Category Archives: Stories

The Spirit of Ramadan

Asad opened the refrigerator door and peered inside. His eyes fell on a huge chocolate cake and some sandwiches, the leftovers from yesterday’s tea.

“Oh God! Why am I being punished like this?” He groaned silently.

It was the first day of Ramadan and Asad was fasting. He had just returned from school and was feeling ravenous. After dropping his heavy backpack on the bedroom floor, he made a beeline for his favorite spot in the house, the kitchen. But fasting meant no food for at least four more hours. He would have to wait till sunset to break the first fast of the month.

Just for a second, Asad felt sorely tempted.

“Who would know if I eat a slice of the cake?” he mused. His parents weren’t home, his grandparents were resting and his baby sister, Fatima was too young to tell tales.

“Somebody would know, “a little voice argued inside his heart. “He, who knows everything, since He is our Creator.”

Asad slammed the fridge door shut in frustration. He was fourteen and felt ashamed of his momentary weakness. He went to the living room where a maid was spooning Cerelac into Fatima’s little mouth. Fatima gurgled and grinned at her older brother who bent down to give her a hug. Asad looked at the pale yellow concoction that was smeared across her face and swallowed hard. Even Cerelac smelled good at this hour.

He flopped down on the sofa in disgust and switched on the television.

“Maybe a nice program will take my mind off food for a while,” he thought, aggressively pressing down the channel buttons on the remote control.

He paused at BBC channel where a cute anchorperson was presenting a report. Asad stared at her for a while without registering the news but then some live images made his attention snap back at the report. Rachel Hayward was talking about intense, widespread poverty and famine in Africa where millions of children perished each year due to hunger and malnutrition.

Asad stared at the disturbing pictures of dark brown skeletal children with distended stomachs. Flies hovered around their faces and their naked bodies, as mothers listlessly tried to wave them away. Their misery was writ large on their faces and their empty eyes bore testimony to man’s inured ways.

Asad thought with a guilty pang about the uneaten pizza he had thrown away in a fit of temper last night. He had ordered his favorite Chicken Supreme but the delivery boy had brought some other pizza and would not take it back. Asad had paid for it and just to show the impertinent delivery guy what he thought of his services, had tossed the pizza into the trash can outside his house. It had felt so good at that time but now he felt like a total jerk.

He remembered how his grandmother always chided him when he left rice uneaten on his plate that was later scrapped off by the servant and dumped in trashcan. He remembered the lavish meals he and his friends ordered in college canteen and then discarded because they could not eat a bite more. If excess, extravagance and waste were crimes, then he was guilty of each one of them.

He changed the channels once again and put on MTV. He had a huge crush on Beyonce but after witnessing the BBC report, the music seemed too loud, too cheerful and even obscene. He switched the television off.

“What is wrong with me today?” He thought uneasily. “It must be the lack of food that is making me so restless.” He glanced at the stately golden clock adorning the living room wall. Only twenty minutes had passed and he still had more than three and a half hours to kill.

“I’ll go to Bilal’s house.” He decided, thinking about his friend’s house across the street. “Maybe a few rounds of computer games will improve my mood.”

When he stepped out of his house, he saw was a couple of dirty, bedraggled children foraging through the trash can. The older kid, who seemed about 5 yrs old, dragged a piece of dried chapatti out of the refuse heap and brushed away blackened mango peels from it. He broke it in two and offered the other half to his younger sister. Asad stood rooted to the spot in horror.

“Hey. Don’t eat that. It’s terribly dirty and probably mouldy too,” he shouted but the duo quickly crammed the hard chapatti into their hungry mouths and scampered off.

“Why had I never noticed such things before?” he wondered.

Asad had never been hungry in his entire life so poverty, deprivation, and hunger were concepts that he had never thought about.If the home cooked meal was not to his liking, he always ordered his favorite foods from upscale restaurants and had them delivered home. He had a credit card, a gift from his father on his fourteenth birthday and he used it for lavish meals whenever he wished.

