Home Mother's Corner Basheer and the Beggar

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.

Basheer and the Beggar

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Ask our children:

1. How should we treat beggars?

2. Is it fine to laugh at people and make fun of them?

Now tell them the story:

“Knock knock! Knock knock!” There was a knock at the door! “Basheer! Go and see who it is!” Basheer’s mother called out. “Jee mummy!” replied Basheer. He went to the door, opened it and saw a dirty and smelly man standing before him. He was wearing ragged, torn clothing, and his toes were poking out of holes in his shoes. The man saw young Basheer and asked softly, “Young man! Can you please give me something to eat? I’m very hungry, and I don’t have any food!”

Basheer ran to his mummy in the kitchen and said, “Mummy! There’s an old man standing at the door! He wants food!” His mother immediately said, “He must be a beggar! Tell him to wait for a few minutes. I’ll make him something to eat.” A few minutes later, Basheer took a sandwich and hot cup of tea out for the beggar. The beggar was quite surprised because normally people were not so kind to him. He ate his sandwich, drank his tea, and then said to Basheer, “May Allah Ta‘ala reward you and your family for your kindness.” Saying this, he left.

Later that day, Basheer was playing in the park with his friends when they saw the beggar walking past. “Ay! Look! It’s that stinky beggar!” they shouted. Then, they started to tease the beggar by singing, “Dirty dumpster digger! Bent and crooked figure! Dirt on your shirt and ants on your pants, and your nose is getting bigger!”

Then, as they watched, a man walked up to the beggar and started to shout at him, “You stinky, lazy old man! Why don’t you work? Why are you always begging? Get out of here!” The beggar lowered his head, and without saying a word, continued to walk.

Basheer was shocked at what he had seen and confused over how his friends were teasing the beggar. So, when he was with his father and mother that night, he told them what had happened, and how his friends and the man in the park had treated the beggar. “Father, why were they so mean to him? And why did they say those things to him? Is it true that he’s lazy and he begs because he doesn’t want to work?”

Basheer’s father and mother explained to him, “Basheer! Did you know that the beggar you fed today was actually the man we bought this house from? He was once a rich man, but some bad people stole all his money. He tried very hard to find a job or some work but nobody wanted to give him a job. That is why he sleeps on the streets and asks people for help – not because he is lazy.”

Then, Basheer’s father explained further, “Not all beggars are the same, Basheer. Some of them are lazy and even have money. They are begging because they are greedy for more money and are too lazy to work. Those beggars are naughty people. But there are other beggars who are really in need and have nobody to help them. They don’t like to beg, but they have no other way to get food.”

Then, Basheer’s mother said to him, “Sometimes, we don’t know who the good beggars are and who the bad beggars are. But what we know is that Allah Ta‘ala is kind to us and did not make us beggars. If we are kind to the beggars, Allah Ta‘ala will be kind to us and the beggars will make du‘aa for us. If we don’t want to give the beggar anything, then at least we should speak to him kindly and not be mean to him.”

Now, Basheer understood and realized that his friends were wrong to tease the beggar, and the man was wrong to shout at him. In fact, he felt very sorry for the old beggar.

The next day, he went looking for the beggar. When he found him, he went up to him and said, “Uncle! Whenever you are hungry, please come to my house. I will always have a fresh sandwich and a hot cup of tea waiting for you!” The beggar was surprised at young Basheer’s kindness and began to smile. He was so happy, that he asked Basheer, “Tell me, is there anything that you want?” Basheer thought for a while and then replied, “My grandmother is very sick and the doctors can’t help her. I want her to get better!” The beggar raised his hands and made du‘aa, “O Allah! Please cure this boy’s grandmother and make her healthy, aameen!”

Later, when Basheer returned home, his parents were excited and overjoyed. “Basheer!” they shouted, “Your grandmother is better! The doctors said that it’s a miracle!” Basheer looked at them and said, “No! Actually, it was the du‘aa of the beggar that caused grandmother to get better!”

In this way, Basheer’s grandmother got better, and Basheer earned the du‘aa of the beggar which always helped him, right until the end of his life.

Lessons:

1. We should never hurt, tease or speak badly to beggars. If we can’t help them, we should at least speak to them kindly.

2. There were many people who were rich, but lost their money and had to become beggars. If we have money, we must not be proud because we can also lose our money. We must always thank Allah Ta‘ala for the money and food we enjoy.

3. We must always try to help people. Allah Ta‘ala will be happy with us and they will make du‘aa for us.

4. We must always try to think good things about people.