Feb 20

My Life As It Is…

MY LIFE AS IT IS….

SERIES I

Laila looked to her left, then her right, her eyes glowing like the flame of fire in the semi-darkness. She walked the short distance from her room to the kitchen door with her threads soundless because she was barefooted and tip-toeing like a ballerina on display. Her posture was rigid like a brick that could break with a slight pressure. Something wasn’t right, I thought. It was an ungodly hour to be roaming about in the near darkness.

Something was definitely up!

Laila placed her left hand on the door knob as she dashed her eyes to somewhere behind her. The kitchen door hinges gave a slight creak that stopped Laila from opening it further as she took another look over her right shoulder. Another small push opened the door completely without any more sound. As I stood at the corner of the laundry room which led off the kitchen, I was perplexed to see Laila in full glare of the fluorescent light as she took off the lid from one of the cooking pots arranged on the cooking gas. What is Laila up to? The thought gripped me, and I stood unmoving in the shadow of a wall. I couldn’t see what she was doing after removing the pot cover because she had left my view and she was now behind the kitchen door. Should I barge in there to see what my sister was carrying on? The memory of a stinging pain came to me unwittingly- the repercussion of interfering in a matter that concerned my younger sister some weeks ago. No, just go ahead to bed, implored my head, you don’t want to get slapped again by your mother. Or do you? The memory did magic on me that I totally lost interest in whatever Laila was up to and sluggishly went to the boys’ room.

The Next Morning…

“Bashir, Usman, Waheed, and Hameed…….. Will you all come to the kitchen right now?! The bellow of mother’s voice triggered a fear that I always likened to what ‘judgment day’ might sound like. When mother went screaming for our names like that, it meant hell was going to let loose. Fear skittered over my body as I dropped my right foot sandal that I was about to wear and scuttled after my brothers out of our room. The reason for the loud call was another thing, and a bigger problem would arise if we don’t make it fast enough to the spot where she stood awaiting our arrival…..

 

Jan 23

THE MISSING BANANAS- 3

Harun remembered the advice his teacher gave them in class some days ago.

“Say the truth no matter who it hurts.”

There is this hadith he also quotes for them to understand the importance of telling the truth. They were made to learn the hadith by heart too.

“Jazak Allahu khairan, sister, you fulfilled your promise, and I am grateful for that.”

Juwairiyah felt happy that she was able to help her brother. Looking sober, Harun said, “I am going to tell Ummu that I took the bananas, and ready to accept any punishment she gives.”

“Ma Sha Allah, Harun,” said Juwairiyah. “That is the best thing to do. I am proud of you.” Juwairiyah gave Harun a hug with a pat on his back. Juwairiyah thought, Alhamdu Lillah, thank You, Allah, for such a wonderful brother.

Harun felt confident from his sister’s encouraging words and the cuddling hug. He smiled and went downstairs to the dining area where Ummu and Abu sat chatting, with Juwairiyah at his heels. His sister had decided to give him moral support when he faced their mother.

“Asalam alaikum, Ummu and Abu,” greeted Harun.

“Wa Alaikum Salam,” the parents replied in unison. Before Ummu could utter a word, Harun took a deep breath and launched into his confession.

“I am the one that took the two pieces of bananas missing from the bunch,” Harun said, looking downcast at his feet.

Ummu turned to look at Abu, as he returned her look. There was a pleasant surprise on their faces. Abu was the first to reply. “ Ma Sha Allah Tabarak Allah, Harun, that was a good thing to do and a brave one at that. It is not easy to confess to wrongdoing.” Abu’s face was beaming with pride. “But, do you know that what you did was wrong?”

Harun expected a scolding after his admission but was surprised when Abu praised him instead. With excitement in his voice and a remorseful face, he said, “Yes, Abu. I know it was wrong to take the bananas without asking Ummu for them.”

Ummu felt glad that her children were taking to right habits and prayed to Allah (SWT) always to guide them to be good in their character, sayings and doings.

Ummu directed a question to both Juwairiyah and her brother. “What do you do when you want something from both Abu and me?”

“We ask you first!” Juwairiyah and Harun replied together. There was laughter from all at the way they both answered in unison as if they had rehearsed it. Baby Amar joined in the merriment with his baby language “Blah, blah, blah.”

LESSONS:

  • Always say the truth no matter what may come out of saying it.

  • Always remember that Allah (SWT) loves those who repent immediately they commit a mistake or

  • Do not take something that does not belong to you without permission from the owner.

Look out for the other series in Juwairiyah and Harun Abu Sufyan stories.

 

 Was the story to your liking?

Let’s hear your response down in the comment box below. 🙂

Jan 09

THE MISSING BANANAS-2

“Ummu, I’m in the toilet,” Harun shouted. Meanwhile, he quickly entered the bathroom in his room.