Now hunger due to the obligatory fast was forcing him to look at the plight of the less fortunate and the more he saw, the more disturbed he felt.

He crossed the street and saw a construction crew at work. Bilals’ father was having a wing added to his already imposing residence. Asad paused to admire the skill of an old carpenter who was busy smoothing a rectangular block of wood. Wood shavings littered the floor around him.

“Are you fasting, babaji?” He asked respectfully.

The old man looked up and wiped the perspiration from his brow.

“Aye, son. Work is no excuse for not fasting,” he replied.

Asad could not imagine fasting and then working in the relentless summer afternoon heat. He looked around at the laborers, mason, and brick layers working in a rhythmic method.

“What do you eat for iftaar?” he asked out of curiosity, referring to the evening meal. He imagined the lavish food that got prepared in their kitchen everyday. It took their chef at least two hours to put together an afternoon tea.

The old man smiled,” Whatever Allah provides for us, son. He is Merciful and Most Gracious.”

“Does Mr. Haroon provide you with meals?” Asad persisted. He knew Bilal’s father was rather tight fisted. He would have insisted that the men put in whole shifts instead of cutting down their working hours in deference to Ramadan.

“What do rich men know about empty stomachs, my son,” the old carpenter replied, moving his plane over the wood in a smooth, fluid motion.

With bile rising in his throat, Asad turned back towards his house. His mind was in turmoil and his heart ached. In the living room he paced restlessly and then saw some CDs that his grandfather was fond of listening. He put on one in the magnificent stereo system that his father had recently purchased. It was recitation of the Holy Quran. As the soul stirring voice of Qari Saad Al Ghamdi reciting Surah al Baqarah filled the room, Asad felt waves of serenity hitting him. He felt engulfed in peace and tears shimmered in his eyes.

“Those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah and do not follow up their spending by stressing their benevolence and causing hurt, will find their reward secure with their Lord. They have no cause for fear and grief. ”

Asad spent some time listening and absorbing the message from Allah. Then he took a bath and said his prayers. His parents came home and the smell of iftaar being prepared filled the house.

As the entire family gathered for breaking the fast, Asad looked at the dining table laden with a variety of food ___ sandwiches, cake, fruit cocktail, tempura, triangular samosay, fried chicken pieces, dates and a variety of other dishes.

“Mom, do we need to cook so much food for one meal that no one can possibly finish?”

“What’s on your mind, son?” his father asked, surprised by his son’s unusual question.

“Dad, Mom’s on a diet, grandparents can’t eat fried and salty food as per doctor’s orders and Fatima can’t eat solid food. That leaves you and me to finish at least eight dishes. It’s pure waste.”

“Asad, what is wrong, son?” His mother asked concerned about her son’s state of mind.

“Mom there are people out there dying of hunger. There are people who have a handful of dried dates to eat and yet work all day on rich people’s mansions and then thank God for His blessings.”

“Asad, we do pay zakat and charity to help those in need. I am very happy that you are being so thoughtful and caring, but we cannot eradicate poverty on our own,” his father reasoned.

“Yes, but maybe this Ramadan we can share our food with those whose needs are greater than ours, father. May I?” Asad asked with a tilt of his head towards the food.

The grown ups looked bemused but Asad felt a gleam of pride in their eyes. He went outside and invited the laborers for iftaar. At first hesitantly and then with joy and gratitude they accepted his offer.

Asad’s servants laid out linen on the green grass of their beautifully manicured lawn and the men took off their shoes and sat cross legged waiting for the Maghrib azaan which would signal the time to break the fast.

As Asad passed out fresh dates and fruit to about two dozen men in the garden, the old carpenter said smilingly, “Didn’t I tell you that Allah is the best Provider and we eat out of His provisions.”

For the first time in the day, Asad laughed aloud in joy.

