Home Mother's Corner Miserly Mish and the Fish

Introduction

Children love stories, and good stories have valuable lessons in them. Thus a very easy way to instil morals and values in our children is through story-telling. In this section, we will be guided as to how to present stories to our children and how to follow them up with lessons.

Miserly Mish and the Fish

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Ask our children:

1. Who is more liked by people, ‘a miser’ or ‘a generous’ person’?

2. How should we treat the poor?

Now tell them the story:

There was an old man who everyone used to call Mish. He owned a fish shop and cooked the tastiest fish in the whole city. In fact, it was so tasty that everyone’s wish was to have a dish of fish from Mish. Because his fish was so tasty, crowds and crowds of people came to buy his fish and he made lots of money selling his tasty fish to them.

As he became richer, he began to forget Allah Ta‘ala, and the love of money entered his heart. The love of money entered so deep into his heart that he became a big miser. Soon, he didn’t want to spend money on anyone or help anyone. All he wanted to do was to make more and more money.

One cold morning, as Mish finished preparing his tasty fish and was waiting for all the hungry customers to come, he saw a poor man standing outside his fish shop. Mish went out of the shop and asked the poor man, “What are you doing?” The poor man said, “I don’t have any money, so I can’t buy fish. But I do have a nose to smell your delicious fish.”

When greedy Mish heard this, he became angry and grabbed the poor man shouting, “You owe me money for smelling and enjoying the aroma of my tasty fish!” The poor man was shocked and afraid and replied, “But I did not buy or take any of your fish!” However, Mish did not want to hear anything and pulled the poor man to the home of his friend, Sulaiman, who was a judge.

Mish complained to Sulaiman, “This man owes me money for smelling my tasty fish!” The poor man, who was also a very pious man, had a bag of coins with him that somebody had given him to keep safe. So he took this bag and began to shake it near Mish’s ears. As he shook the bag, the clinking sound of the coins could be heard and it immediately brought a huge smile on Mish’s face. Mish loved money so much that he closed his eyes, enjoying the sound of the coins.

After a few moments, the poor man told Sulaiman, the judge, “Mish wants me to pay for smelling his fish. Now, I am charging Mish the same amount for listening to the sound of these coins. Because we owe each other the same amount, I don’t have to pay him anything.” The judge was amazed at the poor man’s intelligence, and he immediately allowed him to go.

Mish realised how foolish he had been and regretted his greediness. So he went to the poor man and begged him for forgiveness. He also took him to his fish shop and fed him some tasty fish. From that day, Mish became the most generous man, always caring and sharing with others.

Lessons:

1. There is no good in being a miser.

2. The love of money makes a person hard hearted, thus he loses all mercy and sympathy for others.

3. Greedy people behave foolishly.

4. Actual happiness lies in making other people happy.

5. You don’t have to be rich to be intelligent.