“Here I am, Ummu,” said Juwairiyah

Ummu was arranging Abu’s food on the dinning. She turned on hearing Juwairiyah’s voice behind her.

“Some banana pieces are missing from the fridge. Do you know anything about it?”

Juwairiyah was at a loss for words and didn’t know what to do or say. I have promised Harun not to tell on him, what do I do? She thought. Ummu looked impatiently at her, and Juwairiyah was yet to decide on what to say.

“I asked you a question, Juwairiyah. Please, answer me.”

“Erhm…I…it’s  hmm…,” Juwairiyah stammered. Ummu frowned, trying to comprehend what Juwairiyah was saying.

“Where is Harun?” asked Ummu

“He is in his room.”

“Go and get him, please!”

Juwairiyah was relieved to leave Ummu’s presence. “It was getting tough,” murmured Juwairiyah.

Juwairiyah stepped into Harun’s room, looked at his bed to see if he was lying down. He was not on it. She looked at the study area, Harun was not in sight. Then she heard water running from the bathroom area and went close to the door.

“Harun, are you there?”

Harun was by the wash hand basin rinsing his hands, and he froze when he heard Juwairiyah’s voice. Should I pretend not to hear her? Or should I answer? He debated this within himself. He concluded to come out of the bathroom.

Juwairiyah looked at her brother and felt sorry for him. She wished he could be saved from the scolding Ummu was going to give him.

“Ummu wants you.”

Agitated, Harun said, “Did she ask about the bananas?”

“Yes,” Juwairiyah replied.

“And what did you tell her?”

“I couldn’t tell her you took it.”

To be continued..

Hmm.. the story is getting heated, isn’t it?

Did you enjoy this snippet today? Why not share away?  🙂

 

Jan 02

THE MISSING BANANAS- 1

THE MISSING BANANAS- 1

Juwairiyah and Harun Abu Sufyan are siblings. Juwairiyah is the eldest while Harun is the second child out of three and Amar being the last. Mr Abu Sufyan is referred to as Abu (father in Arabic) while their mum, Mrs Abu Sufyan is called Ummu by the family members.

The Abu Sufyan family are practicing Muslims. The parents taught the children the aklaaq (good manners) in Islam. They follow the Qur’an and the Sunnah in all their doings. Juwairiyah and Harun knew the weight of telling lies as taught to them by their parents.

One hot afternoon, after having lunch, the children went to play in the garden. Ummu was in her room upstairs busy with baby Amar. Harun was thinking of the bananas he saw Ummu kept in the refrigerator some minutes ago.

I would love to have some of those yummy bananas. thought Harun. The more Harun thought of the bananas the more tempted he was to go and take it without taking permission from his mother.
Mum will not see me take the banana, Harun thoughts continued. I’ll just take it and hide behind the sofa to eat it.
After a few minutes of Harun’s thoughts, he went to the fridge to take two pieces of the bananas and hid them behind him. Juwairiyah was in the garden playing with her dolls when she suddenly realized that Harun was no longer in the garden with her.

“Where could my brother be?” Juwairiyah asked herself.

As Harun was eating the bananas behind the sofa, Juwairiyah suddenly appeared in the sitting room and saw Harun with the bananas.

“Where did you get the bananas from?” asked Juwairiyah.


“Hmmm…..I……..”stammered Harun. Ple….Please, don’t tell Ummu,” pleaded Harun.
Juwairiyah agreed not to tell their mum as Harun asked.

When it was time for Maghrib (sunset prayer), Ummu called out for Abu to come and break his fast before observing his solah (prayer). On getting to the fridge to bring out the bunch of bananas, Ummu realised there were two spots where bananas were missing.

“Juwairiyah! Harun! Come here both of you,” called Ummu.
Juwairiyah rushed out of her room when she heard her mother’s call.

“Na’am, Ummu,” she replied. Harun, on the other hand, felt panic as he instinctively knew the reason their mother was calling them. He refused to leave his room, so he lied.

To be continued next week.

Can you relate with what Harun did? I remembered a time I had to take a story book from my primary school library without my teacher’s permission. The reason was simply because I wasn’t given enough time to read the book and I was desperate to finish it. The end didn’t justify the means anyway. I regretted it later when I understood my action.

Do you have any childish naughtiness to share? 🙂

Dec 15

The Task Overload- Short Story 11

A Story about Doing Too Much

Polly and Noodle were different, even though they were friends. Polly was short and shaggy. She was constantly busy helping others.

Noodle, was a tall dog. Noodle liked to do crafts and spend time with friends.

