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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.

Old Shoes

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Ask our children:

1. If all our friends have something, but our father cannot afford to buy that item for us, what should we do?

2. We always think of those few things we do not have, but do we ever appreciate the many things that we do have?

3. When last did we thank Allah Ta‘ala or our parents for all the good we are enjoying?

4. Did we know that we thank people by saying “Jazakallah!” and we thank Allah Ta‘ala  by saying “Alhamdulillah!”

Now tell them the story:

There was a little boy whose name was Shaakir. He was very intelligent in madrasah and always took the first prize. He would always look forward to going to madrasah and was never late for his lessons.

One day his mother saw him sitting in his room, very sad and quiet. He refused to go to madrasah. His mother was surprised and worried, so she asked him. “What has happened to you my dear Shaakir?” Shaakir replied: “Mother I’m not going to madrasah today since all my friends have new shoes, and I do not want them to laugh at my old shoes. Tell father to please buy me a new pair.”

Shaakir’s father was a very poor man. He worked very hard, but the money he earned was so little that it hardly bought them sufficient food. The father was naturally saddened when he heard what had happened. So he told his wife: “Let us read two rakaats salaatul haajah and beg from Allah Ta‘ala. Allah Ta‘ala will either arrange for Shaakir’s new shoes, or Allah Ta‘ala will give Shaakir the understanding to make do with the shoes he has.” Shaakir’s parents then performed salaah and made du‘aa.

Later that day Shaakir sat by his room window looking at all his friends returning from madrasah wearing new shoes. In his heart he kept on wishing: “If only I could also have my own new shoes.” Just then he saw a boy moving in a wheel chair. The boy had no legs at all. This made Shaakir cry as he thought to himself: “How ungrateful am I? I am crying for new shoes, whereas this boy does not even have feet to wear any shoes.”

Shaakir immediately made wudhu, performed two rakaats shukr salaah and thanked Allah Ta‘ala for all his favours upon him. He then cried in du‘aa, making taubah, repenting and turning to Allah Ta‘ala. Thereafter he went to his parents and begged them for forgiveness. That night Shaakir took his old shoes, and with his own hands he polished it until they were shining and looking like new shoes. Shaakir’s parents thanked Allah Ta‘ala for guiding Shaakir and giving him the correct understanding.

Lessons:

1. As children we should not compare ourselves with what other children have, and then demand the same from our parents.

2. We need to look at those who are less fortunate than ourselves and appreciate all that Allah Ta‘ala has given us.

3. The moment we realise our mistake, we should repent and ask for forgiveness.

4. Every parent tries their best to keep their children happy. If at times they do not buy us something, then we should not feel that they have no love for us. Rather, it is only love that makes them do certain things which our little minds will never understand.

5. We should not tease and make fun of poorer children.