“Thank you for teaching me the true spirit of Ramadan, babaji . It is not about mindlessly abstaining from food and drink all day but understanding the needs of others and pleasing Allah to gain His blessings that Ramadan is all about. Sharing and caring, that’s the true spirit of this holy month.”

“Aye, and praying too. Now help this old man get up so that I can say my prayers, young man.”

Happy and satiated, they all went to the local mosque to offer their prayers and thank Allah for all His blessings.

By Gulrukh Tausif

The fruits of Honesty

An emperor in the Far East was growing old and knew it was time to choose his successor. Instead of choosing one of his assistants or his children, he decided something different. He called young people in the kingdom together one day. He said, “It is time for me to step down and choose the next emperor. I have decided to choose one of you.”

The kids were shocked! But the emperor continued. “I am going to give each one of you a seed today. One very special seed. I want you to plant the seed, water it and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from this one seed. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next emperor!”

One boy named Ling was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly told his mother the story. She helped him get a pot and planting soil, and he planted the seed and watered it carefully. Every day he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other youths began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow.

Ling kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. Three weeks, 4 weeks, 5 weeks went by. Still nothing. By now, others were talking about their plants but Ling didn’t have a plant, and he felt like a failure. Six months went by–still nothing in Ling’s pot. He just knew he had killed his seed.

Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Ling didn’t say anything to his friends, however. He just kept waiting for his seed to grow.

A year finally went by and all the youths of the kingdom brought their plants to the emperor for inspection. Ling told his mother that he wasn’t going to take an empty pot. But honest about what happened, Ling felt sick to his stomach, but he knew his mother was right. He took his empty pot to the palace. When Ling arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other youths. They were beautiful–in all shapes and sizes. Ling put his empty pot on the floor and many of the other kinds laughed at him. A few felt sorry for him and just said, “Hey nice try.”

When the emperor arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted the young people. Ling just tried to hide in the back. “My, what great plants, trees and flowers you have grown,” said the emperor. “Today, one of you will be appointed the next emperor!” All of a sudden, the emperor spotted Ling at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered his guards to bring him to the front. Ling was terrified. “The emperor knows I’m a failure! Maybe he will have me killed!”

When Ling got to the front, the Emperor asked his name. “My name is Ling,” he replied. All the kids were laughing and making fun of him. The emperor asked everyone to quiet down. He looked at Ling, and then announced to the crowd, “Behold your new emperor! His name is Ling!” Ling couldn’t believe it. Ling couldn’t even grow his seed. How could he be the new emperor? Then the emperor said, “One year ago today, I gave everyone here a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds which would not grow. All of you, except Ling, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Ling was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new emperor!”

If you plant honesty, You will reap trust
If you plant goodness, You will reap friends
If you plant humility, You will reap greatness
If you plant perseverance, You will reap victory
If you plant consideration, You will reap harmony
If you plant hard work, You will reap success
If you plant forgiveness, You will reap reconciliation
If you plant openness, You will reap intimacy
If you plant patience, You will reap improvements
If you plant faith, You will reap miracles
But
If you plant dishonesty, You will reap distrust
If you plant selfishness, You will reap loneliness
If you plant pride, You will reap destruction
If you plant envy, You will reap trouble
If you plant laziness, You will reap stagnation
If you plant bitterness, You will reap isolation
If you plant greed, You will reap loss
If you plant gossip, You will reap enemies
If you plant worries, You will reap wrinkles
If you plant sin, You will reap guilt

So be careful what you plant now, It will determine what you will reap tomorrow,The seeds you now scatter, Will make life worse or better,your life or the ones who will come after. Yes, someday, you will enjoy the fruits,Or you will pay for the choices you plant today.

Small Sins?

Ibn Al Hasan (A.R.) once remarked: “I am grieving for forty years over a sin committed by me.” Someone enquired, “What sin is that which has caused great concern and grief in you?”

He replied, “Once I was visited by a friend and in order to entertain him, I bought fish which we subsequently ate. After the meal, I scraped some sand from my neighbour’s wall without his permission, to wash my hands. I am still crying over that sin.”