Polly was constantly circling Noodle, literally and figuratively. As Noodle walked at a slow speed, Polly ran around her, barking and jumping.

Polly was always involved in doing projects. She was driven to be productive. Polly helped neighborhood cats find mice all day. She took responsibility to chase that young pup, Gabby, away when he came around, yapping at the kids.

Noodle was careful with how she spent her time. True, she did plenty of work but always left time for personal enjoyment.

Polly helped anyone for any reason. She even assisted an elderly dog, Frannie, to dig holes when Frannie was content to dig slowly on her own.

One day, Polly complained to Noodle, “Oh, I’m exhausted. I don’t feel like keeping my own home neat or even spending time with you anymore, and you’re my best friend!”

Noodle listened intently. Then Noodle said calmly, “Polly, you only get one life to live. Why not spend it doing things that are truly important to you? What’s more important: looking for mice or taking care of home? Chasing away Gabby or spending time with me?”

 

“Every day, you show yourself and the world what matters most by how you choose to spend your time. What are priorities?”

From this day forward, Polly used Noodle’s advice to create a more joyful, fulfilling life. Although she was still busy, she was busy doing things that mattered.

Save some energy for things that matter and learn to say ‘no’ to those that don’t.”

How recently have you done something you truly wanted to do, just because?

Come along to share your thoughts in the comment box below. 😀

Dec 07

Zainab- Daughter of the Prophet

Zainab Book Cover Zainab
Daughter of the Prophet
Sr. Nafees Khan
Children
Goodword Books
2016
32

 

I have wanted to review a book on Zainab (R.A.), one of the Prophet's daughters and couldn't until I found this book at the Peace & Unity Convention I attended on the 3rd and 4th of this month. It was a soul uplifting experience. That story is for another day.

Zainab is the first in the series of Daughter of the Prophet. The author Sister Nafees Khan did an excellent job of portraying the period of Zainab's life through description and pictures that looked inviting.

The story was told in simple and definite sentences which children would easily understand when they read the book or when read to them. The author told the story in such a way that it flows from the day of her birth, her childhood during the Jahiliyah (Ignorance) period, to before revelation and her marriage and then her life after revelation.

I have always enjoyed reading about Zainab's (R.A) married life to her husband, Abu al 'Aas. Theirs was a romantic union that needed to be emulated to assist the marriages of our time to grow stronger rather than the state they are in . Zainab (R.A) had to save her husband twice from captivity because of the love they had for one another before he finally accepted Islam.

I plan to read to my younger children and allow the older ones read on their own. I know it would serve as a way to motivate my daughters to have role models they can emulate which they need to build their self-confidence.

The book is for the younger readers, but adults can also read it because it isn't bulky and can be completed within half an hour for an avid reader and possibly one hour for the less enthusiastic reader. The portability of the book makes it easier for children to handle.

You can check the book out here for purchase.

Have you read about Zainab(R.A) story before now? If yes, what did you enjoy most about it?

Type your comments in the space below. And do share if you find the review interesting. 🙂

Nov 09

The Windy Hill- Story 10

Wendell Wind loved to listen to the whispers and howls he made by blowing through the oaks’ branches. Because the oak trees grew on the hilltop, Wendell played his music whenever he wanted. His winds blew more and more.

Otis Oak Tree pleaded, “Wendell, could you reduce your wind power? You’re ruining our blooms. Our branches are breaking. My oak tree friends are suffering because of your intensity.

Ha,” said Wendell. “I can blow as hard as I want whenever I want, just because I can.

tree

After two months of Wendell’s wrath, Otis met with the trees and squirrels. “Sam, we need help,” Otis said to the Squirrel President.

You’ve seen the troubles the Wind causes. Will you ask the squirrels to transport our acorns into the valley? We’ll stop growing up here on the hilltop and spread into the valley instead where the Wind won’t reach. We’ll drop plenty of acorns since you squirrels love to hide them for later.

Sam said, “We’ll start tomorrow. We’ll bury every acorn in the valley. Thanks, Otis!

Soon, new oak trees sprouted in the valley. The hilltop had not one new oak tree. “Oh, no,” said Wendell Wind. “There are not enough branches left. I can’t play my music!

I need new oak trees and fast,” Wendell ordered Otis the next day.

We’ll grow no more oaks up here,” countered Otis.

Why not? Simply tell the hilltop trees to drop more acorns. Order the squirrels to hide them up here.

No, I won’t,” Otis said defiantly. “We’re moving to the valley.

Why?” inquired Wendell.

Just because we can,” quipped Otis.

Before you exercise power, consider its effects on others. What are your thoughts on this?

If you like this story, do share with others. 🙂

 

Oct 19

The Lazy Bird

A story about doing things right the first time.

