Fussy Faheem

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Ask our children:

1. Is it fine for Muslims to be fussy?

2. What happens to a person when he is fussy?

3. What should we do if we are fussy?

Now tell them the story:

Once upon a time, there lived a small boy named Faheem. Faheem went to school, and madrasah, and had friends, and was an intelligent and happy child. However, Faheem had one very bad quality – he was fussy. Faheem wanted everything to be a certain way, and if it was not how he wanted it, then he would become very unhappy, and very difficult.

In the morning, when he was getting dressed for school, he wanted to wear his green jacket. But since the green jacket was still in the washing, his mother took out his blue jacket. Faheem was so fussy that he refused to wear the blue jacket. His mother said to him, “Faheem! Please wear the blue jacket, it’s cold and raining outside!” However, Faheem was so fussy that he did not listen, and went out without a jacket.

Later that day, when he returned home, all his mother could hear was, “ACHOOO!” Because he didn’t wear a jacket, Faheem got wet in the rain, and cold with the wind, and now he was sick.

In the same way, just as Faheem was fussy with his clothes, he was also fussy with his food. One morning, when his mother made his toast for him, she covered it with butter and honey, instead of peanut butter and jam. Faheem asked her, “Mummy! Can I have peanut butter and jam?” His mother replied, “I’m sorry Faheem. The peanut butter and jam are both finished. Never mind, you can have butter and honey today. You ate it the other day and you enjoyed it, remember?”

However, Faheem was just too fussy. He wanted peanut butter and jam, and if he couldn’t get it, then too bad. He decided that he would not eat it. So, he sat and stared at his toast for a full ten minutes, until the car came to fetch him for school. Then, he left the toast on his plate, untouched, and went out.

That day, Faheem got into trouble at school. Because he didn’t eat breakfast, he was very hungry. In fact, he was so hungry that his stomach was burning and he could not concentrate on any of his work. Finally, when he could not manage the hunger any longer, he reached into his bag and quietly took out a banana, hoping to eat it quietly, without getting caught.

Faheem managed to eat the banana and not get caught, but now he had a problem – what to do with the peel? How could he hide it so that the teacher wouldn’t see it? Faheem had an idea… He took the banana peel, put it on the floor, next to his desk, and then placed his bag on top of the peel.

However, a few hours later, when class was over, Faheem forgot about the peel. He stood, picked up his bag, and then, as he started walking, he stepped on the peel and slipped! CRASH! Went Faheem, as he fell on the floor! The whole class turned to see what happened, and as the teacher came closer, he spotted the banana peel.

Poor Faheem! He was hurt because he fell, and now he had detention as well, for eating in class.

That evening, when Faheem was sitting with his parents, he began to complain about all his problems. He complained about how he had become sick, and he was hungry in class, and he fell, and he got detention, and he was very, very unhappy.

His parents listened to him, and after he was done complaining, his mother said to him, “Faheem, do you know what the problem is? The problem is that you are too fussy! You are too fussy about your clothes, your food and everything else. Then, you are too stubborn. All the difficulty and trouble you went through is your own fault. You made it difficult for yourself!”

Then, his father explained, “Faheem, we can’t always get what we want in life. When we get what we like, then we thank Allah Ta‘ala. But sometimes, things are not how we like. Then, we should look at those who don’t have anything at all, and who have more difficulties than us. If we do this, we will realize that even if things are not exactly how we like, we still have a lot to be grateful for. You refused to eat the butter and honey toast, because you are so fussy, but there are many people who would be happy if they could get even plain bread to eat, because they are so hungry.”

Then, his father said one more thing, that was very important, “Faheem, if you are not fussy, and thank Allah Ta‘ala for what you have, then He will give you more. But, if you are fussy, and are not grateful for what you have, then He will be unhappy with you and will not give you more. Instead, He will give to others who are grateful.”

In this way, Faheem learnt that he should not be fussy about everything. If he did not get what he wanted, how he wanted, and when he wanted, then he should still be grateful, because he at least had something, while many other people don’t have anything at all.

Lessons:

1. We must not be fussy and difficult. We must be happy with what Allah Ta‘ala gives us and thank Him.

2. When a person is fussy, he is always unhappy, and he also makes the people around him unhappy.

3. If we are fussy, then we must always think about the poor people in the world who don’t have anything. This will make us appreciate what we have and thank Allah Ta‘ala.

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