Patience and appreciation
The columnist Nazneen Gulamhussein Mukhtar (Arusha, Tanzania) is the headmistress of Yaadgare Murtazawi Madressa, She is a mother to five children and loves writing and reading. She always wanted to inspire children – her favourite audience. Writing has been her passion for as long as she can remember, and believes that effective learning takes place through story telling.
Innallaha ma as saabireen
Allah is with the patient ones.
La In shakartum La azidannakum
When one is thankful, Allah increases his bounties….
There are a lot of virtues to be admired in a person, but patience and appreciation are the most excellent of all virtues, especially if they are crowned by kindness and love. These qualities are not only admired by us, but Allah loves them as well.
Let me tell you a short story about a small boy, a child like you all. Abid knew about these virtues and morals, but recently it was becoming really hard for him to be patient and thankful. He was 13 years old and he wanted his life to be better and every one thought he was impatient and unappreciative. Abid lived in a middle class area in Nairobi, his father had a good job, and their house was spacious, and he could not remember going to sleep hungry, but he still wanted more. He wanted to be able to buy a
mobile phone, a good camera, and more decent clothes, but whenever he asked for anything his parents would advise him to wait, because he did not need those things at the moment.
Mother always told him that there was a difference between needing things and wanting them or desiring to have them. What you need is a necessity and what you want is an indulgence.
“my dear, we have to be patient!” she said,“how much longer can I be patient? I feel I am really unlucky, I never get what I want! I am only asking for a mobile phone, all my friends have one you know” said Abid
“But Abid, I have always given you what you need, you have never had to go without any necessity, do you know there are people who are hungry for days on end? We should always think about the ones below us, and not the ones who are wealthier and in better positions- you will get a mobile phone when you are older, at the moment you have to wait”
Abid could not help but feel bitter about it. Mother told him to get his money box out and count the money he had collected so that he could at least buy the camera he wanted but he was too angry to consider using his precious savings for that.
After having a big argument with his mother and he walked angrily without looking carefully as he crossed the road. A boy pushed him roughly at the side and as he looked up, he saw that this had saved him from a lorry which would have otherwise crushed him to pieces!
“Hey! Thanks, brother” said Abid and saw a small boy whose clothes were 2 sizes larger for him but he had a smile on his small face. “it’s my pleasure, my name is Muhammed”
“thanks muhammed ..well are you coming to school?” said Abid.
“no not today…you see my little brother is not feeling well and I have to take care of him”.
“well cant your mum do that?” said Abid.
“no she has to go to work…” he said.
“my mum stays home…” said Abid.
“well at the moment we are trying hard to make our ends meet. Sometimes we have so little money that we eat 2 meals a day, no lunch for us! My little brother suffers from anemia and has to have certain meals rich in iron but we cannot afford to give him those meals and thus his condition is becoming worse…sometimes I give him my share of breakfast when mother’s not looking, but it does not seem to help, I really love my little brother you know!”
Abid felt a bit guilty when he remembered how he had argued and made a big fuss because of a mobile phone. The boys passed by a poor-looking flat which was where Muhammed lived. The door was opened by a small boy who had a smile on his face. “Muhammed you have a friend today, please come in” As Abid came inside, he saw the place was clean but was bare looking and small. The little boy who looked weak and small, was eager for attention.
“salam alaikum” said Abid.
“Alaikum salam..I am Ali..what’s your name? Are you Muhammed’s friend?”
Abid smiled and said yes. He sat with the boys for a while and talked to them, then he had to go to school, but deep down in his heart, he had learnt a great lesson that day. A month passed by and his friendship with Muhammed and Ali deepened, his mother was happy to see a change in him, Abid seemed to be contented and appreciative and this sudden change even pleased his father who was proud of him. One day as he came home from school, his mother came up to greet him with a smile. She had a big envelope in her hands, and she was saying excitedly, “Abid..your uncle has sent you 100 dollars…that is a lot of money…Your Father and I think you really deserve to buy that mobile phone you want…”
“Is the money all mine? Can I do anything I want with it?” said Abid. “well ..dear can you trust me enough to tell me what you need this money for?” she seemed puzzled. At last, Abid told her what he wanted to do, and she gave him a tight hug and said, “I am so proud of you Abid!”
So Abid took the money and emptied his money box and went towards Muhammed’s house. It was late afternoon and Muhammed’s mother was also back from work. She liked Abid and thought he was respectful and kind. Muhammed was really happy to see him and welcomed him inside, Ali started clapping his hands in excitement, he was really a very friendly boy.
Abid gave the money to Muhammed mother and said, “This is my own money and my mother told me I can do anything I want with it. There are things I really wanted to buy, but I realize I do not need them! I feel that you need this money at the moment and so I want you to have it”
Muhammed’s mother did not want to take the amount and it needed a lot of convincing until she finally agreed. As Abid was going towards his house, he felt he had done something small, because he knew that there were many people who would always be in a state of hunger and need,
who would always lack bare necessities, but he made a vow to have patience when he desired to have something and to try to help as much as he could, whenever he could.
As they sat at the dinner table that evening, his father said a silent prayer “Ya Allah we thank you for the blessings you have bestowed on us and the rizk you have given us, and we thank you for having a wonderful son who is not only appreciative and patient, but he has the biggest treasure in his heart and that is Kindness and Love for others!” Abid blushed and smiled, but he knew he had a long way to go in order to become as special as his father defined him to be.
As years went by, Abid became more kind and caring and always remembered to thank Allah, and he became one of the most successful and prosperous people in the community, and indeed is Allah’s promise when he says- La In shakartum la azidannakum……
Tell me, children, are we patient and thankful? do we care for other people? Do we have kindness and love for them? If not, let’s do something about it, especially after these great months of Muharram and Safar. We should remember that these are indeed qualities that will make us closer to Allah. Let us take the first step today.
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