Melody the lark thought she was ready for winter, until a crow showed up in the middle of the night…

Melody the singing lark lived in a perfect world! Melody lived in Happy Town and was the only bird to call that part of town home. This was her territory and she was free to do whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted.

lark

As winter approached, it was time for Melody to hunt for worms so that she wouldn’t have to go hunting in the snow. The worms would be her main source of nutrition for the winter. Any other bird would have hidden the worms they caught to keep them away from the crows. But Melody decided against it. After all, this was her territory – no trespassers allowed!

“Hrmph! Why should I be concerned about those pesky crows,” said Melody to herself as she nonchalantly set the worms on an exposed tree branch. “This is my town, and I simply can’t be bothered to hide my meals. I’m the only person who’s allowed to eat them anyway!”

Upon retiring for the night, Melody fell into a deep sleep right next to her worms. Almost immediately, Crank Crow from a neighboring town flew by and noticed the worms.

“Well, would you look at that!” he said, as he swooped down and grabbed up Melody’s worms. “This is the easiest hunt ever! It’s going to be a great winter!”

Poor Melody woke up just in time to see Crank Crow flying off with her entire stash of winter meals.

Almost in tears, and as the snow came falling down, Melody lamented, “If I had only taken the time to protect my precious worms, I wouldn’t have to be hunting for more now in the snow.”

Regardless of how time-consuming the exercise, spend the time to do it right, so things remain under control when it matters most.

Have you ever done just enough to get by instead of giving all you have to give as regards any area of your life?

Let it out and let’s learn from each other’s experiences. And go ahead and share. 🙂

 

Oct 10

The Playful Pup (Short Story 8)

The Playful Pup

A Story about how helping others lifts your spirits.

Donnie Dog thought he lived a fulfilling life, until

Bonnie Bulldog nearly lost hers…

Donnie Dog and Prant Pup were next-door neighbors. They spent their days playing outdoors and exploring. Often, they chased the AbdusSobur’s cat or cornered squirrels high in the big baobab trees that separated their yards.

One day, Prant Pup said, “I’m tired of doing the same old things. Let’s find something new to do. My mom told me that helping others will make me a happier pup. She said, ‘Your life will mean more. You’ll never know how things can change until you volunteer to aid another.’

quotes

Donnie said, “Well, if I want to be happy, I can just chase my tail or eat more treats. Why go to all the trouble of helping another?

As they sauntered down the street, Prant and Donnie heard a high-pitched howl coming from Bonnie Bulldog’s house. Prant Pup exclaimed excitedly, “C’mon! Let’s go see if Bonnie needs help!

Donnie wasn’t sure about helping, but when he saw Prant loping toward the house, he followed.

Luckily, they arrived in time to grab the table leg that had collapsed onto Bonnie using Prant’s sharp teeth and Donnie’s strength. They quickly pulled the table off Bonnie and her pups. “Are you okay?” Prant asked.

Oh, Donnie and Prant, you saved us! My puppies and I would have been crushed if you two hadn’t shown up. How will I ever thank you?” Bonnie said, shaking all over as she licked her puppies lovingly.

I’m so happy we were nearby,” said Donnie, feeling he could conquer anything.

Donnie and Prant looked at each other, realizing they’d done something that really mattered. They felt great joy and confidence as they trotted back home to play.

Help others and your spirits will soar.

How do you feel after you extend a helping hand to others?

Give us a comment under there. We love receiving them! Also share, share and share away. 🙂

 

 

Oct 03

All About Akhlaaq Review

All About Akhlaaq Book Cover All About Akhlaaq
Sr. Nafees Khan
Children
IB Publisher Inc.
2012
Hardcover
55

This was one of the books I’ve enjoyed reading with my children. I started the tradition of having it read out loud after Fajr prayer each day. This book gave a fun way for the children to learn the moral values and good manners required of them to inculcate as they grow up.

The author of All about Akhlaaq used a combination of illustrations and skits between teacher and pupils and skits between friends to pass on the messages. The style got the attention of my kids whenever we learnt one more moral lesson. After each skit, a box at the end recaps a particular lesson taught with a hadith for backup.

A few of the values and good manners included were Forgiveness, Honesty, Justice, Keeping a promise, Lying, Respect and so on.

I especially loved the simple ways the moral lessons were passed through illustrations and clear English.

I recommend the book for families who want fun ways of impacting moral values to their children, and for teachers, as a handy book of valuable lessons to teach pupils by acting it out.

All about Akhlaaq can be purchased online at this link.

What other books with moral values have you read on your own or with your children?

all-about-akhlaaq-a-fun-way-to-learn-and-practice-moral-values-and-good-manners-in-islam-nafees-khan-1akhalaqakhlaaq

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