The questioner expressed surprise over the fact that such a small fault has created so much of anguish and concern. So Ibn Al Hasana explained that according to the Prophet (peace and blessing upon him) the biggest sin before Allah is that little slip or error which man regards as trifle and unimportant and therefore thinks it unnecessary to seek forgiveness.

On the other hand, if he acknoweldges his wrongs considering them to be quite serious, he would certainly feel guilty and ashamed of his actions and this would induce him to repent, seek Allah’s forgiveness through which he receives pardon and in this way obliterates all trace of the sin.

Source: Death by Husainiyah Publications

Be Grateful

Luqman(A.S.) had great love for the Almighty, that it created within him high moral character and exemplary habits. This was a clear sign of his nobility and nearness to Allah. The details of that is described in Surah(Chapter) Luqman in the Glorious Qur’an.

Luqman(A.S.) used to be in the employment of a rich man. The nobility of Luqman(A.S.)’s character had a great effect on his master, so much so that the master considered him as a great friend and a beloved companion. Although he was the master, yet in fact the master became like a slave to his employee.

It became the practice of the master that whenever he had something special to eat, he would first feed Luqman(A.S.) of it and after Luqman(A.S.) had filled himself, he would eat the left overs.

Luqman(A.S.) would consider the love of the master and his habit, so he would eat moderately and send what was left over to the master. One day, during the melon season, the master received a melon from somewhere. At that time Luqman(A.S.) was not present. The master sent one of his slaves to go and call him.

When Luqman(A.S.) arrived, the master cut the melon into slices and slice by slice started giving thereof to Luqman(A.S.) to eat. As he ate the slices, the master inwardly became pleased at the effect his love was having upon Luqman(A.S.). Luqman(A.S.) ate the slices with great PLEASURE and all the time expressed THANKS for the favour shown to him by the master. After having eaten the slices, when just one slice remained, the master said: “Let me eat this slice and see how sweet is this melon.” Saying this, he put the slice into his mouth. Immediately, such bitterness spread from the tip of his tongue down to his throat, that as a result of the extreme bitterness of the melon, he fell down unconscious and remained unconscious for a whole hour.

When he regained consciousness, he questioned Luqman(A.S.): ” O Beloved one, how did you manage to, so heartily eat those slices of melon ? Just one slice of the melon had such an effect on me, then how did you manage to eat so many slices ?”

Luqman(A.S.) replied: “O Friend, from your hands I have received hundreds of gifts. The burden of thanks upon me is so great, that my back has gone crooked. Hence, I felt ashamed that the hand that had granted me so much favours, if one day some distastefulness or bitterness should come, how can I turn away from it? O Friend, the pleasure of knowing that it comes from your hands has changed the bitterness of the melon to sweetness.”

LESSON:

At every given moment there are numerous bounties and favours of Allah upon mankind. But if ever for a moment some such incident takes place which brings with it, a problem and outwardly causes some difficulty, man loses patience and fails to be grateful.

On the other hand, there are those who are granted understanding, so that when sorrows and difficulties touches them, they remain happy, pleased and grateful to their Lord. At such times, they draw strength from their good understanding and realise that this world is like a hospital and we are like patients in it.

There are times when the doctor gives the patient “sweet” medicine and at other times ” bitter” medicine. However, in both these, there are beneficial results for the patient. Similarly, Allah is the “Al Hakeem”, the All-Wise and at the same time is the ” Haakim”- Ruler. He is also “Ar- Raheem”, the Merciful One. Hence, whether it brings out comfort or discomfort, all these are for our benefit and interest.

So be Grateful and Thankful under ALL circumstances and conditions to the Almighty.

Source: Ma’arif-e-Mathnawi (Vol.1)

Real Beauty of a Muslimah

True strory told by Shaykh “Abdul Mohsen al Ahmad”, it happened in Abha (the capital of Asir province in Saudi Arabia).

