The Right Way UP!
"Little Muhammad just loves reading books"
I told my friend,
As we watched him engrossed in his story,
His little face hidden by the large cover.
"Really?" she blinked.
"Has he learned anything?"
"He has learnt to hold it the right way up!" I told her happily.
Now as I hold Your Book in my hand,
If I have learned to read it the right way "UP"?
Don’t Tell The Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam!!
I was in a terrible fix, stuck in the middle of a war between my 4 and 2 year old Adam and Muhammad. "ZZZZZZ… rrrrrrr… Im zooming in the sky, outa my way hey you" and THUD he ran into the poor kid. He stumbled, lost his balance and tumbled onto the floor. "aaaaaaaaaay.. Aay… gggggg" He screamed angrily at his older bro, who without any remorse was turning his bike to run into him again. After getting it more than a few times, the little tyke finally had it, he looked around, found nothing (by this time you should know that I was praying, at least what I seemed to be doing, though unintentionally, my mind was fully concentrated on what was going on around me)…I heard his little feet scurrying to the store,, and my! what he got, a broom!!! shooo he swung it around like a baseball bat, Adam ducked and it hit me right on the face. I tasted the dusty hair on my tongue. ZZZZZZ.
The second I did my first salam Adam had already sprinted off. I bellowed. ADAM!! I could hear him giggling in the bedroom. "AADAAM! Come here this instance!!" My voice reverberating thru the width and length of the corridor. "Mama please don’t shout, You are disturbing me, I’m studying.." he said innocently, what a nerve! I thought for a second and called out "Come here, Story time!" And before I knew it he was sitting right in front of me. "I’ll tell you which one, the one in which ……." He went on to tell me the story I was supposed to tell him.
"Wait, wait, first things first, have you brushed your teeth? Ready for bed?"
"Yeah, and my tongue also..what is the story about mama?"
"About a little-naughty companion" I smiled into his eyes meaningfully.
"Yesss!!" He said gleefully.
"There once was a companion, you know who a companion is, don’t you?"
"Yeah, those Muslims who lived with the Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam are called companions". He said impatiently, anxious to hear the story.
"Good for you! so a companion may Allah be pleased with him was asleep…"
"Mama Mama" He cut me short urgently."Remember you were worried if the AC was rumbling? It was not the AC, it was grandma snoring" He confided in me.
"Adam! What if grannie heard what you just said!! You know better than to comment on your elders. It’s rude!!…"
"She doesn’t know she snores?" he frowned incredulously.
"It doesn’t matter if she knows or not.. now.. enough of that snoring stuff. ok? So that companion May Allah be pleased with him, was taking a nap when another companion wanted to have some fun on the poor man’s expense, so he poked him gently with a stick" "Very gently, like this?" he motioned with his hand.
"Yeah, but the sleeping companion was startled out of his sleep, he sat up abruptly like this, some companions laughed at that, and guess what the Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam did?"
"He hugged the sleeping companion?" he suggested quickly.
"NO, he told them that a Muslim should never startle or scare another Muslim, because we are meant to be kind and gentle with each other and should never hurt or make fun of anyone."
"So then the companions started crying?" he asked thoughtfully.
"No, why would they?" I was perplexed.
"Because they laughed first and so when…"He went on to explain his theory.
"Ooooh, That!" You always have to expect the least expected with KIDS.
"Honey, it’s not the point that they laughed or cried, well sort of,, but actually the point is that the other companion should not have startled him in the first place. Get it?"
"Hmmmm" he gazed in the space as he always did when he finally got something in his head.
"So what have we learned from this story? That we should never scare anyone AND should never run our bike into anyone. What do you think the Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam would say if he learns that you scared your poor helpless kid brother and even bumped your bike into him.hmmm?
"Will he be sad then?" He asked quietly, already looking hurt..
"Why Of course, he loves his Ummah so much and he doesn’t want anyone to get hurt."
"And he won’t let me ride his horse in Jannah??" Now he is starting to think, about time.
"Well.. if you promise you will never do that again, and say sorry to your bro, everything will be alright. And the Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam would still be proud of you"
"But he hit me with the broom!!" He fumed.
"Well I don’t want to have an argument at this time, you know who is right and who is wrong, think it over yourself and tell me how you make up your mind later, now say your prayers and go to sleep. We have to get up early for fajr, close your eyes, not a peek. Assalamu alaikum"
After some time when it was dark and quiet, he crawled up next to me "Mama are you sleeping?" He whispered.
"Hmmmm? What is it?" I drawled.
"Mama, don’t tell the Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam that I’m mean to Muhammad ok?" Boy was he ever worried!
Something snapped inside. I held back the urge to kiss him. "You promise you won’t be unkind to him again?"
"I’m not sure actually but I will try" Now he was using my words against me… a naughty smile spreading across his cheeks. "Ok mama, deal?" He was anxious to clear up the matter before somebody delivered it to his dear Prophet Muhammad SallAllahu alaihi wasallam.
I thought for a second and smiled "Deal, now close your eyes". I watched him go to sleep grinning ear to ear, maybe already riding his camel in Jannah.
Something was bothering me inside. I gazed out the window…the wind was howling thru the trees… a grasshopper was singing constantly….the moon was bright. Everything was quiet…. so noisily quiet. Somewhere far away in the desert, a man was crying…. he was 14 centuries far away and and yet… he felt so close…. his tears so real. I could feel his heart beating with sincerity and concern for the whole humanity and especially for his Ummah. And as I lay listening to him pray, "ya Rabbi Ummati, O my Lord, my Ummah!" my heart ached… Ummah? "You see the believers as regards their being merciful among themselves and showing love among themselves, and being kind among themselves, resembling one body, so that, if any part of the body is not well, then the whole body shares the sleeplessness (insomnia) and fever with it" (Bukhari)"
His words echoed in my mind. Thousands of Muslims were burnt to death in Gujrat while a Muslim boy spent half an hour in front of the mirror, tending his spikes, humming to an Indian song. Ummah? … Millions of Muslims have been killed in Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan and we still believe in peaceful negotiations, and mutual cultural seminars.. Ummah?. Thousands of Bosnian Muslims were killed by Serbs in ethnic cleansing a few decades back and a college girl asks me "What is Albania?" Ummah?. We felt shy to wear patched clothes like Sunnah but had no remorse to tear our jeans on the knees to blindly follow western fashion. Ummah? And today my friend calls to tell me that her aunt, a mother with 2 kids was maimed and burned to death in Islamabad Cantt. Ummah??
I wish I could say to my Mom " Mother, don’t tell the Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam how wretched an Ummah we have become." and sleep with a smile on my face.
All good is from Allah Ta’ala whereas mistakes are from this humble speck. May Allah Ta’ala Bless all readers, bringing you all closer to Him and His Rasul SallAllahu alaihi wasallam. May He accept our humble efforts and grant us the capacity to be good and do good. Ameen.