed. “Your mothers have prepared some wonderful food for you. Ahh. Wait. Where’s Hamaad?”
The children looked around them. There was Abdullah, Aminah , Hafsah and Yusuf. Hamaad was not in the car. Yusuf opened the door and got out, scanning the area to find Hamaad.
“Hamaad!” He called out.
Alarmed, Abi and the children got out of the car as well. “Hamaad! Where are you?”
Abi took out his phone. “Girls, you stay with me. Boys, go back to the places you went today, and see if Hamaad is around. “
The boys nodded and ran to the area where all the attractions were. “Hamaad!”
Since it was already dark, many people were leaving the Masjid grounds so the area was getting emptier and emptier. The volunteers were busy picking up the leftover trash and cleaning up.
“Hamaad!” they called out. But there was no reply. They kept searching and searching over and over again.
Where could he have been? Wasn’t he with them the whole time? Oh Hamaad. Where are you? The children thought to themselves worriedly.
Abi called up his friend who was on the Masjid committee, and asked for his help. Soon the volunteers started helping in the search as well. As the closed up stalls were stacked up and ready to be taken away, Hafsah’s tears began to flow. She was getting really scared. What if something happened to Hamaad? Was he frightened? Was he hungry?
“Hafsah?” A voice called out. It was Khadijah.
“Oh, you’re still here? What’s wrong?”
Hafsah sniffed. “My brother. He is missing.”
Hafsah nodded. Her heart was heavy. What was Ummi going to say? She was such a terrible sister.
“I saw him at the back just a few moments ago.” Khadijah said.
Hafsah looked up startled, and wiped her red nose with the back of her hand. “Huh? Where?”
Just then, Aminah entered, “Khadijah…what are you-“
Hafsah stood up and held Aminah’s arm , “She knows where Hamaad is.”
Khadijah nodded, “Follow me.”
The three girls went to the backside of the courtyard where all the stalls were being stacked. The stall owners were simply standing and talking. At a corner, there was a small boy packing up some leftover food neatly into some boxes.
“Hamaad?” Hafsa called out.
The small boy looked up to see his sister. Hafsah broke into tears and hugged her brother. “You silly boy! Where were you? We were searching high and low for you!”
Hamaad showed his sister a box. “I asked the stall owners if they had some food left over and was packing it to give to the homeless people. I have seen so many in the streets lately, and Ummi reminded me at breakfast that we have so much and some people have nothing to eat, even on Eid!”
Hafsah wanted to knock some sense into her brother but she stayed silent. What he wanted to do was a good deed.
“I am going to go get Abi and the boys, you stay here.” Aminah said as she rushed off to find her family.
Hafsah looked at Khadijah, “Thank you. You found my brother.”
Khadijah smiled, “I am glad I was able to help.”
Soon they were on their way home and driving slowly, distributing boxes to the homeless people on the streets.
“Here you go.” Abdullah said as he handed an old man a plastic box of food.
“May God bless you, child.” The man said as he accepted the box. Abdullah smiled and went back to the car.
“That was the last of them, wasn’t it?” Aminah asked. Yusuf nodded in reply.
Combined with the leftovers from the function and the food Auntie Nusaybah prepared, as well as their neighbours who had pitched in too, Abi had to make two whole trips to take the food in his car since there was no space.
“It was a wonderful idea Hamaad,” Abi said as he started the engine.
“What made you think of it?” Abdullah asked.
“It was when Ummi told me not to waste food since so many people didn’t have anything to eat. I thought about how much food we waste on such happy days and thought why not give them to those unfortunate people,” Hamaad said.
“That was really good of you to think of that,” Yusuf said.
“Yeah,” Abduallah agreed. “We did lose you, but we found something as well.”
“What?” Hamaad asked.
“Reward and satisfaction.”
“I am glad I was part of it. I feel as though we have accomplished something amazing on this wonderful day,” Aminah said, beaming.
“Just remember, next time, “ Hafsah said, “Let us know what you’re doing!”
The car filled with the sound of laughter and teasing instantly, as the beautiful day of Eid came to an end. Alhamdulillah, all Praise is for Allah, for blessing us with the special month of Ramadan and the exciting days of Eid!
- So children, even though it is a day to celebrate, it is not a day to waste. Always be mindful of those who are less fortunate than you. Allah says in Surah An’aam , ayah 141 : “And waste not by extravagance. Verily, He (Allah) likes not Al-Musrifin (those who waste by extravagance).” So make sure to eat everything on your plate. Don’t fill up your plate to the brim; you will not be able to finish it. Take little by little and keep some space in your stomach empty.
- Remember to thank Allah for giving you wonderful food, beautiful clothes to wear, family and friends to celebrate Eid with.
We, the team at the Young Learner’s Corner, wish you a blessed and fantabulous Eid. Enjoy it to the maximum! Eid Mubarak!
Written by Maryam Yousuf