“After performing Salat Al Maghrib, she put her make-up, wore her beautiful white dress preparing herself for her wedding party, Then she heard the Adhan of ‘Ishaa and she realized that she broke her Wudu.

She told her mother: “mother, I have to go to make wudu and pray ‘Ishaa.”
Her mother was shocked : “Are you crazy?!! Guests are waiting for you, to see you! What about your make up? It will be all washed away by water!!” Then she added:  “I am your mother and I order you not to perform salah now! wallahi if you make wudu now, I will be angry at you.”

Her daughter replied: “Wallahi I won’t go out from here until I perform my salah! Mother you must know that there is no obedience to any creature in disobedience to the Creator!!”

Her mother said: ”what would our guests say about you when you’ll show up to your wedding party without make-up?  You won’t be beautiful in their eyes and they will make fun of you!”

The daughter asked with a smile: “Are you worried because I won’t be beautiful in the eyes of creations?  What about my Creator? I am worried because, if I miss my salah, I won’t be beautiful in His eyes.”

She started to make wudu, and all her make-up was washed away, but she didn’t care.

Then she began her salah and at the moment she bowed down to make sujud, she didn’t realize that it will be her last one!

Yes! She died while in sujud!  What a great ending for a Muslimah who insisted on obeying her Lord!  Many people who heard her story were so touched!!

She put Him and His obedience first in her priorities, so He granted her the best ending that any Muslim could have!
She wanted to be closer to Him, so He took her soul in the place where Muslims are the closest to Him! SubhanAllah!
She didn’t care if she would be beautiful in the eyes of creatures so she was beautiful in the eyes of Her Creator!

O Muslim sister, imagine if you are in her place!  What will you do?  Subhan’Allah, what an amazing story.

Source: http://weirdmuslimah.wordpress.com

The Lonely Ember

A Musalli of a certain Masjid, who previously had been attending salaah in congregation regularly, stopped going.� After a few weeks, the Imaam decided to visit him. It was a chilly evening. The Imaam found the man at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire. Guessing the reason for the Imaam’s visit, the man welcomed him, led him to a big chair near the fireplace and waited. The Imaam made himself comfortable but said nothing. In the grave silence, he contemplated the play of the flames around the burning logs.

After some minutes, the Imaam took the fire tongs, carefully picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it to one side of the hearth all alone. Then he sat back in his chair, still silent. The host watched all this in quiet fascination. As the one lone ember’s flame diminished, there was a momentary glow and then its fire was no more. Soon it was cold and “dead as a doornail.” Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting.

Just before the Imaam was ready to leave, he picked up the cold, dead ember and placed it back in the middle of the fire. Immediately it began to glow once more with the light and warmth of the burning coals around it.

As the Imaam reached the door to leave, his host said, “May Allah reward you so much for your visit and especially for the “fiery” sermon. I shall be back for salaah in the Masjid at Fajr.”
Invite (all) to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and reason with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for your Lord knows best, who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance. (Qur’an Surah An-Nahl: 125)

Sayyidina Abdullah bin Umar(R.A.) reported that Rasullullah(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) has said that Allah created some of his creatures in order that they may fulfil the needs of people. When people face any difficulty they get worried and (enquire about them). Such people are protected from the punishment of Allah. (Tabaraani, Jama’al Fawa’id)
Adapted and edited by Al-Islaah Publications (www.everymuslim.com)

Success of a farmer

There was a farmer who grew superior quality, award-winning corn in his farm. Each year, he entered his corn in the state fair where it won honors and prizes.

One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned something interesting about how he grew his corn. The reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbours.

“How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbours when they are entering corn in the competition with yours each year?” The reporter asked. “Why bother ? ”

The farmer replied, “Didn’t you know? The wind picks up pollen grains from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbours grow inferior, sub-standard and poor quality corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I have to grow good corn, I must help my neighbours to grow good corn too.”

The farmer gave a superb insight into the connectedness of life. His corn cannot improve unless his neighbours’ corn also improves. So it is in the other dimensions and areas of life!

Those who choose to be in harmony must help their neighbours and colleagues to be at peace. Those who choose to live well must help others live well too. The value of a life is measured by the lives it touches…

Success does not happen in isolation; it is most often a participatory and collective process. So share the good practices, ideas and new knowledge with your family, friends, team members and neighbours and all. As they say: “Success breeds Success.”
Author unknown

Abdullah ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: �The best friend in the Sight of Allah is he who is the well-wisher of his companions, and the best neighbour is one who behaves best towards his neighbours.� (Tirmidhi)

Imam Abu Hanifah and the Atheist

Long ago in the city of Baghdad, there was a Muslim empire. On one side of the River Tigris were the royal palaces and on the other side was the city. The Muslims were gathered in the Royal Palace when an athiest approached them. He said to them, ‘I don’t believe in God, there cannot be a God, you cannot hear Him or see Him, you’re wasting your time! Bring me your best debator and I will debate this issue with him.’

The best debator at the time was Imam Abu Hanifah Rahimullah. A messenger from amongst the Muslims was sent over the River Tigris to the city, where Abu Hanifah Rahimullah was, in order to tell him about the athiest who was awaiting him. On crossing the River Tigris, the messenger conveyed the message to Abu Hanifah Rahimullah saying, ‘Oh Abu Hanifah, an athiest is waiting for you, to debate you, please come!’ Abu Hanifah Rahimullah told the messeneger that he would be on his way.

The messenger went over the River Tigris once again and to the Royal Palaces, where everyone including the athiest awaited the arrival of Abu Hanifah Rahimullah. It was sunset at the time and one hour had passed, but Abu Hanifah Rahimullah still hadn’t arrived. Another hour had passed, but still there was no sign of him. The Muslims started to become tense and worried about his late arrival. They did not want the athiest to think that they were too scared to debate him, yet they did not want to take up the challenge themselves as Abu Hanifah Rahimullah was the best of Debators from amongst the Muslims. Another hour passed, and suddenly the athiest started laughing and said, ‘ Your best debator is too scared! He knows he’s wrong, he is too frightened to come and debate with me. I gurantee he will not turn up today.’

The Muslims increased in apprehension and eventually it had passed midnight, and the athiest had a smile on his face. The clock ticked on, and finally Abu Hanifah Rahimullah had arrived. The Muslims inquired about his lateness and remarked, ‘Oh Abu Hanifah, a messenger sent for you hours ago, and you arrive now, explain your lateness to us.’

Abu Hanifah Rahimullah apologises for his lateness and begins to explain, while the atheist listens to his story.

‘Once the messenger delivered the message to me, I began to make my way to the River Tigris, and on reaching the river bank I realised there was no boat, in order to cross the river. It was getting dark, and I looked around, there was no boat anywhere nor was there a navigator or a sailor in order for me to cross the river to get to the Royal Palaces. I continued to look around for a boat, as I did not want the athiest to think I was running away and did not want to debate with him.

I was standing on the river bank looking for a navigator or a boat when something caught my attention in the middle of the river. I looked forward, and to my amazement I saw planks of wood rising to the surface from the sea bed. I was shocked, amazed, I couldn’t believe what I saw seeing. Ready made planks of wood were rising up to the surface and joining together. They were all the same width and length, I was astounded at what I saw.

I continued to look into the middle of the river, and then I saw nails coming up from the sea floor. They positioned themselves onto the boat and held the planks together, without them being banged. I stood in amazement and thought to myself, ‘Oh Allah, how can this happen, planks of wood rising to the surface by itself, and then nails positioning themselves onto the boat without being banged?’ I could not undertsand what was happening before my eyes.’

The athiest meanwhile was listening with a smile on his face. Abu Hanifah Rahimullah continued, ‘I was still standing on the river bank watching these planks of wood join together with nails. I could see water seeping through the gaps in the wood, and suddenly I saw a sealant appear from the river and it began sealing the gaps without someone having poured it, again I thought, ‘Ya Allah, how is this possible, how can sealant appear and seal the gaps without someone having poured it, and nails appear without someone having banged them.’ I looked closer and I could see a boat forming before my eyes, I stood in amazement and was filled with shock. All of a sudden a sail appeared and I thought to myself, ‘How is this happening, a boat has appeared before my eyes by itself, planks of wood, nails, sealant and now a sail, but how can I use this boat in order to cross the river to the Royal Palaces?’ I stood staring in wonderment and suddenly the boat began to move. It came towards me against the current. It stood floating beside me while I was on the river bank, as if telling me to embark onto it. I went on the boat and yet again it began to move. There was no navigator or sailor on the boat, and the boat began to travel towards the direction of the royal palaces, without anyone having programmed it as to where to go. I could not understand what was happening, and how this boat had formed and was taking me to my destination against the flow of water. The boat eventually reached the other side of the River Tigris and I disembarked. I turned around and the boat had disappeared, and that is why I am late.’

At this moment, the athiest brust out laughing and remarked, ‘Oh Abu Hanifah, I heard that you were the best debator from amongst the Muslims, I heard that you were the wisest, the most knowledgable from amongst your people. From seeing you today, I can say that you show none of these qualities. You speak of a boat appearing from nowhere, without someone having built it. Nails positioning themselves without someone having banged them, sealant being poured without someone having poured it, and the boat taking you to your destination without a navigator against the tide, your taking childish, your talking rediculous, I swear I do not belive a word of it!’

Abu Hanifah Rahimullah turned to the athiest and replied, ‘You don’t believe a word of it? You dont believe that nails can appear by themselves? You dont believe sealant can be poured by itself? You dont believe that a boat can move without a navigator, hence you don’t believe that a boat can appear without a boat maker?’

The athiest remarked defiantly, ‘Yes I dont believe a word of it!’

Abu Hanifah Rahimullah replied, ‘If you cannot believe that a boat came into being without a boat maker, than this is only a boat, how can you believe that the whole world, the universe, the stars, the oceans, and the planets came into being without a creator?

The athiest astonished at his reply got up and fled.

Transcribed from a lecture delivered by Shaykh Ahmad Ali.

Remember Those Who Serve

In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10-year-old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him.

“How much is an ice cream sundae?” he asked.
“Fifty cents,” replied the waitress.

The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied the coins in it. “Well, how much is a plain dish of ice cream?” he inquired. By now more people were waiting for a table and the waitress was growing impatient. “Thirty-five cents,” she brusquely replied.” The little boy again counted his coins. “I’ll have the plain ice cream,” he said.

The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and left.

When the waitress came back, she began to cry as she wiped down the table. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies – You see, he couldn’t have the sundae, because he had to have enough left to leave her a tip.

Moral: Show kindness to all those you encounter, this is the way of the Prophet (peace be upon him).  Small acts of kindness performed regularly have a big impact, insha’Allah.

When Allah Gives

Once a boy went to a shop with his mother.  The shop keeper looked at the small cute child and showed him a bottle with sweets and said ‘Dear Child, you can take some of these sweets. But the child didn’t take any of them.

The shop keeper was surprised, such a small child he is and why is he not taking the sweets from the bottle.  Again he said take the sweets.
This time the mother also heard that and said… beta take the sweets.

Yet he still didnt take any.

The shopkeeper seeing the child not taking the sweets, himself took the sweets and gave to them to the child. The child was happy to get two hands full of sweets.

When they returned back home, Mother asked the child, “Why didnt you take the sweets, when shop keeper told you to take them, not once but twice?”

Can you guess the response:-

Child replies… Mom! my hands are very small and if i take the sweets I can only take a few, but now you see when the kind shop keeper gave with his big hands how many more sweets I got!

Moral:
When we take we may get little but when Allah gives…
HE gives us more, beyond our expectations…more than what we can hold.